TAG Heuer had announced the 2016 TAG Heuer Monza Calibre 17 Chronograph black dial watch replica CR2080.FC6375 to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Monza series back in 1976. The lineage of the 2016 Monza can be traced back to three time-honored watches, namely the single-push Heuer Chronograph (unnamed) Monza in the 1930s, Monza in Carrera in 1976 and TAG Heuer Monza in 2000 ( Tag Heuer Monza), whose design is based on the former’s design while retaining the latter’s name. It may be a complicated genealogy, but most importantly, Monza is one of the best TAG Heuer designs in the past 20 years, so this is a very gratifying return.
Ferrari’s 1975 World Championship
The original TAG Heuer Monza replica was launched in 1976 to commemorate Niki Lauda’s 1975 World Championship win. While the Brabham team started the year as favourites for the title, Lauda had a new weapon at his disposal- the 312T Ferrari, which was light years ahead of the previous season’s 312B3. In fact, the 312T formed the basis for every Ferrari F1 challenger through to 1981, when the Flat 12 cylinder was replaced by the 1.5ltr turbo of the Ferrari 126.
Lauda won five races throughout the season and fittingly sealed his first drivers title at the Italian Grand Prix in September 1975. The team also won the Constructors Championship for the first time since 1964, a feat they would repeat in 1976, 1977 and 1979.
1975 Niki Lauda and Ferrari at MonacoSo, Niki Lauda’s first world title and the first constructor’s title in almost a decade for Ferrari was enough of a reason to celebrate, and of course it was the first World Championship for the team since Heuer joined as a sponsor in 1971. It was time for a special edition watch to mark the occasion.
Heuer Monza 1976
The TAG Heuer Monza 1976 replica was based on the second generation Carrera case, but with a black coating applied via PVD and a Black and Red colour scheme. There were several versions of the Monza, which stayed in the Heuer catalogue through to the early 1980s, all of which you can read about here.
Good news for fans of the retro look – the Monza is back. Good news for racing fans, too, with a design that’s just as dynamic and full of automotive references as the original version from 1976. It’s also remarkable, since TAG Heuer has experimented over the last 15 years with a more elegant version with no black coating and colorless dial elements. A glance at the new Monza Calibre 17 replica might call to mind the familiar roar of Formula 1 engines. After all, the watch was first introduced to celebrate Ferrari’s World Championship title in 1975.
The new TAG Heuer Monza replica combines the best features of two historical models – its dial design can be traced back to the original Monza from the year 1976 and its case to a Heuer chronograph from 1933. The cushion-shaped case is a style holdover from the earliest days of the watch. The Monza from the 1970s had an oval case shape that was typical for that time and was available in chrome-plated or black-coated brass. That watch replica contained Calibre 15, which necessarily placed the crown on the left-hand side. Calibre 15 was the successor model of the Calibre 11 developed in 1969 by Heuer-Leonidas in collaboration with Breitling, Hamilton-Büren and Dubois Dépraz – one of the world’s first automatic chronographs.
Calibre 15 had a small seconds subdial set at 10 o’clock that gave the original Monza a strikingly asymmetrical look. TAG Heuer replica omitted this daring design element for its newest version, due in part to its use of the ETA 2894, known at TAG Heuer as Calibre 17. The ETA 2894 is a modular chronograph based on the three-hand caliber ETA 2892, so the crown sits lower on the case than the chronograph pushers. Although the pushers are generously sized, their pressure point is not perfect. The start-stop pusher on our test watch had a notably delayed reaction when timing events. The stop and reset worked better but the pusher function was stiff. This is due at least in part to the cam control of the chronograph that replaces the historical, higher-quality column-wheel control in more economical chronograph movements.
The rate results of the test watch are generally acceptable. However, the timing machine recorded an outlier in the “dial down” position, which negatively affected the average outcome on our stringent rate test. On the positive side was the low daily gain of 2.5 seconds per day without the chronograph on and 4.5 seconds per day while running. The wearing test on the wrist showed deviations ranging between 0 and +6 seconds per day.
Just as before, the Monza has a sealed caseback – even though the technology beneath is in no way so unattractive that it must be hidden. TAG Heuer replica uses the basic movement quality “Elaboré” and adds various decorative finishes and an individualized rotor. Black enhanced engraving instead of gold on the oscillator fits the overall sporty design of the watch.
All in all, these changes benefit the new Monza, giving it a sporty and relaxed look that is not quite so idiosyncratic as the original. Whatever it may lose in coolness, it gains with the polished and matte finishes of the cushion-shaped case. Titanium contributes to its excellent wearing comfort and the titanium carbide coating makes it highly resistant to scratches.
The perforated calfskin strap is also perfectly in line with the automotive appeal of the Monza design, as are the sporty case and dashboard-like displays. The strap ends in a functional, well-executed folding clasp with push-buttons that are also made of PVD-coated titanium. Its clamp-type clasp mechanism allows for precise adjustment. It compresses the strap at the point of closure, though not to the extent seen on similar clasps.
Reference number: CR2080.FC6375
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 30-minute counter, date
Movement: ETA 2894 “Elaboré,” automatic, 28,800 vph, 37 jewels, hack mechanism, quick date adjustment, fine regulator, Incabloc shock absorber, power reserve = 42 hours, diameter= 28 mm, height = 6.1 mm
Case: Titanium-carbide-coated titanium, curved sapphire crystal on both sides, titanium-carbide-coated titanium screwed caseback with four screws, water resistant to 100 m
Strap and clasp: Calfskin strap with PVD- coated titanium safety folding clasp
Rate results (deviations in seconds per 24 hours, with chronograph switched off/on)
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