Yes indeed, like the title says: Steve’s McQueen’s vintage Heuer Monaco was recently auctioned for $ 799.500 USD! An amount that might sound insane for some, others will think a price like this is more then justified. It just depends on how you look at it.
Three years ago another vintage Heuer Monaco and a Rolex 5512, both owned McQueen, were sold for € 63.000 Euro (Heuer Monaco) and the Rolex 5512 sold for no less then € 167.000 Euro! Priced that cannot be justified by how rare these timepieces are, but mainly by the person who wore them. But with (possibly) 6 identified Heuer Monaco’s all owned by McQueen, is this price still sane?
Over at Chronocentric Onthedash, vintage Heuer expert and collector Jasper Bitter shares his knowledge about all six existing Heuer Monaco models he identified over the years. Although collectors refer to the vintage Heuer Monaco and the re-issue with blue dial and white subdials as the McQueen version, several sources say McQueen hardly wore his Heuer Monaco, except in the movie Le Mans.
So when a watch is auctioned for a rather large sum of money that can’t be explained by how rare the watch is, it might be because it belonged to someone famous. That is exactly what happened to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref.5402 that belonged to Alain Delon, which sold for € 68.750 Euro. My own Royal Oak ref. 5402 won’t fetch such a price on auction, although it’s in a much better condition.
To sum it up:
- Most likely, there are six (!) different Heuer Monaco’s that belonged to McQueen or that were worn during the movie
- McQueen only wore these watches during the shooting of the movie and taking still pictures for the movie
- It looks like they were not on his wrist on other occasions
- In his private life he used to wear a Rolex Submariner ref. 5512
If this Heuer Monaco was McQueen’s daily beater, I think this price would make more sense. But now we’re talking about six watches, all of them on the prop-list of the movie Le Mans and not (or hardly) being worn on other occasions then on the set. All the more amazing that this Heuer Monaco was sold for this astronomical amount! What’s next? Maybe an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean that was actually worn by Daniel Craig during shooting the movie Skyfall, that sells for half a million? That would be interesting news, especially if you know that Craig fancies his own vintage Rolex watches 😉
Thanks to our friends at Hodinkee for bringing this to our attention!
This article was written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.