The latest watch with the Monaco V4 by TAG Heuer brought all of the aficionados of the brand and high horology into huge relief. This is simply because its creation means that the warchmaker fortunately did not completely give up on the production of high-end horological products, as many people have feared. TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom is distinguished by its dark black and gray appearance and even more by the use of modern materials which are utilize not just for its case, but also in the construction of the movement. The still unreleased novelty will be issued in a limited edition of 50 pieces and it will feature the price of around $47,000.
The scare about the discontinuation of high horology pieces by TAG stems from the events that happened about a year ago. At that time, the new head of LVMH group that owns TAG Heuer among other brands made an announcement that said that from that point on, the watchmaker is to focus its entire production facilities on creation of more affordable mechanical timekeepers. As it was noted, these will be so called “entry level” watches which are in the price range of 1,500 and 3,000 Swiss Francs (which is more or less the same amount when expressed in dollars). This would ultimately mean the discontinuation of production of all more complex pieces.
As it turned out, the management of the brand luckily did not follow through completely, as it can be seen from the novel Monaco V4 Phantom model. This watch comes with Monaco V4 designation that first appeared in the brand’s offer eleven years ago. In the moment the first watch of this kind appeared, it was the first ever timepeice that was made with a belt-driven movement. Instead of the usual and traditional solution with pinion and gear transmission, this sort of arrangement relies on ultra-thin belts that drive the caliber. The hair-thin belts are microscopically toothed and are only 0.07 mm wide. They have linear arrangement and move on a rail and its ball bearings. As for the “V’ part of its name, it stems from the manner that its twin barrels are arranged, in the shape of the letter V. The two supported barrels are angled at +/- 13 degrees and they in a way resemble the arrangement that is seen on an engine of a racing car.
As it has been mentioned, new Phantom watch is distinguished with its dark colors. This is because the watch demonstrates a skilful use of high-tech material appropriately called Carbon Matrix Composite. In order to make components with this modern material which is often abbreviated to CMC one needs to employ a special technique. The procedure requires that carbon fibers are all placed in specific direction in the used mould and that they are subsequently micro-blasted. At the end of the process, the material has a distinctive appearance that the manufacturer refers to as matte black vertical brushed looks. The captivating matte substance is like all high-tech materials extremely resilient and at the same time exceptionally light.
This is not the first time that watches with the designation Monaco V4 receive composite housing. However, it is the first time that this new material Carbon Matrix Composite (that was developed just a couple of years ago) is used in the creation of the caliber, or to be more specific its seven bridges. The dark appearance of CMC which is visible on its skeletonized dial gives the watch stealthy looks. Even other components have a similar theme. Once you look at the dial of the new watch, you can observe its anthracite gray Superluminova coating on the hands, as well as the use of titanium carbide coating on the used screws and indices. As a matter of fact, the only thing that stands out from the overall blackness and grayness of the face are the used rubies.
By the way, there are 48 jewels integrated in V4 movement that is consisted of as much as 268 components in total. It is also important to note that the caliber provides a power storage that lasts for around 42 hours.
TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom is placed in a so-called second generation of Monaco V4 cases which feature the diameter of 41 mm. The barrel shaped housing is also 41 mm long. As for the crystal, it is made of beveled sapphire with double glare-proof coating for optimal legibility. Sapphire is also used for the case-back which is especially nice since it allows the view to its belt-driven movement. The usual water resistance of the Monaco V4 watches and the latest among them as well is 50 meters.
TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom bears the reference number WAW2091. It is expected to have the price of around $47,200 once it hits the shops. This may sound like a lot of money, but it should also be said that the original Monaco V4 model which was released back in 2004 was worth twice as much. The stealth black and gray timekeeper which reassured the watchmaking world that the brand did not give up on high-end horology after all will be released in a restricted edition of 50 pieces.