TAG Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

TAG Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

TAG Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

uchi horologi series ホロロジー シリーズ

For our first Uchi Horology Series project, we’ve created a couple of unique TAG Heuer Monaco art prints and digitally printed t-shirts.

At the suggestion of our friends at Geckota, we took a classic – genuinely iconic – racing chronograph… So here’s our unique take on the Heuer Monaco. Not just any old Heuer Monaco either, but the famous Cal. 11 powered Ref. 1133B ‘Steve McQueen Monaco’. The watch that made history on McQueen’s wrist in the movie Le Mans

Highlights of this design include Heuer’s exquisite Cal. 11 movement. Then we added some Junghans references (imagine if Max Bill had designed the Monaco). There’s more than a nod to Jo Siffert’s Porsche 917K (Kurzheck, or short tail) too. In particular, references to the Number 20 car (chassis 917-024) driven by McQueen’s character, Mike Delaney. We bring everything together with a unique Uchi treatment showcasing our graphic design, typography, technical communication and design-for-print skills.

We hope you love your Heuer Monaco timepiece art as much as we’ve enjoyed researching, designing and printing it for you.

More on Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

Our TAG Heuer Monaco inspired artwork and printed garments have been designed and crafted to delight watch collectors, racing fans and movie buffs alike.

Maybe you own a TAG Heuer Monaco watch or collect Steve McQueen art? If so, these designs have lots to offer. Equally, if you collect Le Mans art, Jo Siffert art or even Porsche 917 art, at least one these prints or garments really should be in your collection.

The inspiration for our Heuer art prints

The inspiration for these timepiece artworks comes from the famous avant garde Heuer Monaco watch worn by the late, great, Steve McQueen in the motor racing move Le Mans. Then, for good measure, we referenced the awesome Porsche 917K, itself an iconic sports car, driven by Mike Delaney, played of course by the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, in the film.

The birth of the Steve McQueen Monaco watch

According to Jack Heuer’s autobiography, The Times of my Life, the Heuer Monaco’s distinctive square case was designed by case supplier Piquerez. Swiss watch case makers Piquerez supplied many cases to Heuer in the 1960s. The Monaco wasn’t the first square-case chronograph. Universal Genève and others had manufactured square button chronographs for decades. What made the patented Piquerez case different was that it was the first fully water resistant square case. Heuer quickly negotiated a deal with the Jura-based firm to give Heuer exclusive use of the new design for chronographs. The story of the Steve McQueen Monaco, Heuer’s ‘Project 99’, with its Calibre 11 automatic winding mechanism, had begun. Now, half a century later, this innovative watch inspires the first Uchi Horological Series art work.

For collectors of Jo Siffert art too?

Great successes often come from serendipitous events. Uchi’s introduction to UK-based watch and strap company Geckota is a case in point. Our relationship was key to the launch of the Uchi Horology Series.

Heuer’s inspired decision to sponsor young Swiss racer Jo Siffert in the 1960s was similarly important. Indeed, Siffert was arguably the prototypical watch brand ambassador. Through a fateful series of events, the relationship gave Heuer’s watches the promotional boost needed to bestow iconic status for ever.

This was particularly so with Heuer Autavias such as the 1966 ‘Rindt’ Ref. 2446 and the panda-dial Ref. 1163T ‘Siffert’. And, of course, the most famous Heuer of all – the Steve McQueen Monaco.

In the late 1960s, Jo Siffert, who, tragically, was to die at Brands Hatch in 1971) was widely considered one of the greatest talents in Formula 1 and sports car racing. Because of this, our Heuer Monaco watch art works should also appeal to collectors of Jo Siffert art.

TAG Heuer Monaco

When Heuer was finalising development of the square-dialled ‘Project 99’ Monaco chronograph, Jo Siffert drove for Porsche in sports car racing events, including the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was also the official Porsche dealer in Fribourg, Switzerland – an hour’s drive (or maybe less for Jo Siffert) south from Heuer’s La Chaux de Fonds factory. The Swiss also owned numerous contemporary racing cars, and was well liked and well connected on the Formula 1 and sports car racing scenes. This would soon lead him to involvement in Steve McQueen’s forthcoming project to direct and star in the greatest, most authentic, motor racing film ever made.

Steve McQueen Le Mans Film DVD

Racing watches for the Le Mans movie

By 1970, Heuer had appointed film industry property master Don Nunley to help with product placement in Hollywood movies. In June 1970, Nunley was property master on the forthcoming Steve McQueen film, Le Mans and needed a selection of watches and other timekeeping equipment. Heuer were quick to oblige…

Jo Siffert had joined the project to organise drivers and cars to for additional filming. This took place later in 1970, on the Le Mans circuit, using cars that had been in the actual race, interestingly, the whole 1970 race was filmed from trackside and from a camera-equipped Porsche 908. During the race, Siffert and co-driver Brian Redman drove the now-iconic Number 20 John Wyer Automotive (JWA) Gulf Porsche 917 that McQueen’s Mike Delaney drives in the movie. Unfortunately, despite leading the field on the first lap, and building a sizeable lead, they were forced to retire with gearbox problems while leading the race in the early hours of Sunday morning…

Steve McQueen wanted to replicate Jo Siffert’s look

McQueen was mentored by Jo Siffert and Gulf Porsche teammate Derek Bell during filming on the Circuit Permanent de la Sarthe after the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours race. Though an accomplished sports car racer (who nearly won the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier in 1970), his insurers forbid him to drive in the actual French classic. No such bans applied to him driving the mighty Porsche 917 during later filming. McQueen loved Jo Siffert’s ‘look’, complete with Heuer-emblazoned racing suit and Heuer chronograph watch. He insisted on replicating this look exactly in the film, complete with the same racing suit.

At this point, the story goes, Don Nunley offered McQueen an Omega to wear. However, the star rejected this due to fears that Omega would exploit the association. Instead, McQueen chose the less well known Heuer Monaco Cal. 11 that now inspires the first Uchi Horology Series designs.

Not only was wearing a Heuer watch consistent with the racing suit logos for filming continuity. Significantly, the Monaco, rather than the round-dialled bi-compax Heuer Autavia that Siffert wore, was the only Heuer watch on set for which there were three identical copies (for filming, stills and backup).

The rest is watch, motor racing and cinematic history…

Further reading and viewing

If you’re interested in exploring this fascinating story further, we recommend Jack Heuer’s autobiography, The Times of my Life. Other essential references for fans of Steve McQueen, Le Mans and the Heuer Monaco Cal. 11 are Michael Keyser and Jonathan Williams’ book, A French Kiss with Death: Steve McQueen and the Making of Le Mans, and Arno Michael Haslinger’s definitive watch reference titled Heuer Chronographs. The movie of Le Mans and the highly acclaimed 2015 documentary Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans will also be of interest – complete with visual references – during filming and in the finished movie – to Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco.

More on Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

As you can see, our launch products for the Uchi Horology Series come with impressive historical influences and a great back story.

TAG Heuer Monaco Watch Art – Heuer Art Prints – TAG Heuer T-shirt

This is must-have suite of high quality Heuer art prints finalised for digital, Giclée or digital t-shirt printing. Will you choose one of our digitally printed TAG Heuer art prints, several striking t-shirts, or a print and t-shirt set?

Whatever you select, you, or a lucky gift recipient, can look forward to a product designed and manufactured with passion and attention to detail. The same kind of passion and attention to detail that Steve McQueen put into Le Mans. And that Heuer (the watchmaker only became TAG Heuer in 1985) put into its now-iconic Monaco racing chronograph.

It’s time to choose your Heuer Monaco art work

So, which of our tribute art works to the classic Heuer Monaco, the King of Cool, and a golden age of sports car racing will you choose?

Welcome to the Uchi family and our unique Horology Series.

uchi Timepiece Art - TAG Monaco print

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Written by
Al Hidden
June 2018

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