In 1976, Jack Heuer designed a watch to celebrate Formula One champion, Niki Lauda's, first world championship title with Ferrari. As far as watches with deep roots to the race world go, the Heuer Monza sits among a distinguished few (including another by the watchmaker, the Tag Heuer Monaco). The swiss watch company was the Official Timekeeper for Scuderia and it was the first time MONZA appeared on the dial of the watch.
When it first launched, the watch was an all-black chronograph equipped with a pulsometer to measure heart rate and tachymeter scale, which computes speed based on travel time or distance based on speed. Its racing heritage was woven throughout with red hands and counters on the bezel.
By: JC Rodriguez
I grew up a fan of Formula One racing. The rivalries between car companies, the drama, and the thrill of the speed always fascinated me. When it comes to a watch rich in history and with DNA of the race world, few can argue the Heuer Monza is as good as it gets. While I never became a race car driver, wearing the Heuer Monza brought back a childlike imagination of that white-knuckle ride speeding through a racetrack.
Since the early eighties, the Heuer Monza has gone through several design iterations straying from its racing heritage by excluding the original key functions - the pulsometer and tachymeter. In 2016, however, the watchmaker returned both features, and brought back the Monza's original font. This version was made with grade 5 titanium, versus the original steel body, making the watch lighter and more shock-resistant and, frankly, making the matte black more beautiful. In line with modern market trends, the 2016 version is a bit larger at 42mm versus the original 39mm.
The dial features two chronographic counters at the three and nine o'clock. The watch comes with a calfskin perforated strap and a 42-hour power reserve, eliminating the need for daily winding.
The Heuer Monza is a worthy addition to any watch lover's collection, but race aficionados would be remiss to overlook the profound heritage brought to life in the watchmaker's most recent iteration. I was lucky enough to spend some time admiring it at the Tag Heuer Boutique in the Miami Design District where it is available for $5,200.
Rolex GMT II
Tag Heuer Monaco
Aston Martin DB5