When you think of men wearing watches related to the world of motorsports, names such as Jo Siffert, Steve McQueen en Paul Newman spring to mind. Men who lived in both the golden age of car racing and watching.
Remember when a Heuer Monaco worn by Steve McQueen during the filming of Le Mans was hammered at $87.000 some years ago? You thought that was a high result? Well, forget all about that puny little number. On August 1st a Hollywood auction house sold yet another of the Monacos that McQueen allegedly wore for...wait for it....$799.500! No, I did not accidentially add an extra zero. $799.500 is an INSANE price and nobody saw that coming.
Funny how the Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 "Freccione" is sometimes called Steve McQueen. Eventhough the legendary Mr Cool never wore this reference. He wore a Rolex Submariner, yes. He wore a Heuer Monaco during the filming of Le Mans, yes. But he did not wear a Rolex Explorer II in Towering Inferno. This is a bad case of repeating nonsense that has stuck like slow working glue. And in the name of slow working glue and urban myths I present you these pictures I made to honour Mr. Cool.
Yet again I could not resist. Have long been a fan of the odd "Freccione" ref. 1655 Rolex Explorer II and yes, I even modified a ref. 1675 with 1655 parts, but it just ain't the same as the real McKoy. As I appreciate a thick case with good bevels, I opted for a late version. The 1655 I just bought is a 1980 model. Serviced less than two years ago and looks...well...stunning! I attached a NATO strap instead of the FlipLock bracelet (a 1998 version according to the small three digit number inside the clasp) as the soft NATO-strap adds wearing comfort and also feels way better than a bracelet on these warm and humid summer days.
Steve McQueen made the blue dial ref. 1133 TAG Heuer Monaco rather famous, when he wore it during the shooting of the 1971 classic, Le Mans. Mr. Cool, the GULF-striped driving suit, a Porsche 917 and that blue dial Monaco is all it takes for members of both sexes to go aaaaahhh.
Who's the coolest cat: Steve McQueen or ratpack Sammy Davis Jr? Well, high bidders of recent auctions seem to have a bid on that. Sammy Davis Jr's Heuer Monaco ref. 1133b from 1969 recently went under the hammer with an estimate of 4-6.000 USD. Low estimate alright. More Davis' Monaco oozes provenance and surely the result went higher than estimate: 21.600 USD including buyers premium.
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