The iconic timepiece that Steve McQueen wore in the 1971 movie Le Mans reached nearly $800,000 at an auction of film memorabilia, in Los Angeles! I am sure that fans can easily visualize the picture of the Hollywood star with Heuer Monaco Chronograph on his wrist. It is a elegant racing watch with a blue dial and a black alligator strap. The McQueen’s watch was not his only personal item to be auctioned. A signed U.S. passport once belonging to Steve McQueen was sold for $46,125.
Considered by some fans as one of the best motor sport movies in history, Le Mans helped the renowned watchmaker to become even more reputable among drivers and all passionate fans of motor racing. Hauer Monaco Automatic Chronograph perfectly matched the action story, since the movie showcased the iconic 24 hours race around streets of Le Mans, in Monaco. The legendary timepiece had been launched two years earlier, honoring the famous motor-racing Grand Prix. It was the world’s first watch with a water-proof square case and the timepiece with the very first automatic chronograph movement, incorporating a micro rotor (Chronomatic Calibre 11, later Calibre 12).
Now let us go back to the auction. The estimated price for the Steve McQueen’s Monaco seemed to be ridiculously high, starting at $200,000, especially for those who knew that another Steve McQueen’s Monaco had been auctioned for over $80,000, in 2009. (Steve McQueen’s Monaco is not a unique piece. There are at least four pieces that were given to the actor during the shooting.) However, a bid went higher than anybody could expect and the hammer came down at an amazing $799,500. Most definitely, this is the highest price paid for a Hollywood watch, as well as the highest price paid for a Heuer watch.
Auctioneers also bought a miniature drop-ship used in Aliens for $225,000, Groucho Marx’s wire-rim glasses from A Night at the Opera for $86,100 and Vivien Leigh’s hat from Gone with the Wind for $67,650. One bidder paid Marlon Brando’s assassination jacket from The Godfather reached $98,400, while an unidentified buyer bought a personal copy of the 1971 film’s script, signed by Brando for $55,000.