SPORT The legend of the TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf

5 min

How two brands, a racing driver and a movie star inspired the new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition.

TAG Heuer Monaco Special Edition (CBL2115.FC6494)

What was it like to stroll down the pit lane at Le Mans in the 1960s and 1970s? Well, you’d see mechanics jostling in busy garages. Your ears would be ringing from the sounds of hefty, raw engines. The smell of fuel, mixed with the scents of success and failure, would waft over the paddocks. And then your eyes would rest on the ever-present vibrant blue and vivid orange livery of the Gulf brand. The livery graced the teams that Gulf sponsored. It was in this melting pot of heat, guts and glory that the story of the Monaco Gulf was born.

Le Mans 24 Hours 1967: The Gulf Mirage M1, the first car in the world to sport the famous orange and blue livery of Gulf. This car from the RofGo collection was developed from the legendary Ford GT40. This "coupé" version features a distinctive narrow windshield and a lighter, more aerodynamic chassis.

The stars align

During this golden era of racing, Gulf’s main partner was JW Automotive Engineering. Together, they would leave an indelible mark on the history of endurance racing. You might recall a familiar name in their drivers lineup: one Jo Siffert. That famous Swiss pilot who drove that famous masterpiece, the Porsche 917. At the height of his powers, Siffert was a friend of the Heuer brand. He was one of its first ambassadors. When he wasn’t driving at Le Mans, Siffert was coaching and advising Steve McQueen, who was starring in the movie ‘Le Mans’. This is how the connection between Gulf, TAG Heuer and Porsche first came to life. All the stars aligned. Literally. The Porsche 917 in the signature colors of Gulf. Jo Siffert at the wheel. Jo Siffert working with Steve McQueen, who was driving the Porsche 917 on the big screen, wearing the Monaco on his wrist. This incredible chain of events turned the Monaco into a legendary timepiece. The only thing that was missing was a watch that commemorated the coming together of all these stars. 

TAG Heuer Monaco Special Edition (CBL2115.FC6494)

Another star is born

Fast forward to 2007. In honor of the memorable connections between the partners, TAG Heuer created a Monaco edition using the Gulf colors. And since then, every timepiece from this special collection has been a roaring success. Collectibles worthy of their inspirations.

Rejuvenating the legend

History is often a celebration of legends. That’s why, to honor the 13th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, TAG Heuer and Gulf are releasing the TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition. That’s right, we’ve rejuvenated the legend. The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique and the new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf are a match made in racing heaven. Much like this historic grand prix, the Monaco Gulf’s story began with a fierce passion for motorsports. Much like this event, the Monaco Gulf is a tribute to different eras of racing. So as the Official Sponsor and Timekeeper of the Monaco Grand Prix Historique 2022, TAG Heuer believes it’s the perfect time to bring back the icon. 

TAG Heuer Monaco Special Edition (CBL2115.FC6494)

Designed for true racing enthusiasts

The TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf is equipped for the first time with the in-house movement, Heuer 02. The watch boasts design elements that make it look both sophisticated and sporty. It features playful nods to Gulf’s iconic palette – especially on the two-plate dial, allowing an alternation of finishes: opaline in the corners and satin-smooth in the center. The Gulf colors feature on the minute sub-counters at 3 o’ clock, while the Gulf logo on the dial is a brilliant white. You’ll also find the refined and emblematic stripes of Gulf running across the dial. One of the most enjoyable elements of this special edition is the polished and rhodium-plated ‘60’. It’s a reference to the number on the hoods of Porsche Gulf racing cars. 

The back of the watch features an oscillating mass and column wheel, with engraving in the Gulf orange. There’s also the perforated calfskin bracelet, made in Gulf’s signature blue with orange lining. All of these details, inspired by motorsport’s design heritage, make the TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf a true racing enthusiast’s watch. 

OK so you may not be able to travel back to the pit lanes of Le Mans in the 1960s and 1970s. But with this watch, you’ll own a piece that oozes stardom, daredevilry and a rich legacy.

TAG Heuer Monaco Special Edition (CBL2115.FC6494)

The ultimate collector’s guide

Discover the stories behind the watches that make up the Monaco Gulf series here. Every watch has a story worth sharing.