Fall in love with the vintage TAG Heuer Monaco?

With some certified classics nearly unattainable due to their inherent rarity and skyrocketing prices on the second-hand market, we’ve learned from those in the know about the best alternatives.
If you’ve taken a more serious peek behind the scenes of the watch world lately, chances are you’ve discovered it’s not just a world – it’s a universe. While there are countless makes and models, certain watches consistently surface as the hottest topics, the most written about, and therefore the most coveted, bought and sold.
What should they focus on for those who don’t go with the flow – or those who want a watch they can buy? We’ve selected five “legendary” watches and asked five leading watch professionals to suggest more imaginative choices.
Launched at Baselworld in 1941, 1518 was the first perpetual calendar wrist chronograph ever produced in series. During its 14-year production run, only 281 pieces were produced, during which time (1951) the model was replaced by the reference 2499. in 2016, one of only four steel-cased 1518s was sold at the Phillips auction in Geneva for 11 million Swiss francs.
“In the 1940s and 1950s, the perpetual calendar chronograph was a rather impressive piece of watchmaking. Today, of course, there are more expensive new replica watches, but for me, nothing is more impressive than the Astronomic Souveraine. 900,000 CHF is almost “affordable” compared to some 1518s, and almost as rare. If you must dream, dream big”.
Launched in 1969 as the world’s first water-resistant, square-cased chronograph, Monaco was intended for more sophisticated buyers than purely sporty TAG Heuer watches such as the Carrera and Autavia. Initially a flop, it became a watchmaking legend after LVMH bought TAG Heuer in 1999 and capitalized on Monaco’s links to Steve McQueen and the 1971 racing movie Le Mans.
“If you like Monaco’s square case but want a bezel with more of an Omega Speedmaster feels, check out this Certina. It offers an automatic movement with day and date indications and adds a tachymeter scale to the square bezel. It’s definitely quirky, but I think there’s something undeniably cool about it.”

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