Steve Mcqueen Watch Collection

Steve McQueen, the epitome of Hollywood cool, was not just a captivating actor and a rebel with a cause but also a connoisseur of fine timepieces. His discerning taste in watches and undeniable charisma transformed his collection into a treasure trove of horological gems, each piece meticulously chosen to reflect his multifaceted persona.

Steve McQueen’s watch collection was a microcosm of his life, a harmonious blend of classic elegance and rugged sportiness. His affinity for Rolex is evident in his ownership of multiple Submariner models and an Explorer II ref. 1655, showcased his appreciation for timeless designs and enduring craftsmanship. On the other hand, his Patek Philippe pocket watch was a testament to his respect for traditional horology, a relic of a bygone era.

The watches of Steve McQueen transcended the realm of mere accessories; they were an intrinsic part of his on-screen persona, adding authenticity and depth to his characters. His most iconic horological pairing was with the Heuer Monaco, a watch that became synonymous with his role in the racing masterpiece “Le Mans.” The Monaco’s bold blue dial and fiery red accents perfectly captured McQueen’s daring spirit and unwavering passion for speed.

Yet, McQueen’s horological repertoire extended far beyond Rolex and Heuer. His collection encompassed a diverse array of timepieces, each with a unique story. McQueen’s passion for watches extended beyond his collection. He was a staunch advocate for the watchmaking industry, recognizing the artistry and technical expertise that went into creating these mechanical marvels. His influence helped popularize mechanical watches among a wider audience, cementing his status as a true horological aficionado.

Today, McQueen’s watches are coveted collectibles, fetching impressive prices at auctions worldwide. They are tangible reminders of his larger-than-life persona and unwavering passion for fine timepieces. Much like his cinematic legacy, his collection is a testament to his enduring appeal, a timeless treasure trove that continues to captivate watch enthusiasts and admirers alike.

It is estimated that the watch collection of Steve McQueen was worth between $100,000 and $250,000 at the time of his death in 1980 with the networth of 30$ million.

Here is a more detailed look at some of the most notable watches from Steve McQueen watch collection.

McQueen’s watch collection

1. Rolex Submariner 5512

Steve McQueen wearing Rolex Submariner 5512

The Rolex Submariner 5512 is a true icon of horology, and its association with Steve McQueen further cemented its legendary status. McQueen, known for his rugged persona and daring spirit, found the Submariner’s robust design and adventurous aura to complement his style perfectly.

This classic dive watch that is one of the great Rolex submariner models first introduced in 1954, was designed to withstand the rigors of underwater exploration. Its water resistance of up to 660 feet (200 meters) and sturdy construction made it a favorite among professional divers and adventurers. McQueen, an avid motorsports enthusiast and a man of action, undoubtedly appreciated the practicality of Rolex Submariner and its ability to handle the demands of his active lifestyle.

Beyond its functionality, the Rolex Submariner 5512 exudes a timeless elegance that resonates with watch enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. Its understated black dial, contrasting with its luminescent hands and markers, provides a clean and sophisticated aesthetic. The Submariner’s design has remained unchanged since its introduction, a testament to its timeless elegance.

  • Water resistance: 660 feet (200 meters)
  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Release year: 1959-1979
  • Price: $16,000 – $250,000 

2. Tag Heuer Monaco

Steve McQueen wearing Tag Heuer Monaco

The Tag Heuer Monaco, a watch synonymous with motorsports and Steve McQueen, embodies the racing spirit. Its bold blue dial, contrasting with red accents, instantly captures the eye, evoking the thrill and excitement of the race track.

Steve McQueen, a passionate motorsports enthusiast and a skilled driver, found Monaco’s sporty design and its association with racing to align with his passions perfectly. The watch debuted on McQueen’s wrist in the 1971 film “Le Mans,” a cinematic masterpiece chronicling the grueling 24-hour endurance race.

Initially met with skepticism, Monaco’s design has become a celebrated icon of horology. Inspired by the dashboards of race cars, its square case stands out from the more traditional round watches of the time. The vibrant blue dial, a departure from the usual black or white, adds a touch of boldness and personality.

  • Water resistance: 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Diameter: 39mm
  • Release year: 1969
  • Price: $4,500 – $12,000

3. Benrus

Steve McQueen wearing Benrus

Steve McQueen’s association with Benrus watches began early in his career when he sported a Benrus “Military” watch on the set of the television series “Wanted: Dead or Alive” in the 1950s. Its rugged design and durable construction perfectly complemented McQueen’s on-screen persona as a bounty hunter.

The Benrus “Military” watch, characterized by its black dial with luminous hands and a stainless steel case, was popular among military personnel and adventurers. Its affordability and reliable performance made it a practical choice for McQueen’s active lifestyle.

McQueen’s affinity for the Benrus “Military” watch extended beyond its functionality. Steve McQueen appreciated the watch’s association with American craftsmanship and its connection to his early days in Hollywood. The watch served as a reminder of his humble beginnings and journey to stardom.

  • Water resistance: 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Diameter: 35mm
  • Release year: 1940s-1960s
  • Price: $500 – $1,500

4. Hanhart 417

Steve McQueen wearing Hanhart 417

Steve McQueen’s appreciation for German engineering was evident in owning a Hanhart 417 chronograph. Initially designed for the German Air Force during World War II, this flyback chronograph exuded a vintage charm and a sense of precision that appealed to McQueen’s adventurous spirit.

The Hanhart 417’s distinctive design, characterized by its black dial with white accents and oversized chronograph pushers, set it apart from other watches of the same era. Its flyback function, which allows the stopwatch to reset to zero with a single press, showcased its technical prowess and added to its allure for McQueen.

McQueen’s Hanhart 417 watch reminded him of his fascination with aviation and appreciation for German craftsmanship. It represented a different era of watchmaking, where precision, functionality, and a touch of nostalgia reigned supreme.

  • Water resistance: 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Diameter: 35mm
  • Release year: 1950s-1960s
  • Price: $1,000 – $2,000

 5. Geneve

Steve McQueen wearing Geneve patek philippe

For a touch of understated elegance, Steve McQueen turned to his Geneve watch. This classic timepiece, characterized by its clean dial, classic hands, and slim profile, complemented McQueen’s versatile style and his appreciation for timeless craftsmanship.

The Geneve watch represented the essence of simplicity and refinement. Its uncluttered dial, devoid of unnecessary complications, allowed the wearer to focus on the essential function of timekeeping. The watch’s understated design resonated with McQueen’s ability to transition seamlessly between rugged action roles and sophisticated portrayals.

McQueen’s Geneve watch was a testament to his appreciation for timeless elegance and his ability to adapt to various styles. It represented a departure from his more adventurous timepieces, showcasing his versatility and ability to embrace different facets of horology.

  • Water resistance: 30 meters (100 feet)
  • Diameter: 34mm
  • Release year: 1940s-1950s
  • Price: $200 – $500

6. Cartier Tank Cintrée

Steve McQueen wearing Cartier Tank Cintrée

In the 1970s, Steve McQueen added a touch of Parisian sophistication to his collection with the Cartier Tank Cintrée. This iconic watch, designed by Louis Cartier in 1917, had become a favorite among the Hollywood elite, and McQueen was no exception.

The Cartier Tank Cintrée’s elongated rectangular case, elegant design, and Roman numerals exuded an air of timeless elegance. Its slim profile and understated details perfectly complemented McQueen’s refined style, adding a touch of sophistication to his on-screen persona.

The Cartier Tank Cintrée watch of Steve McQueen represented his evolving taste and appreciation for diverse horological styles. It demonstrated his ability to transition from rugged action heroes to sophisticated gentlemen on and off the screen. The watch served as a reminder of his adaptability and willingness to embrace different facets of life.

  • Water resistance: 30 meters (100 feet)
  • Diameter: 25mm-35mm
  • Release year: 1919
  • Price: $5,000 – $20,000

7. Rolex Speedking

Steve McQueen wearing Rolex Speedking

Evoking the spirit of early motorsport, this Rolex watch held a special place in Steve McQueen’s watch collection. This vintage chronograph, produced in the 1930s, exuded a timeless elegance and a connection to the golden era of racing.

The Rolex Speedking’s design, characterized by its black dial with white accents, large chronograph pushers, and tachymeter scale, embodied the spirit of speed and precision that captivated McQueen’s adventurous spirit. Its historical significance further enhanced its appeal, connecting McQueen to a bygone era of motorsport.

McQueen’s Rolex Speedking watch reminded him of his passion for motorsports and his appreciation for vintage timepieces. It represented a time when racing was less about technology and more about raw talent and fearless determination, qualities McQueen wholeheartedly embraced.

When it comes to collecting Rolex watches, Steve McQueen is a great name. Like Paul Newman, he also had a watch named after him, the Rolex Steve McQueen- The Rolex Explorer II ref 1655.

  • Water resistance: 30 meters (100 feet)
  • Diameter: 34mm
  • Release year: 1930s-1940s
  • Price: $3,000 – $10,000

8. Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox

Steve McQueen wearing Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox

The ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ (1968) actor Steve McQueen’s appreciation for unique horological complications was evident in his ownership of a Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox alarm watch. This innovative timepiece, equipped with a mechanical alarm function, added a touch of practicality and personality to his collection.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox, introduced in the 1950s, was a revolutionary timepiece, incorporating a mechanical alarm function into a wristwatch. McQueen wore this watch in the movie ‘Thomas Crown Affair (1968)’.  This ingenious complication, powered by a separate barrel and spring, provided a reliable and audible reminder, setting the watch apart from its contemporaries. The Memovox’s distinctive design, characterized by its silver dial with black accents, exuded a timeless elegance that perfectly complemented McQueen’s multifaceted persona.

McQueen’s affinity for the Memovox extended beyond its mechanical prowess and sophisticated design. He appreciated the watch’s practicality, recognizing its ability to serve as a discreet yet effective reminder amidst the demands of his busy life. The Memovox’s alarm function proved particularly useful during his motorsports pursuits, providing a timely cue for pit stops and ensuring he stayed on track.

  • Water resistance: 50 meters (165 feet)
  • Diameter: 35mm
  • Release year: 1950s-1960s
  • Price: $1,500 – $3,000

 What watches does Steve McQueen own?

Here is a quick rundown of Steve McQueen’s watches collection:

  1. Rolex Submariner 5512: $16,000 – $250,000
  2. Tag Heuer Monaco: $4,500 – $12,000
  3. Benrus: $500 – $1,500
  4. Hanhart 417: $1,000 – $2,000
  5. Geneve: $200 – $500
  6. Cartier Tank Cintrée: $5,000 – $20,000
  7. Rolex Speedking: $3,000 – $10,000
  8. Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox: $1,500

From the Writer

In the realm of horology, the watch collection of Steve McQueen emerges as an assortment of timepieces and a chronicle of his life’s diverse chapters. Each watch is a chapter marker, a symbol that transcends the boundary between accessory and artifact, embodying McQueen’s multifaceted personality.

His affiliation with Rolex and the iconic Submariner models showcases a penchant for timeless designs and enduring craftsmanship. The Heuer Monaco, forever linked with his racing epic “Le Mans,” encapsulates his daring spirit and enthusiasm for speed. Beyond these renowned names, watches like the Benrus Military and Hanhart 417 unveil a deeper layer, reflecting McQueen’s early Hollywood days and his admiration for German engineering.

The watches of actor Steve McQueen are more than just stylish adornments; they are integral to his cinematic legacy. They are the silent co-stars that lend authenticity and depth to his characters, mirroring the intricacies of his persona. The enduring appeal of these timepieces extends beyond the aesthetics—they are conduits to an era of sophistication and adventure that McQueen, with his unmistakable charisma, made timeless.

Today, as these watches command attention at auctions and adorn the wrists of collectors, they serve as tangible links to McQueen’s legacy. His advocacy for the watchmaking industry goes beyond personal taste; it stands as a testament to his recognition of the artistry and technical brilliance that goes into crafting these mechanical marvels.

In the grand symphony of horology, Steve McQueen’s watch collection plays a distinct and resonant melody. It is a melody that captivates, not just for its aesthetic allure, but for the stories it tells—of a man who embraced life with unmatched passion, leaving an indelible mark on the silver screen and the world of timekeeping.

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