The myth at auction

On 12 December, the Phillips auction house will put up for auction in New York, as part of its 'Racing Pulse' auction, a TAG Heuer Monaco that Steve McQueen wore while filming the movie 'The 24 Hours of Le Mans'. It is a model with Ref. 1133 (circa 1969), which the famous American actor gave to his chief mechanic, Haig Altounian. The dedication 'To Haig - Le Mans 1970', engraved by Steve McQueen himself, can be read on the back of the case. Paul Boutros, head of Phillips Watches Americas, said: "The Heuer Monaco will always be associated with the glamour and thrill of racing cars. We are honoured to offer this historic Heuer Monaco, worn by Steve McQueen and given to Haig Altounian in 1970 during the filming of The 24 Hours of Le Mans. Preserved in superb, original condition, it can certainly be considered one of the most important Heuer models of all time. Worn by McQueen while driving the Porsche 917 during the filming of the movie at over 200 mph, its incredible origin, wonderful state of preservation and adrenaline-fuelled history make it a unique watchmaking trophy for connoisseurs. Introduced in 1969, the Monaco was one of the first automatic wrist chronographs (it employs Calibre 11), with the movement housed inside the world's first square-shaped water-resistant case. Today, the Monaco with Ref. 1133 is a true icon for chronograph enthusiasts. An anecdote: when McQueen gave the watch to Altounian, he told him: "Thank you for keeping me alive all these months". While Haig Altounian refused the watch, suggesting that the actor give it to his wife or son, McQueen told him that he could not, as he had the aforementioned dedication engraved for him on the case back.