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Heuer Monaco Ref. 1133G

$12,395

Pre-owned Vintage Heuer 40mm Monaco Grey Dial, Leather Strap Ref. 1133G

As with many vintage watches that have legendary status, the Heuer Monaco was made famous by Hollywood and racing.  Famous in its own right for its unusual shape and iconic movement, the Monaco’s status was secured when Steve McQueen wore one in the movie Le Mans.  The Monaco was introduced in 1969 at the same time that a consortium of brands introduced one of the first self-winding mechanical chronographs.  When the Heuer team saw a mockup of a square case design from their most reliable case supplier, they knew that they had found the way to showcase their new movement in an out of the box design.  The design team moved the crown on the Monaco watch from the 3 o’clock position to the 9 o’clock position to emphasize that their new movement was self-winding.

The Monaco came in blue or grey dials, with the blue dials more prone to color degradation.  This grey dial has a striking grain finish, as did all grey dials.  We try as best we can to describe both the good and the bad so that a prospective buyer can make an informed decision.  It is difficult to find much to fault with this watch.  The dial is stunning, the painted minute ring and indexes bright and vibrant, the hands immaculate.  The only faults would be that some of the tritium lume at the edge of the red hour markers has degraded and smudged some of the applied rectangular indexes.  But you need a magnifying loupe to notice it.  Again, with a loupe, very small scratches are visible on the dial above the date frame.  If anything, these slight imperfections testify to the originality of the dial.  The glory of this watch is the case, as it is the unusual case that is associated with the Monaco.  The original design included very sharp edges, which are often lost over time.  This watch has edges that are sharp and the brushing intact, although the lug near the 5 o’clock position has the top corner nicked off.  The watch is accompanied with a black leather racing strap that has a Heuer signed tang.

When the watch was initially released, it was not popular.  Steve McQueen and countless vintage watch fans changed that a long time ago.  This is a great example of a great watch.