Heuer Timepieces in the Film Le Mans

In the community of vintage Heuer enthusiasts, the story of how Steve McQueen came to wear a Monaco chronograph in the film Le Mans has been told many times.  Indeed,  Jean-Christophe Babin, ex-CEO of TAG Heuer (2001-2013) has proclaimed that “Jack [Heuer’s] greatest achievement is to have succeeded in placing a ‘Monaco’ chronograph on the wrist of Steve McQueen during the shooting of the film Le Mans in 1970”.  Jack Heuer’s narrative of this story, in his recently published autobiography, is the authoritative version of this story.

McQueen Le Mans Banner

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Watch in the Wild: Bo Derek, Wearing Nothing But a Heuer (and a Smile)

There have been rumors that Bo Derek wore a Heuer dive watch, but now OnTheDash is happy to share the story and the photo.

Of course, we start with the photo, taken on a beach in 1979 and provided by Bo’s father to Jack Heuer, then CEO of Heuer Leonidas.

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Heuer Monaco, Worn by McQueen -- Part Two

As described in our first posting covering the McQueen-worn Monacos, I am aware of four Heuer Monacos said to have been “worn by McQueen” during the production of the movie Le Mans, as follows:

  1. worn by McQueen during the filming of the movie, Le Mans; sold by the property master in the early 2000s; now in the TAG Heuer Museum, in Switzerland.
  2. worn by McQueen during the still photography / promotional shots for Le Mans; sold by the property master in the early 2000s; has been in the hands of four different collectors since then; to be auctioned July 31, 2012.
  3. worn by McQueen while at Le Mans and then given by McQueen to his management consultant, Bill Maher, as a gift; sold at an Antiqourum auction in June 2009, and now in private hands.
  4. worn by McQueen . . . further details not known, at least for the moment.

We started this series of postings with “Part Three” — the third Monaco listed above, the one given as a gift by Steve McQueen to his business consultant, and sold at auction in June 2009.  Today, we publish “Part Two” of the series — the second Monaco listed above, the one worn by McQueen during the still photography / promotional shots for the movie Le Mans.

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Heuer Monaco, Worn by McQueen -- Part Three

I am aware of four Heuer Monacos said to have been “worn by McQueen”, as follows:

  1. worn by McQueen during the filming of the movie, Le Mans; sold by the property master in the early 2000s; now in the TAG Heuer Museum, in Switzerland.
  2. worn by McQueen during the still photography / promotional shots for Le Mans; sold by the property master in the early 2000s; has been in the hands of four different collectors since then; to be auctioned July 31, 2012.
  3. worn by McQueen while at Le Mans and then given by McQueen to his management consultant, Bill Maher, as a gift; sold at an Antiqourum auction in June 2009, and now in private hands.
  4. worn by McQueen . . . further details not known, at least for the moment.

The story of the “worn-by-McQueen” Monacos is mysterious, with conflicting versions of the facts and as many twists and turns as the Le Mans circuit.  Thus it is fitting that we start this series of postings with “Part Three” — the third Monaco listed above, the one given as a gift by Steve McQueen to his business consultant, and sold at auction in June 2009.

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Two Recent Sales of Steve McQueen’s Le Mans Racing Suit -- $829,000 Left on the Table

If you have ever been mad at yourself for selling a watch at a price that turned out to be a shade too low, consider the case of Morry Barmak, owner of “Collector Studio”, a gallery of motorsports art and memorabilia located in Toronto, Canada.  Morry recently had the good fortune of selling Steve McQueen’s Le Mans racing suit for $155,000, and then watching his buyer “flip” it for $984,000, three and one-half months later.

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Brad Pitt's Watch in Moneyball -- TAG Heuer Kirium

Watch collectors are different.  While most people watch movies for entertainment, for escape, or even for information, a “watch guy” may watch an entire movie for the sake of identifying the various watches worn by members of the cast.  Of course there are the famous ones, the watches worn by James Bond, Sylvester Stallone and the high-profile Hollywood ambassadors, but the “sightings” are also fun . . . spotting Lady Gaga in her Casio Baby-G or Jerry Seinfeld in a vintage Heuer Autavia (in place of his usual Breitling).

And so, with the release of the movie Moneyball on Friday, September 23rd, the “watch watchers” — and Brad Pitt watchers — will soon ask the question, “What watch is Brad Pitt wearing in Moneyball?”.

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