Watches Splitting seconds

3 min

Inside the movement that powers our new TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronographs.

If you look back at our history, you’ll see that TAG Heuer built its reputation on sports timekeeping, based on its split-seconds rattrapante function. This complication enabled us to craft some of the finest chronograph mechanisms. ‘Our aim was to incorporate this mechanism into the TAG Heuer Monaco,’ explains Carole Kasapi, Movements Director at TAG Heuer. ‘We’ve never reused this split-seconds function, the “queen of chronograph complications”, in a wristwatch. Until now.’ So, what better occasion than Watches & Wonders to reveal the fruits of this vision? Let’s take a deep dive into the movement that powers our new TAG Heuer Monaco TH81-00 Split-Seconds Chronographs.

A history of split-seconds

Let’s rewind to the early 1900s. This is where the history of our split-seconds chronograph begins. During this period, TAG Heuer (or Heuer, as we were known at the time) was dedicated to mastering the split-seconds chronograph. The movement was, and still is, seen as a significant horological complication. You can see evidence of Heuer’s progress in various stopwatches and dashboard timers. The one instrument that really stands out is the Mikrograph. Introduced in 1916, the Mikrograph became the preferred timekeeping device at the most famous sports competitions in the 1920s and 1930s by recording 1/100th of a second. Then came the Microsplit, a rattrapante also accurate to 1/100th of a second.

By the time we get to the 1960s, Heuer stopwatches were a staple in motorsport paddocks. Take the iconic 11.402 model, for example. It featured a rattrapante chronograph capable of measuring time with 1/10th of a second accuracy. This reference gained a legendary status. It was used by Jean Campiche, a Heuer employee working with the Scuderia Ferrari. Moving on to 1989, when TAG Heuer unveiled a quartz split-seconds chronograph wristwatch. It became immensely popular throughout the ‘90s, especially among racing legends like Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, and Gerhard Berger. And now, in 2024, we’ve infused the latest movement into the maverick Monaco collection. We’ve come a long way in what feels like a few split seconds.

A new split-seconds era

The TAG Heuer Monaco has always been one of our most maverick collections. To pair it with a split-seconds complication makes perfect sense. This TH81-00 mechanical split-seconds chronograph movement is crafted entirely in titanium. It’s the lightest automatic chronograph movement ever created by us. The result is a highly sophisticated and intricate mechanism that adds an enhanced layer of functionality to a chronograph watch. The TAG Heuer Monaco TH81-00 Split-Seconds Chronographs are capable of measuring two separate time intervals concurrently. Whether you’re timing laps on the racetrack or tracking multiple sporting events, the rattrapante movement offers both accuracy and versatility. By integrating this mechanism into the Monaco, we’re taking a giant leap forward. Welcome to a bold new split-seconds era.

If you’d like to know more about the two new chronographs, visit