In the closing minutes of the race the two Porsches and their rival Ferraris vie for the win, with Delaney in the #21 car and teammate Larry Wilson in #22. Engraved watch was given by Mr McQueen to his chief mechanic while filming iconic racing movie Le Mans. For the 2019 film, see. Chris Malburg is also an author, his latest novel is Man of Honor. It is the highest price for a Heuer wrist watch ever paid. Additionally, motor sports also attract a well-heeled crowd. These were the perfect ingredients for a match that ultimately got the checkered flag. During its heyday, Antiquorum was in the thick of celebrity watch auctions with perhaps its best result coming at a 2012 auction in which it sold Olympic ski champion Jean-Claude Killy’s Rolex Dato-Compax Chronograph (circa 1951) for a hammer price of $614,500. His star status rubbed off on whatever he touched. Delaney merely stares him down. Update: Loren Janes/Steve McQueen Ref. KKNBBE Steve McQueen as Michael … Yesterday, the last-known Heuer Monaco worn by Steve McQueen in Le Mans was sold for $2,208,000 at the Phillips Racing Pulse auction in New York. [6] In the crash scenes comparatively expendable technologically obsolete Lola T70 chassis were fitted with replica Porsche and Ferrari bodywork. Anna tries to comfort him, reminding him that he was planning to quit anyway. [6] It travelled 282 laps, or 3,798 kilometres (2,360 miles) and finished the race in 9th position,[7] but it was not classified as it had not covered the required minimum distance due to the stops to change film reels. After securing a deal with Cinema Center Films and National General Pictures the project was reborn "Le Mans". So I asked him where the remaining Monacos went after the film was released. The second timepiece is a Heur Monaco chronograph worn by Steve McQueen during the filming of Le Mans in which the style icon played a driver competing in the legendary motor race. A far cry from the Porsche 917 he drove in the movie. His shopping list included stopwatches, timing boards, logo patches (for wardrobe), and several chronographs. 6302094. It stars Steve McQueen, one of the coolest men to have lived (apparently), in a fictional 24-hour race using some real footage from 1970’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race. What a gentleman. 2. In an early example of product placement, this watch is visible on the arm of McQueen in countless photos and the ultimate film. Altounian tried to refuse, but McQueen had already had the case back engraved with the message "To Haig Le Mans 1970". Porsche driver Johann Ritter senses that his wife, Anna, would like for him to quit racing. But perhaps no other pairing has achieved the epochal status of “King of Cool” Steve McQueen and the TAG Heuer Monaco in 1971’s Le Mans. Item popularity - 6 views, 2 views per day (Not popular), 3 days on eBay, 0 bids, 0 sold, 1 … High performance escapement with “triple pare-chute” protection. My friend now admits that he should have bought all the Heuer stock he could haven gotten his hands on. ‘Steve McQueen: Le Mans in the Rearview Mirror’ by Don Nunley. “You’ve got to understand,” Nunley told me, “being the property master on a major film with the biggest star in the industry requires the diplomacy of an ambassador combined with the insight only a crystal ball can provide. It has a case back engraved “TO HAIG Le MANS 1970” by Mr McQueen. That is until McQueen strapped it to his wrist, climbed into his Porsche 917, and roared into history. It was up to me to select a group of possible choices for each item. It turns out that a husband and wife who didn’t know the other was even bidding purchased both watches for a little over the $9,000 bids each. Nunley’s story goes that he gathered watches from five possible brands for use on the film that he thought would work and that McQueen would like: Tissot, Omega, Bulova, Rolex, and Heuer. The faster pair quickly catches Wilson. It is believed to be the last of two known Monaco watches kept and gifted by McQueen to be offered publicly. At the same auction, one of three racing suits (with helmet) McQueen wore in the film hammered for $984,000. Steve McQueen picked what would become one of the most famous watches in history out of a lineup. Nunley and Heuer succeeded in linking one of the most recognized high-end watch brands of the era with the megastar of the time. This watch could be the one auctioned. 11 best Steve McQueen cars. This is the actual wristwatch worn by Steve McQueen during Le Mans production and in related images. He must have read my mind because he handed me a cashier’s check for that exact amount. She demurs and says she would like it only if he likes it. Alltounian says he originally turned down the gift, but McQueen had already engraved the watch's caseback, "To Haig Le Mans 1970." After its release, German teenie magazine Bravo sponsored a promotional contest for two of the film’s memorabilia: the Porsche 914 as first prize and one of the remaining white Nomex racing suits (with helmet) as second prize. That box office power gave McQueen the luxury of choosing his own projects and setting his own terms.”. However, prop pieces used in films are generally treated roughly, yet this watch was described as being in “exceptional condition.” There’s the conundrum. So I offered two of the watches on eBay. “When we began the Le Mans project in 1970, Steve McQueen was at his absolute height as a movie star. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. In fact, his sleeve is often conspicuously pushed up to reveal the watch for the cameras. Auction ends December 17, 2020 - 16:06. Nunley thinks the watch that was the subject of this auction probably was the hero watch of Le Mans. In 2017 another of the McQueen/Le Mans racing suits hammered for just $336,000. One of the Monacos surfaced in 2012 at Profiles In History’s “Hollywood Auction, hammering for $650,000 with a 23 percent buyer’s premium, bringing the sale price up to $799,500. What a surprise, since McQueen wanted his character’s costume to be as nondescript as possible. The actor presented it to Haig Alltounian, the film’s chief mechanic and his personal mechanic, at the end of the … Each brand had three or four different models represented in this beauty contest. He was pencilled in to share a JWA Porsche 917 with current F1 World Champion Jackie Stewart Indeed, in 2011 RM Sotheby’s auctioned the actor’s personal Porsche 911S – which was used in Le Mans – for a hammer price of $1.25 million (with buyer’s fee: $1,375,000). A Monaco wristwatch worn by Steve McQueen on the set of 1971 racing film, Le Mans, has set a new world record of $2,208,000 for a Heuer timepiece. However, this one has a story behind it. Steve McQueen wearing the Monaco in 1970 during filming for Le Mans. Examples of the celeb premium are rampant. My friend is truly an authority on the subject of films and the film industry, and Le Mans is no exception. 91103 01502. Steve McQueen wearing a Heuer Monaco on the set of the film ‘Le Mans’ (photo courtesy TAG Heuer), “During the time I worked with Steve,” Nunley continued, “I became a pretty good judge of what props would make him look good and be natural for him to handle on set. As a cult classic, the film is inexorably linked to its star actor and a whole cottage industry has grown out of the movie. “Over coffee we talked about Hollywood, actors, Le Mans, and Steve McQueen. We hadn’t talked price yet. It is engraved with the caption “TO HAIG LE MANS 1970” on the caseback. This pretty much eliminated all other watches but the Heuers. Put a product – any product – in the hands of a celebrity and you have a winning combination that is guaranteed to appreciate over the years. He liked hanging out with the drivers. Engine No. “It was until then impossible … There is obvious tension between them, but also respect and a hint of mutual attraction. Housed in a red, spring-hinged case sporting the Heuer logo and a checkered flag motif. We’ll probably never know until it surfaces publicly. One was of the Porsche 922; another was of a Ferrari.” Nunley sold them to Mike Isenberg in Beverly Hills. McQueen, at that time one of Hollywood’s most bankable action stars, had purchased a Porsche 908/2 to race. Later the decision is taken out of his hands when team manager David Townsend (Ronald Leigh-Hunt) replaces him for not being quick enough on the track. The movie’s troubled production, which affected McQueen for years, is the stuff of legend. We decided to meet at his estate. It still seems like a bargain given that it belonged to Steve McQueen. The Porsche 908/2 which McQueen had previously co-driven to a second place in the 12 Hours of Sebring was entered in the race by McQueen's Solar Productions, complete with heavy movie cameras capturing actual racing footage. The inscription on the back says “TO HAIG LE MANS 1970” Phillips As Chief Mechanic, he was arguably the most important member of the behind-the-scenes crew and McQueen was intent on showing his … He suggests it, thinking she will be overjoyed. In 1969 Heuer released the first automatic chronograph and broke with tradition by creating a square waterproof case to house it. Slower traffic in his lane forces Delaney to brake, allowing Stahler to overtake on the left. 2011 RM Sotheby’s auctioned the actor’s personal Porsche 911S, 2012 at Profiles In History’s “Hollywood Auction, McQueen’s Submariner was auctioned by Antiquorum in 2009, Craig’s Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean used in, ean-Claude Killy’s Rolex Dato-Compax Chronograph (circa 1951) for a hammer price of $614,500, hristie’s auctioned Eric Clapton’s 1987 Patek Philippe Reference 2499/100 in platinum for an astounding $3.6 million, hammered for $717,000 at the Heritage 2014 New York City auction, The Real Story Behind Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco: Exclusive Interview With ‘Le Mans’ Property Master Don Nunley. An iconic auto-racing chronograph of the 1970s, the Monaco ref. A buckled, black leather vented strap completes the handsome piece. I told them that they’d have to outbid the high-water mark on eBay of $9,000, but they’d better hurry since bidding would be closing soon.”. Then Nunley pointed out the Heuer patch on the white Nomex driver’s suit McQueen had already chosen and told the actor that Michael Delaney probably wouldn’t wear an Omega watch when his suit said Heuer. Le Mans is a 1971 film depicting a fictional 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race starring Steve McQueen and directed by Lee H. Katzin. Instead he chose the most unusual piece in the entire collection with its oversized, oddly shaped case and colorful dial. In 1970 he placed second in the 12 Hours of Sebring – a professional race – driving a Porsche 908/02. Surprise! Of the remaining four Monacos Nunley gave one to a dear friend. Nunley told me that he contacted Jack Heuer to see if he might have an interest in providing some pieces for the film. Back in 1970, the blue-dialed Monaco with its two subdials and date window retailed for $400. He chides her a bit about not being entirely honest. Both survive, but Aurac's injuries are extensive and he is medevaced to a hospital by helicopter. Le Mans, however, is a film I do know about. Last-known example of the Heuer Monaco owned and gifted by McQueen, auctioned at the flagship New York Watch Auction by Phillips in Association with Bacs... Steve McQueen's Heuer Monaco Achieves $2,208,000 At Phillips Auction "Racing Pulse" | TAG Heuer Nunley described how he assembled the props within the context of both the film and the character McQueen played: Michael Delaney, a flawed but respected driver with more on his mind than just racing. I told him that if I took any more money I’d just put it into my grandkid’s education fund. This #29 camera car, which can be briefly seen in the starting grid covered with a black sheet (at approximately 17:51) and again at just before the 79 minute-mark (at 1:18:42) racing past the starting line, was driven by Porsche's Herbert Linge and Jonathan Williams. Not to mention the advertising tie-ins, endorsements, and all the rest that make Hollywood such a lucrative business apart from theatrical ticket sales. Nunley needed six watches. “Knowing Steve’s reputation for having sticky fingers,” Nunley said, “I detailed one of my prop assistants to shadow him on the set and retrieve the watch whenever McQueen finished a scene. 1970 Porsche 911S Steve McQueen Le Mans Movie Car Sold For $1,375,000 Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee. RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 20 AUGUST 2011. Proceeds went to Orbis, a non-profit providing eye care in developing nations. The watch is in exceptional condition and comes with its original manual of operation containing a factory typed notation that the watch was sold to “24 h at Le Mans 1970.” An orange sticker on the back of the watch bears the reference number 1133b (the sticker is rubbed from wear, as McQueen wore the watch extensively in production) and a notarized letter of authenticity from Le Mans prop master Donald Nunley. In 1970, Jack Heuer himself delivered a variety of his chronograph timepieces to Donald Nunley, prop master on the set of Le Mans in France. After his brush with death she is even more drawn to him and despairs that he may meet the same fate as her husband, but Delaney finds the thrill too addictive to quit. And he sold it to Isenberg for $3,000. This article is about the 1971 film. With Peter Revson as co-driver, he had come second at the Sebring 12 Hours earlier in the year only 20 seconds behind the Ferrari winner. The Porsche 917 is an iconic race car that plays a leading role in the movie ‘Le Mans’ with Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney. He has a flashback of Belgetti losing control of his Ferrari, forcing him to crash as well. Nunley began just shoving the colored pages into the back of his script, which he had nicely bound. The race-leading white #25 Porsche 917 "Long tail" was piloted by Vic Elford and Kurt Ahrens, Jr.. He wanted to know if I had any other watches – of historic significance or not – that I might be willing to sell. Before Major League Baseball began handing out World Series rings, players were awarded watches. On the left is British driver Derek Bell. One immediately went missing, its whereabouts unknown. Though depicted as the factory-backed Scuderia Ferrari team, the 512's used were borrowed from Belgian Ferrari distributor Jacques Swaters after Enzo Ferrari balked at supplying cars due to the script's Porsche team victory. In the propmaster’s lexicon this is called the hero piece. I wasn’t sure what the fair market value actually was, but I imagined it to be a little more than that. Having set one world record with the Paul Newman Daytona, Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo has another chance with one of only two known Monaco … After he puts her in a waiting car, a journalist asks Delaney whether his and Aurac's accident can be compared to the one with Belgetti in the previous year's race. He was drawn to the Omega. Advertisement. Delaney consoles her and rescues her from a horde of reporters. He did not say anything at first. The exact number of Monacos used in Le Mans is important because of the tremendous value attached to so few pieces. From this selection, Steve McQueen himself chose this specific watch to wear as his character “Michael Delaney” during production and in publicity photos. View the full information and more photos. When Stahler tries to pass again Delaney steers toward him, looking likely to bump Stahler again and send him into the guard rail, forcing him to throttle back and brake to avoid that outcome thus ensuring the desired 1–2 win for Porsche. Lisa appears at the track clinic where Delaney is briefly treated. Catalogue View Lots Share This; Chassis No. Disappointed, he folded it up and placed it in storage for the next 46 years. Often the props – such as wardrobe and personal items like watches – are provided by the manufacturer gratis in exchange for the possibility of a close-up or two in the film. Steve McQueen wearing a Heuer Monaco on the set of ‘Le Mans’. Yes there was. Chapman advised against it, much to McQueen's disappointment; in Chapman's words, "it was much too big a film, with too many writers; it wouldn't work that way."[8]. After the friend’s death, his son (Nunley’s godson) wanted to sell the Monaco, so Nunley connected him with collector and real estate investor Michael Isenberg in Beverly Hills. Delaney passes Stahler for second place. What began as dinner with a long-standing friend took me on a mystery tour of what actually happened to one of the film industry’s most famous props – as told to me by the Le Mans property master himself. “He proceeded to write a check for a very generous amount intended for each of my seven grandkids. Arch motors frame AM- 70- 24 was one of three Le Mans entries for 1970. Here’s how the auction house described the watch in its catalog: This is the actual wristwatch worn by Steve McQueen during Le Mans production and in related images. “The Heuer company contacted me and made an offer to buy one of the remaining Monacos for $5,000. Additional footage shot after the race used actual Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512s, in competition liveries. So if my accounting is right, I’ve identified where five of the six Monacos went. But it was up to Steve to sell the audience on his final selections.”. Steve McQueen picked what would become one of the most famous watches in history out of a lineup. The other is a Steve McQueen Monaco, the blue-dialed 1969 square TAG Heuer chronograph (reference 1133) that shot to fame when the king of cool wore it in the 1970 movie Le Mans. But after seeing the Monaco and the other watches, he told me that he didn’t think it was enough. At the race she is understandably downcast while working through her emotions. The Ferrari leading the race retires due to a flat tire, leaving Wilson in the lead and only Delaney's archrival, Stahler, to contend with. Fly SM2 Porsche 908 Flunder Le Mans 1970 Steve McQueen Collection NEW 1/32. As recounted by Altounian in the documentary Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, the Bullitt star said “Thank you for keeping me alive all these months” as he handed the watch over. However, it is useful to know that this watch was sold at the first-ever themed auction, Antiquorum’s OmegaMania, which was an event in itself. In 1970, Jack Heuer himself delivered a variety of his chronograph timepieces to Donald Nunley, prop master on the set of Le Mans in France. A 1970 Porsche 917K from Steve McQueen’s Movie Le Mans May Sell for $16 Million Offered through Gooding & Company, the vehicle was also owned by Porsche’s famed racer Jo Siffert. McQueen often wore his personal Rolex Submariner on the Le Mans set. The changes came on different-colored pages to identify which version they were. Nunley bought all the timing equipment and the watches from Heuer for somewhere between $400 and $1,000 so they were his to do with as he chose. * This article was first published on June 26, 2018 at The Real Story Behind Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco: Exclusive Interview With ‘Le Mans’ Property Master Don Nunley. 1133 was nicknamed the “Steve McQueen” after the actor wore one in the 1971 film Le Mans.And now one of the actual examples worn by McQueen in the film has just become the most expensive Heuer ever sold, achieving US$2.21m with fees at Phillips’ New York auction. Jack Heuer had submitted four chronograph models, three of which looked similar to the other watches. Le Mans was filmed on location on the Le Mans circuit between June and November 1970, including during that season's actual 24 Hours of Le Mans race in mid-June. In an awkward scene, Delaney looks for a place to sit in a near empty track commissary, only to ask Lisa if he may join her. The market for film-used Nomex racing suits seems to have softened in the ensuing years. 200 DIN horsepower @ 6,500 rpm, 7,300 rpm redline, 2,195 cc / 133.9 cubic inch horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, … Designed in 1969 by Jack Heuer (great-grandson of brand founder Edouard Heuer), the Monaco was revolutionary not only for being the world’s first automatic chronograph, but also for its then-unheard-of square case. Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans is a 2015 documentary film, detailing the actor's quest to make the 1971 film Le Mans. Without the famous guitarist’s provenance the same reference in yellow gold sold for $539,000 at Bonham’s 2015 Geneva auction. For the record, the last time one of the six Heuer Monaco watches used on the set of Le Mans was offered at auction, it sold for about … It could have been privately sold to a collector and/or have been the subject of one or more private sales since then. The centerpiece in this film is the duel between the German Stahler in a Ferrari 512LM and the American Delaney in a Porsche 917. Your email address will not be published. He and I were having dinner one evening, and he told me about a watch he’d recently sold. Timing is essential to motorsports, and Heuer was known for its precision and association to the sport even then: the sport’s leading participants actually used the brand’s timepieces. Lisa goes to Delaney's trailer to talk with him. It’s a matter of supply and demand. Le Mans was the pet project of Hollywood’s most glamorous actor of the 1960s, Steve McQueen. I did: the last Monaco, a gold Rolex Submariner, a Heuer Carrera, another Heuer chronograph, and three stopwatches used in the film. “He knew I had the watch and he wanted to buy it. Talk about product placement: Nunley was one of the first to tap this now hugely lucrative revenue source for filmmakers. Often he’d insert himself as just another driver during the filming. Product insights for "Fly SM2 Porsche 908 Flunder Le Mans 1970 Steve McQueen Collection NEW 1/32" How this item and seller is performing. Just six years ago in 2012 Christie’s auctioned Eric Clapton’s 1987 Patek Philippe Reference 2499/100 in platinum for an astounding $3.6 million. Story continues below. This could be explained by the continuing, extended public interest in both Rolex and auctions. Steve McQueen intended to race a Porsche 917 himself with the legendary Jackie Stewart, but instead is depicted starting the race in the blue #20 Gulf … With Steve McQueen, Siegfried Rauch, Elga Andersen, Ronald Leigh-Hunt. There was vigorous bidding, moving into the $9,000 range. It did, however, manage to finish 2nd in the P3.0 class. McQueen had wanted to employ Christopher Chapman's new multi-dynamic image technique in the film, as had been done at his instigation with The Thomas Crown Affair, in which he starred in 1968. The sale price for the number four Monaco was somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000. “When we began the Le Mans project in 1970, Steve McQueen was at his absolute height as a movie star. However, there were so many changes – often on a daily basis and sometimes within the same day – that he stopped keeping track of them. Lastly, Nunley kept the original Le Mans script. By contrast, Roger Moore’s Rolex used in Live and Let Die most recently hammered for $365,000, though its previous turn on the podium only brought $196,056. Today’s retail price for a new Monaco is $5,900. Delaney drafts the German, then both move alongside Wilson. But with Warner Bros selling the studio to Kinney National Services, Inc., McQueen's multi picture deal with the studio was cancelled. May 30, 2012 - During filming for the movie Le Mans Steve McQueen got around on this bicycle. McQueen’s performance as racer Michael Delaney is, without doubt, one of his most cult roles. The widow of the suit’s owner then contacted Sotheby’s in 2017, where it was included at auction.