TAG Heuer first announced the Monaco V4 back in 2004. Not surprisingly their announcement was greeted with a fair amount of scepticism as to whether the concept of the watch would or could ever become a reality.
The reason for scepticism back in 2004 was because the V4 Concept would remove essential gears and pinions integral to the mechanical watch movement, and replace these with belt drives and ball bearings. Another radical departure from traditional methods and techniques would be the winding system: instead of a centralized or off-centered circular rotor, the Monaco V4 would have a linear winding mass to be situated between the mainspring barrels.
After 5 years of intensive development with numerous experts and engineers, the Monaco V4 is no longer a concept but a reality. And just in time to mark TAG Heuer watches 150-year anniversary.
The watch takes its name from the shape of the movement’s platinum main plate. This component is shaped to hold a system of four spring barrels, mounted in a two-by-two manner reminiscent of cylinders in a car’s motor.
This revolutionary movement is given pride of place in an equally innovative case. It immediately recalls the classic Monaco worn by Steve McQueen, but now the arched profile of the sapphire crystal enhances a striking view of the belt-driven movement.
The Monaco V4, of which only 150 will be handmade, is expected to retail at around 100,000 Swiss Francs. The first 75 will be released by TAG Heuer in November.