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  1. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Jul 14, 2021

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    So I'm just over one month into ownership of my grail watch - a McQueen Monaco - reference number CAW211P. It's a watch (a Monaco in general) that I've wanted to own for 20 years, and now that one has spent a month on my wrist, here are my impressions. It's also my first luxury Swiss mechanical watch, so I don't have a lot of other pieces to compare it to.

    Case - The square shape of the case is absolutely iconic, and thanks to a combination of brushed and polished surfaces, it really looks nice. No big surprises here, but it is really wearable on my 7" wrist. The exhibition caseback is very nice, but I also won't try to argue that the Calibre 11 movement is particularly interesting looking. Given the modular chronograph setup, only a small portion of the escapement can be seen, behind behind the Heuer-branded rotor.

    Crystal - Everyone always talks about how the crystal on a Monaco 'stands proud' and they're not kidding. It probably adds 1-2 mm of thickness to the watch. It's something that's made me slightly nervous that I will eventually clang it on a door sill or something similar and damage it. But damn does it look good! The way the many facets catch and reflect and refract the light are just so cool!

    Dial/Hands - The dial is absolute perfection. I know everyone is gung-ho about sunburst dials as of late, but the matte blue dial on the 211P is incredible. Sometimes it's the richest looking blue you've ever seen. Other times it takes on a muted grey tone. Between the awesomely retro horizontal hour indices, the Heuer-only branding, the white subdials, and polished hands that catch the light, just so, it's a dial I don't think I'll ever get tired of looking at.

    Strap - No complaints here - the black calfskin strap is soft, supple and really comfortable.

    Clasp - The "Heuer" branded clasp on these is among the very best looking clasps anywhere. I will say there are moments when it's not the most comfortable against my wrist, but it's far from the worst, too. Actuation works great, and it feels really secure on the wrist. The feel of the clasp when wearing it is I'd say the ONLY drawback I can come up with on this watch, at this point. And even that is not bad.

    Crown/Chrono Pushers - I wasn't sure how it'd feel on my wrist to have a crown at 9-O'Clock, but you really don't even notice it. The crown does not offer a ton of 'feel' when manually winding the watch, but luckily that crown is at 9 to remind you that you don't have to. The chronograph function is really mechanical feeling (big surprise, in mechanical watch, eh?). The pushers feature a really satisfying feel, and the smooth sweep of the chronograph seconds hand and the instantaneous reaction when resetting it are just so cool.

    Timekeeping - Like I said, this is my first mechanical watch, so I don't have a ton of other watches to draw comparison to, but this particular Monaco is running about -4 seconds per day. It's not COSC or METAS certified, so this seems totally acceptable to me.

    Conclusion - They often say "Don't meet your heroes" as the reality often doesn't live up to the hype you've created in your head. But in this case, 20 years of waiting for this has been well worth it! I've worn the watch every day for the last month and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It's such a unique-looking watch, and for those who know, it's one that's instantly recognizable from across the room - not something that can be said about most round watches, these days. And the fact that I feel like I'm Steve McQueen, screaming down the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans when I wear it, doesn't hurt, either!

    I haven't taken that many photos of it, but here are a few from the last month.

    [​IMG]

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    Edited Jul 14, 2021
    ASW, dtf, VirgileF and 8 others like this.
  2. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Jul 14, 2021

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    Great stuff Mike, glad that you're still super happy about your watch and that it lives up to expectations!

    The crystal is my favourite part of the Monaco, your second photo really captures how cool it is
     
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  3. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Jul 14, 2021

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    I also picked up the 1990s Monaco 50th Anniversary strap, which is blue with red stitching. I thought it might compliment the dial really well, and I'd say it fits spot on!

    This is not my photo, but I really like the look. I'll leave it on the standard black for awhile, but it will be fun to change it up from time-to-time.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Anthony.R

    Anthony.R Jul 14, 2021

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    Great stuff Mike...
    Glad you're loving it.
     
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  5. kappa_md

    kappa_md Jul 14, 2021

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    The Heuer Monaco is always a keeper :thumbsup: Thanks for your thoughts and sharing to us! We all love this ICONIC chronograph ::love:: Wear it in good health! ::psy::
     
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  6. thingziliketoo

    thingziliketoo Jul 14, 2021

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    Congratulations and well done review. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Looking forward to seeing more of this one here in the future.
     
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  7. HoltzPlatz

    HoltzPlatz Jul 14, 2021

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    Thanks for a very real review from an actual owner and wearer! Now, it's about time to get mine...
     
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  8. Pitfitter446

    Pitfitter446 Jul 15, 2021

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    I have mine on a Gulf? strap, slightly different blue and orange stitching. image.jpg
    Nice write up btw.
     
    Edited Jul 15, 2021
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  9. McBeardy

    McBeardy Jul 15, 2021

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    That's the combo I want to go with when I finally pick a Monaco (hoping this year - although house extension and new car not helping) I recently tried the bracelet on the newer 02 Monaco and was very impressed.

    But the blue on blue is killer
     
  10. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Jul 15, 2021

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    Bracelet on a Monaco for me is a total no-go. It just feels like a watch the belongs on leather - especially the racing style.
     
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  11. McBeardy

    McBeardy Jul 15, 2021

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    I have always thought this, but was pleasantly surprised how well it worked. Worth as an option sometimes
     
  12. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Jul 15, 2021

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    I guess I'm just a purist!
     
  13. McBeardy

    McBeardy Jul 15, 2021

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    Oh agree 100% best suited to the racing leather strap, but having a Panerai as a daily for a while and sourcing a 'leather strap OK for water' day to day acts such as bathing the little one washing up etc a bracelet is king. Have also been annoyed how easily the OEM Panerai straps react to hot days, maybe the racing style breathe more..

    Having the BB58 on the bracelet even though its 'worn well' I've appreciated how versatile a bracelet.

    Apologies turning the thread away from your original post.

    Great review and pictures by the way.
     
  14. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Jul 15, 2021

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    No worries! It's fun to discuss our experiences!
     
  15. abrod520

    abrod520 Jul 15, 2021

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    My first nice watch was a Monaco too (a black-dial Cal 12) and I lived in a tiny Lower East Side apartment at the time. That Monaco crystal got in quite a few fights with the doorjambs before I developed good watch-preservation instincts... but it won every one of them. (The doorjambs however had a couple divots taken out here and there!)

    Practice moving your wrist either ahead of or behind your body whenever you go through doors or walk near walls on your left side, but til then your Monaco will probably come out on top in any conflicts ;)
     
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  16. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Jul 15, 2021

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    That is good to know!

    I have been lucky enough, thus far, to not have banked into anything. Hopefully my luck continues, although having just said that, I'm sure I will smash it into something ASAP.
     
  17. Tag_ZA

    Tag_ZA Jul 15, 2021

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    Great post! Helps me cement my decision to keep saving towards one.
     
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  18. stevec14

    stevec14 Still bloody here Jul 15, 2021

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    Glad you are pleased with it. The new strap looks killer to my eyes, but as you say it’s great to have a change up. I too am a first time Monaco owner and I’m surprised how much I enjoy it. The Crystal as you say is brilliant. It’s so different to any other watch I’ve owned.
     
  19. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Jul 15, 2021

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    Enjoyed your one month review @MonacoMike and looking forward to your impressions as time goes on. I've owned Monacos for 10+ years and still adore this wonderful watch!

    But why so serious Mike? Smile, you're wearing your MONACO!!! :D
    [​IMG]
     
  20. kappa_md

    kappa_md Jul 15, 2021

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    I’d probably post the same way ;) LOL! Need to show that “Bad Boy” no-smile look :cool: