Introduced last year as an ultra-expensive model limited to only 150 units, the original TAG Heuer Monaco V4 in Platinum was completely sold out. This year the Swiss watchmaking brand introduces yet another, hopefully, more affordable version of the watch that will be sold as ref. WAW2040.FC6288. However, don’t expect it to be too affordable since, soon to be offered in an 18-carat rose gold body, the watch will wear a price tag, which is more suitable for a German sports car.
It would be too daring, perhaps, to call the concept of the watch “revolutionary,” but it is certainly most refreshing in the world where nine out of ten watches sold are powered by slightly modified versions of standard-grade, mass-produced, dirt-cheap calibers and often feature exterior design that, though touted as “time-proven” is usually extremely boring in its own pompous way.
The core attraction of this new wristwatch is, of course, the Caliber V4 movement self-winding movement. Instead of usual gear trains, the Monaco V4 uses a set of transmission belts to transfer rotational energy from one component to another. Although extremely thin, the belts are reinforced with real steel cords to increase their “mileage.” In motorcycles, belt drives are usually considered to be the most efficient tools to deliver energy from motor to the rear wheel. I have an impression that here, too, the belts are used not only (but still primarily) to attract your attention, but also to reduce loss of energy on the way from the main spring to the time indicators.
To make the watch even more efficient, TAG Heuer substituted traditional synthetic rubies with tiny ball bearings, thus significantly reducing friction.
Also, the Monaco V4’s movement uses a completely new winding system with traditional winding rotor replaced with a linear-moving oscillating weight, which is made of tungsten ingot and resembles a piston of a heat engine.
Well, that one seems more like a visual enhancement, but even with the aforementioned ‘real’ efficiency improvements, the mechanism still won’t stun you with hundreds of hours of guaranteed power reserve: far from it. Although the winding system produces enough energy to power the watch for as long as 52 hours after it was removed from the wrist.
Compared to the original version of the watch, the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Next Generation is slightly bigger coming in a 41 mm case (the platinum version was housed in a 39 mm box) and features different color scheme of its partly skeletonized dial.
This time, the restyled watch features rose gold hour and minute hands, as well as the power reserve indicator on the dark background of a black ruthenium-coated back plate and bridges decorated with Cotes de Geneva motif.
Although I was positively fascinated by the cold beauty of the platinum version, I must admit that the rose gold and black ruthenium combination also produces lasting impression.
Too bad that TAG Heuer decided to limit the total production run of the V4 to just 60 units and set a price if 90,000 CHF (around €70,000).
Photos: TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Next Generation (ref. WAW2040.FC6288) automatic watch specification
Price: 90,000 CHF (MSRP)
Movement: V4, automatic, belt-driven, in-house, Swiss Made
Complications: Power reserve indicator
Power reserve: 52 hours
Case material: Rose gold
Bezel material: Rose gold
Bezel shape: Square
Case size: 41.00 mm
Case height: No data
Dial: Black, skeletonized
Hands: Rose gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather, 18-carat rose gold deployment buckle
Case back: Sapphire