by | Nov 10, 2020 | Style, Watches

Ever wanted a watch owned and worn by a celebrity? Vintage is “in”. If so, there’s now an opportunity to get your hands on luxury statement timepieces ​ owned by Hollywood legends Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, available via auction.

On Dec. 12, Phillips, in Association with Bacs & Russo, will host a New York auction called “Racing Pulse”. Newman’s “Big Red” Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona is one of the watches for sale. That one has an estimated value of over $1 million. It’s the wristwatch Newman was­­ most often photographed wearing for over two decades. He gifted it to his daughter, Clea Newman Soderlund, in 2008.

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After many years, the Paul Newman watch ​remains well-preserved, with its engraved caseback displaying the loving inscription from his wife, “Drive slowly Joanne.” It bears all the features of one of the most sought-after luxury wristwatches of the present era. The watch is being offered with its original dial, with its bold black dial with white sub-dials. It features the distinctive “Big Red” Daytona logo at 6 o’clock. Woodward gave the watch to Newman in 1983 for their 25th anniversary. Newman was in a serious motorcycle accident in 1965 – hence the inscription for the Paul Newman rolex.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will go towards charitable organizations founded by Newman.

“While many know Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman as actors and philanthropists, their names signal something more to watch collectors – an extraordinary impact on the field of watch collecting,” says Paul Boutros, Phillips’ Head of Watches, Americas. “Throughout his lifetime, Paul Newman was photographed wearing a small handful of Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watches.

The Paul Newman watch symbolized his passion for racing

“Without any doubt, it is this association with Paul Newman that has led to the Rolex Daytona being universally regarded as possibly the world’s most sought after wrist watch.”

Says his daughter: “He wore the watch nearly every day until he gave it to me. He was photographed wearing it on numerous occasions as was I. It has been a treasure of mine for almost thirteen years. To me, this watch shows my mother’s tolerance of his continued passion for racing and reflects the enduring love between them which remained for another 25 years until his passing.”

Steve McQueen watch worn in 1971 film Le Mans

The Heuer Monaco was worn by Steve McQueen while filming his iconic racing film, Le Mans. This is the last of two known Monaco Steve McQueen watches kept and gifted by him to be offered publicly. It’s an opportunity to own one of the most celebrated wristwatches of the 20th century.

“The Heuer Monaco will always be associated with the glamour and thrill of auto racing. We are honoured to offer this historic Heuer Monaco, worn by Steve McQueen and gifted to Haig Alltounian in 1970 during the filming of Le Mans, on behalf of Alltounian,” says Boutros. “Preserved in superb, original condition with its caseback engraving remaining perfectly crisp, it can certainly be considered as one of the most important Heuer wristwatches of all time.”

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Alltounian was the film’s chief mechanic as well as the mechanic for McQueen’s cars. McQueen gifted the watch to him at the end of filming. Consigned directly by Alltounian, the watch’s caseback features the engraving “TO HAIG Le MANS 1970”, dedicated to him by McQueen.

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Both of these watches will be featured during the Phillips flagship auction. Both McQueen and Newman were true Hollywood heavyweights back in the day. For the right price, you could own piece of history.

To find out more about luxury watches such as Paul Newman and Steve McQueen watches, follow our latest luxury guides

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