Take the iconic TAG Heuer Monaco, give it an all-black finish and what do you get? A bunch of watch enthusiasts giddily nicknaming it "Dark Lord." Yes, watch collectors can be a nerdy bunch — and this describes the newest Monaco watch's reception.
TAG Heuer released its latest motorsport-inspired Monaco watch to coincide with the race it's named after, the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, and the announcement of its new celebrity ambassador, actor Jacob Elordi.
That said, race cars and movie stars are cool and all...but we're watch nerds here, and more interested in the watch itself. The Monaco is a watchmaking icon — if an unlikely one for its quirky design — and it's come in a wide range of editions over the years. They can get quite colorful, but the all-black models are rarer — and so are watches that are honored by fans with nicknames. The model known as the "Dark Lord" is the reference 74033N from circa 1977, and the new model for 2022 is seen to resurrect it in spirit.
The nod to a cult-classic watch is evident (to watch nerds), but this is no remake. Aesthetically, the rose gold hands and indices easily set it apart, and here you've got a sporty red rather than a groovy 1970s orange. A more substantial difference is the case material: its 39mm-wide square case is made from lightweight, Grade 2 titanium and coated with DLC for its black finish.
The movement inside and, therefore, dial configuration are a bit different, too. While the vintage model ran on the sourced Valjoux 7740, the new watch uses TAG Heuer's own Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement, offering 80 hours of power reserve and a running seconds indicator at 6 o'clock (in addition to the chronograph minutes and hours at 3 and 9 o'clock, respectively).
TAG Heuer only refers to this watch as a Monaco Special Edition for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix (reference CBL2180.FC6497), and not "Dark Lord" — but the nickname and vintage tie-in give it even more character. The new model isn't a limited edition, and it'll be available for a price of $8,200.