New York, NY — New York’s Dec. 12 Racing Pulse watch auction, hosted by Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo, will offer two of the world’s most famous watches: a Heuer Monaco worn by Steve McQueen while filming his iconic racing film, Le Mans, and Paul Newman’s “Big Red” Rolex Cosmograph Daytona given to him by his wife, Joanne Woodward.
After wearing the Heuer Monaco watch while driving the film’s Porsche 917 at speeds above 200 mph, McQueen gave it to the film’s chief mechanic, Haig Alltounian, at the end of filming. It’s preserved in superb, original condition with its caseback engraving — “TO HAIG Le MANS 1970” — still perfectly crisp.
Newman regularly wore the Rolex — a gift from his wife for their 25th wedding anniversary in 1983 — for over two decades until he gifted it to his daughter, Clea Newman Soderlund, in 2008. It remains remarkably well-preserved, with its caseback displaying the inscription, “Drive slowly Joanne.”