In what’s becoming a trend for TAG Heuer, we’re getting a new Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix happening this weekend along the Mediterranean coast in the south of France. Last year we saw a lovely titanium case and silver dial with old school ‘Heuer’ branding brought to the watch (along with a Verstappen victory), and this year we’re getting a black DLC titanium case with black and gold dial in an overall more modern package. The ‘TAG’ makes its way back to the dial, and the crown moves to the right side of the case, bringing the early aughts look firmly back to the table. But, it’s for good reason, it’s modeled after the so-called ‘Dark Lord’ Ref. 740303N.
The Black Monaco Special Edition LE is indeed a nod to one of the most famous Monaco references ever produced, the 740303N, which was made for a brief window in 1974. The 74033 and (three-register) 73633 references utilized manually wound Valjoux movements, and had their crowns placed between the pushers along the right side of the case. Additionally, the 740303N in particular had radially arranged hour bars rather than the horizontal bars often seen on the Monaco. Of course, what set the ‘Dark Lord’ apart, and earned it its nickname, was its black PVD case and red hands.