Heuer Monza
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Heuer Monza

Why We Love It

In the 1970s and 1980s, Heuer was an early proponent of using PVD finishing on its watch cases, and trotted out the new technique on three models: the Monaco, the Autavia, and the Monza. Of these, the Monaco—dubbed the Dark Lord by collectors—is without a doubt the rarest, with fewer than 200 examples ever produced, to Jack Heuer’s own reckoning. And the PVD-coated Autavias (of which there were four different flavors, in pewter, olive green, black, or gold-plate) do come up on the market occasionally.

But if you’re going for sheer quirkiness, you can do no better than the Monza. Although it didn’t prove as popular among consumers as the Monaco or the Autavia, when Tag Heuer chose to reissue some of its classic chronographs a year or two ago, the Monza was one of them. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, we don’t know what is.

While early PVD watches can show signs of a life well-lived, this one mercifully escaped wear and tear with the coating mostly intact, except for slight degradation on the lugs. The sprightly black, red, and white dial boasts crisp printing. Sometime in its life, a speck of lume dropped off the minute hand, but we elected to keep that as-is in order to preserve the integrity of this fun and funky piece of F1 history.

The Story

The Monza owes its existence to four men: Jack Heuer, Enzo & Piero Ferrari, and legendary Formula 1 driver Nicki Lauda. Until Lauda joined the Ferrari team, they were in an eleven-year drought. Lauda, at the wheel of the 312T, brought the title to the Ferrari team in 1975. To celebrate this victory, Jack Heuer—who'd been partners with Ferrari since 1971—released the Monza in 1976.

When Heuer conceived the Monza, he broke the mold—not just for Heuer chronographs in particular, but for racing chronographs in general. While the Carrera, the Camaro, and the Monaco all came in steel cases, he cast the case for the Monza in brass. But since brass is so soft, Heuer elected to have it PVDc-coated, which gives it an extra layer of protection, as well as a pretty sleek-looking exterior.

The drivetrain that powers this sleek machine is the Calibre 15, one of Heuer’s early automatic calibres. Due to the movement’s construction, the crown had to be positioned on the left; furthermore, the running seconds are positioned slightly above 9 o’clock, rather than bang-on with the register at 3 o’clock. This gives the watch a quirky appearance that we can’t get enough of.

Details

SKU: AS02614

PVD-coated brass case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown and pushers). Calibre 15 Self-Winding Chronograph Movement.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with minimal signs of use and wear throughout. PVD coating shows slight degradation to the lugs. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and some signs of age, including patina to the luminescent elements. Minute hand shows slight lume dropping. Signed crown. Case back has some signs of use and wear.

Includes one 20mm Warm Gray Analog/Shift leather strap.

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We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

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