Cigar Aficionado

TAG Heuer Monaco Sixty Nine

When TAG Heuer debuted the Monaco in 1969, the wristwatch was destined to be a classic simply for its bold avant-garde design, innovative chronomatic movements and precision stop clock that appealed to active men, especially drivers. But when actor and racecar driver Steve McQueen made it his watch of choice and wore it in the 1971 high-speed racing film Le Mans, the Monaco attained legendary status and would forever define cool.

And it just got cooler with the latest edition, the Monaco Sixty Nine, a watch that, while faithful to its forebearer in design and attitude, is also loaded with twenty-first-century flair. The state-of-the-art swivel system allows the face of the watch to reverse sides, giving a man the choice between digital and analog movements, as well as an active or more formal appearance. Of course, both sides are big on attitude, and neither compromises the cool and confident character for which McQueen was famous.

On one side, the Monaco Sixty Nine most resembles the vintage Monaco model with the original's classic dial look. It is hand-wound with a mechanical hour and minute clock and a separate seconds counter. The timepiece brings to mind not just the first Monaco, but also the Swiss watch-making tradition that TAG Heuer has honed since its founding in 1860.

The reverse side is all about being active and digital. Its precision timekeeping makes it ideal for driving and its chronograph functions are accurate to 1/1000th of a second, with a stopwatch that keeps lap time and best lap time. There's also the hour and date, a second time zone and an alarm.

Made of stainless steel like the original, the Sixty Nine is big and square, and its weight alone makes it a monster watch. It also has a leather strap and adjustable clasp. The bottom line here is that no matter which side you choose, the $6,900 Monaco Sixty Nine delivers both in style and utility, while giving you swagger and a license to cool, Steve McQueen-style.