TAG Heuer Boutique, Sheffield / 6th November 2017
The obvious missing piece from my watch collection is of course a Monaco of some description, but as of yet I just haven't been able to find the one I like enough at a price that I'm willing to pay. All the ones I seem to like are Special Editions and the one I really like is just too expensive (even with a 40% discount in the outlet). So I was rather excited about the launch of the new Monaco Quartz timepiece, as it seemed to present an affordable way to add a Monaco to my collection... but sadly having come face to face with it today, I can safely say that is not going to happen.
I must admit I was a little concerned when I read that the watch was 37mm, and even more concerned when I realised that the brown and white versions (which are sold as ladies watches) were the same size. But, I kept an open mind, after all square watches wear larger than round watches so it was likely to be more like 39-40mm on the wrist, which puts it in the same realm as my F1 Kirium.
The problem is, well... the first problem is the size, because it does look a little dainty on my 7" wrist. I mean it's okay, but it's right at the limit of what I would feel comfortable wearing. Now I know a lot of people don't like the bigger watches and so this may be fine for you, indeed my friend with the small wrist (who bought my old 2000 series) would be fine with this watch, but for me it's just not quite big enough.
It's also rather slender for a Monaco, and rather shiny... indeed, it looks strangely feminine somehow. I know the pictures don't really convey this, but I promise you that on the wrist it really does give the impression of being a ladies watch. It's not just a matter of the size, it just doesn't feel in any way 'manly' at all, the case is closer to the design of the Monaco 24 than the standard Monaco, with beveled edges and while this works with the Monaco 24's bulk, here it gives the watch a more delicate appearance and to me this is not helping.
So what you basically have here is a 'black dial' unisex 'Monaco' which will mostly appeal to women and to guys who find the standard Monacos too big and bulky, indeed, if you are in the market for an elegant dress watch then this may very well be an ideal timepiece, but to me, this isn't a Monaco.
(I'm pretty sure this picture is a woman's wrist.)
It may be a square watch with Monaco written on the dial, but it doesn't give me the feeling a Monaco should, and it's nothing to do with the movement or the lack of of a chronograph. To me a Monaco should not be 'dainty' on the wrist, and that's exactly how this feels, and I'm genuinely disappointed because I really thought that this might be what I was looking for and it really isn't.
Strangely I've always found the standard Monacos to be somewhat un-ergonomic, the square shape at odds with the curvature of the wrist, but having sampled the alternative I find that I definitely prefer the proper square Monaco and I think that unless I can somehow scrape together the funds for the black dial Monaco 24 (and get it past the missus!) it's going to be a pre-owned Monaco for me...