Tag Heuer Has Awakened Its 'Dark Lord' Watch

·2-min read
Photo credit: Tag Heuer
Photo credit: Tag Heuer

Like any other enthusiast’s subject, watch collectors are liable to lavish hyperbole on the objects of their affections in a way that outsiders can find either endearing or a bit silly, depending on their point of view.

Horology chatrooms are full of fans referring to hard-to-find vintage models as “legendary” or innovations such as the use of a slightly different type of metal as “groundbreaking”.

Achieve both “legendary” and “groundbreaking” status, and one of the best watches might even get its own nickname. The Rolex Submariner known as the “Hulk” (it’s green). The Patek Philippe ref. 3448 knowledgeably referred to as the “Padellone” (Italian for "frying pan"; its case is large and round). Another Rolex called – God help us – “Pussy Galore” (Honor Blackman wore the same model in Goldfinger).

Which brings us to Tag Heuer’s “Dark Lord”.

The watch is basically a version of the Monaco that Steve McQueen made famous, but blacked out in a matt PVD case. Produced briefly and scarcely in the mid-1970s its “legendary” and “groundbreaking” status earned it the nickname befitting one of Darth Sidious’s aliases, a villainous vibe only marginally undermined by the very-1970s pops of fluoro orange – ironically more commonly found on Rebel Alliance X-wing Starfighters. (Yeah, we can do nerdy too. Punch it, Chewie.)

Photo credit: Tag Heuer
Photo credit: Tag Heuer

Anyway, the "Dark Lord" rises again this November, as a piece produced for Only Watch: the biennial charity auction where watchmaking’s top names donate a one-off watch to raise funds for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable genetic disorder.

It’s a personal cause for Luc Pettavino, the former chief executive of the Monaco Boat Show. After co-founding the Monaco Association Against Muscular Dystrophy 20 years ago to push for research into the condition, which affected his son, Pettavino came up with the idea of Only Watch in 2005 and has so far raised over €70 million (£59.8 million), 99 per cent of which goes direct to the charity.

Among one-off contributions from Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Hublot, Tudor, Zenith and dozens of others, the "Dark Lord" is a particularly cool model, featuring a new bespoke skeletonised carbon dial with each facet of the movement hand-finished in a novel way, including a technique that creates the chequered flag motif. The strap too, is a one-off: silicon-injected leather, something Tag Heuer has never used before.

The whole thing out-Dark Lords the original "Dark Lord", and should be one of the most anticipated lots, come the Only Watch auction on 6 November.

Polling for a new nickname is now open.

Fine out more at tagheur.com

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting