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My Monaco Journey and Modest Collection

  1. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    Hi

    Long-time reader and lurker. By way of introduction, I thought I would share the current status of my modest collection of Monacos, along with a summary of the journey to this point.

    First off, a gratuitous photo to grab your attention

    20220704_190703.jpg

    My Monaco Journey

    Steve Mcqueen Monaco CW2113 x 2

    There it was in the display of Goldsmiths, a Tag Heuer Steve McQueen Monaco CW2113! The moment I saw the design beauty of the blue face, all other watch designs and brands simply disappeared from my interest and I simply wanted the Steve McQueen Monaco. At that time, nearly 20 years ago, I didn't really care that much for watches, but at that moment I decided that one day in future, I would get one, whatever it took!

    After 6 months in my 1st 'proper job' I had saved £1k and I hunted down a 2nd hand CW2113 on ebay for £800. Done! I had my "forever watch" and I was happy! I wore it every day with pleasure and it served my well for over a year. However, a change of circumstances meant I needed some cash and I reluctantly sold the watch on (for a decent profit).

    Of course, as you can imagine, I was soon on the look out for another and a year later I actually managed to track one down for £600 in a Cash Convertors! I was once again an happy owner of a Steve McQueen Monaco.

    1133b & CAW211A (40th Anniversary)

    Inevitably, it didn't end there - My interest in the McQueen Monaco led me down the steep and slippery path of vintage Heuer Monacos and I soon found myself lusting after an original Heuer 1133b. Fortunately, my career had progressed in the meantime, and I found myself in position to be able to afford a fairly clean 1133b for £4k back in 2009. This was promptly followed by the 40th anniversary Tag Heuer release CAW211A that I picked up without hesitation (selling my CAW2113 to part fund it).

    So there we had it, in under a decade I had gone from zero interest in Monacos to ending up with 2 'special' examples; 1113b and CAW211A (having owned 2 others along the way.

    2nd 1133b & CAW211P --> 1133b Transitional

    Not being content (of course!), the 1st 1133b was later sold to obtain a cleaner example, and I also picked up a CAW211P as my daily driver (to save the CAW211A a little). Unsurprisingly, there were other Heuer Monacos on my radar and I waited 2 years to track down a nice example of a Transitional 1133b. That required me to let go of my standard production 1133b and my CAW211P, but I was happy to do so, since the transitional had become my new grail.

    Having obtained that grail, you can guess where it led - yup, the next grail, and it was a dark one, of course!

    74033N - The one that shall not be named

    Last year I secured a crispy 74033N, and it turned out to be the one auctioned by Bonhams for over £50k a few years back. The auction winner seemingly took quite a bath on it (for whatever reason), and I secured it for tens of thousands less than the auction price! All I can say is that hard work and fate had led me to be in a position in my career where I was able to indulge my illogical, selfish interest in Heuer Monacos and purchase the 74033N when I had the chance!

    SE Black DLC Titanium Heuer02 - CBL2180

    Finally, the story leads us to last month during which the CBL2180 arrived. Initially, I wasn't bothered/keen, mainly because my preference is for vintage Heuer Monacos and I don't like H02 bottom sub-dial. However, it grew on me, mainly because I thought of it being a frequent wear, saving my 74033N for best. Annoyingly, this delay meant I slept on the getting one and I found myself unable to purchase due to selling out. Hoping for some luck in-store, I took a trip to London (with my 74033N in hand for potential help) to see if a TH store could assist.

    1st up was the Covent Garden store. The SA there simply laughed when I mentioned the CBL2180, advising that the end of year re-stock mentioned on the website is already reserved/sold. I was told no further production run and to simply forget about it.

    Tail between my legs, I headed to Harrods. Once again the SAs immediately dismissed me. However, when I struck up a conversation, they broke rank and admitted that they had one in stock, but reserved. Pulling out the big 74033N, the SA's jaw hit the floor and he quickly whipped out the CBL2180 and asked if he could get some side by side photos, etc. I obliged, one thing led to another, and it soon transpired that the reserved item has actually just been rejected 5 minutes prior (because religious reasons meant the buyer cannot wear gold). More Heuer Monaco discussions flowed, and it ended with the SA deciding to let me take the CBL2180 (so it could reside with the 74033N). Moral of the story here? Luck, persistence, friendly discussion, enthusiasm about watches (and another pinch of luck) can go some way to gaining AD favour I guess.

    So there we have it, a whistle-stop tour of my Heuer Monaco journey, with the current result being:

    CAW211A + 1133b transitional + 74033N + CBL2180

    20220704_190234.jpg
     
    ASW, SteveP, thingziliketoo and 17 others like this.
  2. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    The journey continues, of course ....

    My initial reservations about the CBL2180 have since grown, now that I have scratched the itch and secured one. I have therefore decided to let it go, and add a standard production 1133b to the collection. Apart from the Call. 11 CAW211A/P, I am not too keen on the modern versions and I remain a sucker for the matte blue dial (as much as I love the transitional).

    The CBL2180 is therefore on ebay for just a little more than retail (simply to cover fees) - I am not out to flip for profit, so if anyone here has been trying (but failing) to secure a CBL2180, head on over to ebay for your chance :)
     
    Albert-AMG, dtf and Mspeedster like this.
  3. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Jul 4, 2022

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    Welcome to the forum, quite a way to make an entrance! :thumbsup:

    A very impressive collection and story to go with it! ::love::

    What are your reservations about the new Dark Lord?
    Your original is just super awesome, the new tribute probably can't compare. But if I were in your shoes, it sure would be nice to have a new one to wear daily. Just like how your CAW211A goes with your 1133B.
     
    Albert-AMG likes this.
  4. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    It is so so close to being ideal, but I just can't see past the asphalt outer part and that damn lower sub-dial! When the asphalt part catches the light (which it does a lot!), it's over-bearing and too 'blingy' for my liking.

    In an attempt to secure a dark/black daily wear alternative, I am tempted to track down the France edition (narrowly missed one 2 weeks ago) and have it coated, or even cheaper, go for a cs2110 and get the case of that coated black
     
    Albert-AMG and Mspeedster like this.
  5. dtf

    dtf Jul 4, 2022

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    Welcome to the site, that's quite the collection. It's great to see the dark lord and tribute side by side, just a shame the tribute isn't slightly better executed.
     
    Monaco_Lover likes this.
  6. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Jul 4, 2022

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    Yeah that juxtaposition of asphalt next to the flat surface circle is something I wasn't sure about either. Combined with the rose gold, it does look blingy in certain pictures I've seen. Good luck in finding a France edition, that one is really nice. If it only it had a black DLC case...
     
    Monaco_Lover likes this.
  7. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    Thanks! It sounds like I hate the tribute, but I really dont! It is actually rather lovely and well-executed - in the flesh next to the 74033N you can suddenly see the genius move in employing the rose gold - it closely matches the look of the lume and hour markers on the vintage - I do think that was a brilliant move. I just think the asphalt was a wrong choice (for me, anyway). Without the asphalt, I would absolute love it (and even forgive the lower sub-dial! ;) )

    Overall, its very good, but just not the great that I wanted - it is much better in the metal, for sure
     
    stevec14, dtf and Mspeedster like this.
  8. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Jul 4, 2022

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    I think we need more close up shots of the original and new side by side! ::love::
     
    Monaco_Lover likes this.
  9. Remo

    Remo Jul 4, 2022

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    Just impressive and awesome.
     
    Monaco_Lover likes this.
  10. imagwai

    imagwai Jul 4, 2022

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    Modest collection? It's amazing. Of course the Dark Lord will grab the attention, but I think that vintage blue (is it the 1133b in the photos above) is my favourite.
     
    Monaco_Lover likes this.
  11. YG_Rulz

    YG_Rulz Jul 4, 2022

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  12. Anthony.R

    Anthony.R Jul 4, 2022

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    Wow....that's a super collection.
    Welcome on board
     
    Monaco_Lover likes this.
  13. Hubert

    Hubert TAG Heuer Forums Moderator Staff Member Jul 4, 2022

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    From one Monaco lover to another, welcome aboard as a contributing member! :thumbsup:
     
    Monaco_Lover likes this.
  14. Daniel Portch

    Daniel Portch Jul 4, 2022

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    Super awesome!
     
  15. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    Thanks so much!
     
    Hubert likes this.
  16. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    Thanks! No doubt it will be ever-changing and hopefully growing
     
    Anthony.R likes this.
  17. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    Thanks
    It is a vintage 1133b yes, but earlier transitional version - it has metallic dark blue face, rather than the matte lighter blue face of the later standard production versions. I like the transitional version for the subtle colour changes it gives in different light (in addition to its rarity), but I do miss the lovely matte blue standard version - looking to add one back to the collection soon!
     
  18. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    YG_Rulz likes this.
  19. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 4, 2022

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    I dont have my decent camera with me, and my phone camera is like a potato (as you can see).

    I will grab some of the 2 quickly tomorrow, and if the tribute doesnt sell soon, I will hopefully get some time for an attempt at decent shots.
     
    Mspeedster likes this.
  20. Monaco_Lover

    Monaco_Lover Jul 5, 2022

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    As requested, a few with my phone (which sadly has a dodgy lens that doesn't focus properly) ...

    20220705_082526.jpg 20220705_082213.jpg 20220705_081909.jpg 20220705_082047.jpg 20220705_082113.jpg 20220705_082141.jpg

    I think they should both be on racing straps really. I have a vintage strap for the 74033N, and I actually got a new TH replacement on for the CBL2180 thinking it shouldn't be on a croc strap.

    I shall have to put them on 'correct' straps ;) and get some better photos for you!