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Heuer Monaco

Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco Sells for $2.2 Million

“It’s one of the very, very few watches ever offered that has a direct link to the Hollywood legend, the king of cool, Steve McQueen. Of these Heuer Monaco watches used for the filming of Le Mans, this is the very last one that has come to market. It’s one of the only two that were kept by Steve McQueen and gifted to people close to him.

This one, coming directly from the person who McQueen gifted it to, is as good as it gets as far as provenance goes,” said Paul Boutros, the head of watches at Phillips, Americas. The iconic and ultra-rare Heuer Monaco watch was worn by McQueen during the filming of Le Mans, and it sold for $2.2 million.

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Steve McQueens Le Mans sells front

One of the world’s first self-winding chronograph wristwatches, the Le Mans watch was designed by Jack Heuer. Reportedly, McQueen wore the watch while driving at over 200 miles per hour on the Mulsanne straight in a Porsche 917. The waterproof, square watch was presented to Haig Altounian, the mechanic on the set of Le Mans, by McQueen on the final day of shooting.

Altounian tried to turn it down, but was told that he couldn’t because it had already been engraved for him with the inscription “TO HAIG LE MANS 1970.” McQueen added a personal thanks to the mechanic along with the watch: “Thank you for keeping me alive all these months.” The film and the gift were a start of a lifelong friendship between the two.

Steve McQueens Le Mans sells back

The sale price of USD$2.2 million makes this the most expensive Heuer ever publicly sold. The previous record was well below $1 million. Not bad for a watch that was originally suggested for the movie because Heuer had excess stock and could easily send multiples of it.

TAG Heuer’s heritage director Catherine Eberle-Devaux told HODINKEE: “It’s so mythical to be able to say this is the watch being sold. In terms of glamor, of fame, it is the most important .”

Steve McQueens Le Mans sells wrist

Steve McQueens Le Mans sells side view

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Mr Mark Jessen

Mark Jessen studied English at Brigham Young University, completing a double emphasis in creative writing and professional writing/editing. After graduating, Mark went to work for a small publisher as their book editor. After a brief time as a freelance writer, Mark entered the corporate world as a copywriter. These days, his hours are spent mostly in proofing and editing, though he continues to create content for a wide variety of projects. In 2017, Mark completed UCLA's Creative Writing Certification. A prolific writer, Mark has over 20 years of experience in journalism.