The First Square Waterproof Chronograph In History

The watch case is generally round, and the square is much less. If you think about it all at once, there are only a few famous styles, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier’s Tank and Santos, Frank Muller’s Long Island, and TAG Heuer’s Monaco. In the small square watch itself, Monaco is the only one that mainly focuses on mechanical timing sports models. Why did Tag Heuer make this unique square watch? The meaning of the chronograph ‘Chronogragh’ originates from the combination of ‘chronos’ time and ‘graph’, which first appeared at the Royal Jockey Club in Paris in 1802. Then for more than 160 years, the chronographs were in the form of manual winding movements Existing. In the 1960s, watch brands began to find that consumers were not satisfied with chronographs that had to be wound manually every day, and began to desire more practical automatic versions, including TAG Heuer. TAG Heuer has already noticed automatic The vast market of chain chronographs, so they wanted to develop. Their initial idea was to develop a self-winding chronograph based on a Pearl Tuo automatic winding movement produced by Buren in 1963. However, The original Buren was not very thin either, so after adding the timing components, it was also a very thick movement. Heuer finally had to give up this idea. It was not until 1967 that things turned around. Buren developed thinner pearls Tuo automatic winding movement, which undoubtedly made Tag Heuer hope, so I found Dubois-Depraz to work together. Dubois-Depraz company, Many watch friends are familiar. Dubois-Depraz is a long-established watch accessories company. It mainly develops and produces stacked components for other brands. It is the hero behind the scenes. Richard Miller, Audemars Piguet, Longines, Chopard and many others The timepiece components of the watch brand are all from Dubois-Depraz. At that time, Dubois-Depraz already had the pre-design of the related timing function components, so as long as it was added with Buren ultra-thin pearl automatic winding movement, it could be sold on the market. However, because the cost of developing a set of timing function components was too high, TAG Heuer felt a bit laborious. Therefore, TAG Heuer also found Breitling, which is also a mechanical chronograph association, and wanted to work together to share costs. So, the alliance was set up like this Get up. TAG Heuer, Breitling, Dubois-Depraz and Buren started sneakingly developing and producing automatic winding chronographs. For confidentiality, they took a code named ‘Plan 99’. By the summer of 1968, the first sample machines The core has been handed over to Heuer and Breitling for stability testing. In the same year, Buren Acquired by the Milton Company. Naturally, Hamilton has also joined the ‘Plan 99.’ Some friends may wonder, Breitling and Heuer are both companies that produce chronographs. Heuer cooperates with Breitling to produce it. Wouldn’t it be an original design? Is it leaked? Heuer is not so stupid, nor is Breitling so stupid. At that time, neither Breitling nor Heuer had occupied the global market. Breitling was mainly for Italy and France, while Heuer was in Germany, Britain, and the United States. So even if they were to Both sell automatic winding chronographs, and they will not compete viciously in a market. In addition to different sales markets, TAG Heuer will cooperate with Breitling because it also has a ‘secret weapon’! This ‘secret weapon’ is the square case used by Monaco Monaco. Compared to ‘square’, the round case is easier to process and the natural cost can be reduced. Therefore, clocks and watches often appear in a circular appearance. When the number of appearances increases, consumers have an inherent impression in their hearts, that is, ’round watches = orthodox’, you must buy a circle to buy a watch. When the demand is greater, the related technology research and development will also be more, and the cost shared will be lower. In addition to cost reasons, the square case has a congenital flaw, which is that the ‘waterproof’ performance is less than the round case. First, the processing accuracy at the corners of the square case is higher, and a slight inadvertence will cause deviations, which will naturally reduce the waterproof performance. Second, the square watch case and waterproof ring that match the square case It also requires high-precision machining, and even the assembly tools need to be customized. The more accessories, tools, and procedures that are strictly required, the more likely it is to leak, resulting in a decline in the final waterproof effect. In 1968, TAG Heuer’s case supplier Piquerez came to the company and brought their latest case samples, including a newly developed square case, which is more unique in that it is waterproof. Although it is not complicated to make a square waterproof case now, it can be said to be an ‘impossible task’ in the 1960s. At that time, most square cases could only be used to assemble formal and fashion watches without waterproofing. For mechanically more complex chronographs, once water leakage occurred, it would cause very serious damage, and the cost of maintenance and repair was high. . So when TAG Heuer saw the samples of Piquerez, he immediately signed a contract with them and obtained exclusive use rights. In 1969, TAG Heuer officially launched Monaco Monaco, the first square waterproof chronograph in history, equipped with a self-winding chronograph movement co-developed with Breitling. When it comes to Monaco Monaco, it is natural to avoid one person, that is, the famous Hollywood action movie star ‘Steve McQueen’. In the eyes of watch fans, McQueen is best known for his stills in the movie ‘Le Mans’. In the photo, McQueen is not only wearing a white racing suit with the Heuer logo printed on it, but also a Monaco Monaco on his right hand. Square table. Although there was no rush to buy because of McQueen’s wearing at that time, Monaco discontinued production in 1975, with a total output of less than 5,000 pieces, but after the revival in 1998, this series has been the signature model of TAG Heuer. As a re-launched series, TAG Heuer promotes Monaco more as a ‘historical watch’ instead of being more modern and stronger like the Rolex Daytona Daytona, also born for motorsport. Since it is a ‘historical watch’, the closer it is to the ancestor, the more it is worth buying. For example, the first version of the Monaco series was equipped with an automatic chronograph movement. Due to the limitations of watchmaking technology at the time, the crown was not set on the right side of the case, but on the left side. When Hyundai Heuer re-engraved, the movements that can be purchased are generally the right-hand version. Although it is more convenient to adjust the time and winding, the ‘taste is wrong’. In addition to needing to be close to the ancestor edition, the engraved version with a certain background history story is also more worth buying. For example, the aforementioned blue dial version, the black PVD case experimental version, and the Gulf Oil painted version that Steve McQueen wore in the movie ‘Le Mans’. Gulf Oil was founded in Texas, Texas, in May 1901, when they were working to advance the development of a modern refinery near Port Arthur. At the beginning of the 20th century, the quality of non-brand gasoline in the United States was unstable, and Gulf Oil Gulf introduced stable and reliable standard gasoline, and used oil pumps marked with orange discs to promote branded products. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Gulf Oil sponsored the John Wyer Automotive fleet. It was associated with the iconic light blue and orange color schemes on the Ford GT40 and Porsche 917, and was later copied by other Gulf sponsored racing teams. What’s even more remarkable is that in the 1971 film ‘Le Mans’, Steve McQueen wore the Gulf Oil Gulf Logo clothes, and later TAG Heuer launched the Gulf Oil light blue + orange color Monaco model to commemorate it.

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