Cover Steven McQueen's Tag Heuer Monaco will be offered at an upcoming auction in New York (Photo: Courtesy of Phillips)

The Tag Heuer Monaco watch is the last of two known examples of the Tag Heuer Monaco gifted by McQueen and will be up for auction this December

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo will offer a Tag Heuer Monaco worn by Steve McQueen during the filming of his iconic racing film, Le Mans on December 12 at the Phillips' flagship New York Watch Auction, Racing Pulse. The watch is the last of two known Monaco wristwatches kept and gifted by Steve McQueen to be offered publicly––presenting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the most celebrated wristwatches of the 20th century.

The iconic watch was gifted to the film's chief mechanic and McQueen's personal mechanic, Haig Alltounian by McQueen himself following the end of filming. Consigned directly by Altounian, the watch's case back features the engraving "To Haig, Le Mans 1970", dedicated to him by McQueen.

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"The Heuer Monaco will always be associated with the glamour and thrill of auto racing. Preserved in superb, original condition with its fascinating case back engraving remaining perfectly crisp, it can certainly be considered as one of the most important Heuer wristwatches of all time. Worn on McQueen’s wrist while driving the film’s Porsche 917 at speeds above 200 mph, its incredible provenance, wonderful state of preservation, and adrenaline-fuelled history make it an ultimate trophy watch for the connoisseur," says Paul Boutros, Head of Phillips Watches, Americas.

Introduced in 1969, Tag Heuer Monaco was a game-changer––it was one of the world's first self-winding chronograph wristwatches, featuring the calibre 11, housed inside the world's first waterproof square-shaped case.

Today, the Monaco reference 1133 is an icon amongst chronograph enthusiastic. Designed by Jack Heuer, the watch was named for the famed Formula One racetrack and was personally chosen by Steve McQueen as the chronograph of choice when filming on Le Mans began in 1970.

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The classic film is remembered for its groundbreaking racing scenes, and while McQueen was the face of the film, the technical staff and cars also played prominent roles, especially chief mechanic, Allthounian. So greatly did McQueen appreciate him for the critical role he played during filming, upon gifting the watch he said "thank you for keeping me alive all these months". Initially refusing to accept it, McQueen suggested Allthounian give the watch to his wife or son as it already had his name inscribed in the casing.

In addition to consulting in Le Mans, Allthounian also consulted in Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward's 1969 racing movie, Winning. Newman's Rolex Cosmograph Daytona will also be offered in the same auction as McQueen's watch.

The watch will be on tour in Hong Kong from November 23 to 25. While the auction will be held in New York, live streaming will be available worldwide. Interested bidders can participate online via Phillips' online bidding system or via phone bidding. For new bidders, you'll need to register by email to Interested bidders who want to get a price estimate for the watch can also send an email to inquire. For more information, please visit Phillips' official website.

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