Some menswear items take on a legend entirely their own, soaring to unheralded heights in the process, and that’s the case when it comes to damn near anything worn or associated with acting legend and style icon Steve McQueen. Case in point: One of six Tag Heuer Monaco watches used during the filming of McQueen’s 1971 racing classic Le Mans -- and the last one on the market -- just sold at auction … for more than $2 million.
To be more specific, it’s rare enough to the point where it fetched a cool $2,208,000 via Phillips New York (the Racing Pulse Auction will soon auction off watches from luminaries like Paul Newman and Sylvester Stallone). Bidding took place remotely, a new normal these days that certainly didn’t detract from the fervor surrounding this timepiece.
The Heuer Monaco has joined the annals of McQueen’s ever-stylish and daring menswear history over the years, and this particular timepiece, a sleek racing watch with an instantly recognizable square dial is certainly no exception.
It’s no gimmick, either. This watch (reference 1133) was gifted to McQueen’s mechanic on the film, Haig Alltounian, who wore it for years before storing it for safekeeping (that would explain its excellent condition, plus the engraving of Alltounian’s name on the caseback).
Bidding for the watch started at $160,000, and eventually surpassed the final sale price of the fifth Le Mans watch (that watch sold back in 2012 at a memorabilia auction). The hits keep coming, seeing as it’s the most expensive wristwatch TAG Heuer has ever sold. Plus, the McQueen pedigree is very real, very rare and very covetable.
There’s no one like McQueen, and unless you’ve got your hands on some serious cash, holy grails from the icon are likely to remain out of reach (but hey, a guy can dream).