On Saturday, 12 December, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo will offer a Heuer Monaco ref. 1133B worn by Steve McQueen while filming his racing film, Le Mans.
This is the last of two known Monaco wristwatches kept and gifted by Steve McQueen to be offered publicly. The other one was sold in 2012 at a Hollywood memorabilia auction at the hammer price of US$ 650,000 (US$ 799,500 including the buyer’s premium).
Highly visible during the film, the Heuer Monaco 1133B quickly became one of the most recognisable sport watches ever designed.
One of the most important member amongst the behind-the-scenes crew was the Chief Mechanic for Le Mans, Haig Alltounian, seen in an original movie poster standing directly behind McQueen.
McQueen appreciated so much Alltounian for his important role that, on the final day of filming, the actor gifted him one of the Heuer Monaco chronographs used during filming.
As told by Alltounian in the 2015 documentary, "Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans", when McQueen handed Haig the watch, he said “thank you for keeping me alive all these months.” While Haig refused to accept it, and suggested McQueen give it to his wife or son, McQueen told him he couldn’t as it already had Haig’s name on it, referencing the case back inscription, “To Haig Le Mans 1970”.
Consigned directly by Alltounian, the watch will be a highlight of Phillips’ flagship New York Watch Auction, Racing Pulse.
12 December 2020 - 450 Park Avenue, New York