TAG Heuer, who announced his brand partnership with Bamford Watch Department -famous for their "custom" watches- last year, has gathered great interest in Baselworld 2018 with the new model based on the cult Caliber 11 Monaco in cooperation with Bamford. Here we have the TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford model under the spotlight.
The new model, which is based on the highly acclaimed TAG Heuer Caliber 11 Monaco platform, attracts attention with its carbon case and Bamford’s signature aqua blue accents.
TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford is offered in a 39mm matt black carbon case designed in line with the current Caliber 11 Monaco platform. In fact, this new model is not the first carbon Monaco (Monaco V4 Phantom was offered in a composite case). However, it is the first one with the classic Caliber 11 Monaco design which was inspired by the version worn by the famous actor Steve McQueen in the cult blockbuster “LeMans”.
The case is equipped with scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides and it is water resistant to 100 meters. The case back that sports a sapphire crystal display is made of blackened stainless steel as well as the crown and the chronograph pushers. The winding crown is located at 9 o’clock - a signature detail of Caliber 11 Monaco Collection.
The dial of the new model is also based on the Caliber 11 Monaco lay-out. However, Bamford’s characteristic touches are recognized at first glance. The dial is finished in black in line with the case. All accents are in Bamford’s aqua blue while the hands and hour markers are blackened. Designed with classic Bi-Compax chronograph lay-out, the black disk date display is located at 6 o’clock along with the Bamford logo.
TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford is powered by the TAG Heuer Caliber 11. 59 jewels self-winding movement features a 30 minutes chronograph and a date display besides its time keeping function and can be enjoyed through the sapphire crystal display caseback. The movement beats at 4Hz (28.800vph) and offers 40 hours power reserve when fully wound.
The new model comes on a rubber-lined black alligator strap that is secured by a classic Heuer signed folding clasp. The watch wears quite comfortably on the wrist thanks to the lightweight carbon case and high quality leather strap.
It is hard for me to have an un-biased commentary on TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford because I believe Bamford (and other watch customizing brands) is often “messing with perfection”, even though I'm not a complete stranger to the custom watch thing. Contrary to this, there are pretty successful exceptions even for a traditional-minded user like me. However, I do not think a design like TAG Heuer Caliber 11 Monaco is a good basis for a customization process like the one we have here.