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He and I were having dinner one evening, and he told me about a watch he’d recently sold. Then for good measure he bumps Stahler twice. [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. Nunley sold Monaco numbers two and three on eBay. Yes there was. Le Mans, however, is a film I do know about. 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. 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. 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. Of these four, Nunley kept one as untouched and unblemished, for use only in close-up photography and PR stills. 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. He chides her a bit about not being entirely honest. It did, however, manage to finish 2nd in the P3.0 class. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. Advertisement. Disappointed, he folded it up and placed it in storage for the next 46 years. Required fields are marked *, Subscribe to have the best of Quill & Pad delivered straight to your inbox. 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. View the full information and more photos. $14 Million Steve McQueen Porsche 917K From 'Le Mans' Is Brumos Collection's Latest Star Collection in Jacksonville, Florida, going public with showpiece car from the 1971 movie. Both survive, but Aurac's injuries are extensive and he is medevaced to a hospital by helicopter. “These were so intricately detailed and so well done, they were truly works of art. 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. “The Heuer company contacted me and made an offer to buy one of the remaining Monacos for $5,000. Nunley began just shoving the colored pages into the back of his script, which he had nicely bound. Examples of the celeb premium are rampant. The sale price for the number four Monaco was somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000. These were the perfect ingredients for a match that ultimately got the checkered flag. May 30, 2012 - During filming for the movie Le Mans Steve McQueen got around on this bicycle. 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. 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. So if my accounting is right, I’ve identified where five of the six Monacos went. A far cry from the Porsche 917 he drove in the movie. In McQueen’s case, the props and wardrobe items he used in his films often made their way into his personal collection. 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. “When we began the Le Mans project in 1970, Steve McQueen was at his absolute height as a movie star. He was pencilled in to share a JWA Porsche 917 with current F1 World Champion Jackie Stewart 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 … At the same auction, one of three racing suits (with helmet) McQueen wore in the film hammered for $984,000. 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. At the race she is understandably downcast while working through her emotions. RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 20 AUGUST 2011. “Steve McQueen and his Heuer Monaco not only became one of the most recognised and celebrated timepieces of the last century, but it forever shaped the culture of TAG … “He proceeded to write a check for a very generous amount intended for each of my seven grandkids. However, prop pieces used in films are generally treated roughly, yet this watch was described as being in “exceptional condition.” There’s the conundrum. As a cult classic, the film is inexorably linked to its star actor and a whole cottage industry has grown out of the movie. McQueen’s performance as racer Michael Delaney is, without doubt, one of his most cult roles. 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. With Steve McQueen, Siegfried Rauch, Elga Andersen, Ronald Leigh-Hunt. There was vigorous bidding, moving into the $9,000 range. Le Mans was the pet project of Hollywood’s most glamorous actor of the 1960s, Steve McQueen. One immediately went missing, its whereabouts unknown. So he had his accountant, who was working in the next room, bring in his personal checkbook while I argued that the first check was more than fair. 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. Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans is a 2015 documentary film, detailing the actor's quest to make the 1971 film Le Mans. Heuer called again and asked if they could buy the watch for their original offer of $5,000. Two stand out to me as being of greatest interest: hand-carved small model cars by someone on the set. 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. Chris Malburg is also an author, his latest novel is Man of Honor. 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. After 13 hours of racing, Erich Stahler (Siegfried Rauch) spins his Ferrari 512 at Indianapolis Corner, causing teammate Claude Aurac (Luc Merenda) to veer off the track in a major accident. Earlier I described the hero watch, which was kept in reserve and in mint condition for close-ups and publicity photos. Nunley and Heuer succeeded in linking one of the most recognized high-end watch brands of the era with the megastar of the time. Sam Maven This watch could be the one auctioned. ‘Steve McQueen: Le Mans in the Rearview Mirror’ by Don Nunley. 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, … It features actual footage captured during the 1970 race held the previous June.[3]. Item popularity - 6 views, 2 views per day (Not popular), 3 days on eBay, 0 bids, 0 sold, 1 … McQueen’s Submariner was auctioned by Antiquorum in 2009, where it hammered for a price of $234,000 – which seems low today, but set the record for this reference in 2009. 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. It’s a matter of supply and demand. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. 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. ... for the famed Formula One racetrack and was chosen by Steve McQueen as the chronograph of choice when filming began on Le Mans in 1970. For the 2019 film, see. The widow of the suit’s owner then contacted Sotheby’s in 2017, where it was included at auction. The biggest mistake a prop master can make is not giving the star enough choices in the props he uses throughout the film. This is the actual wristwatch worn by Steve McQueen during Le Mans production and in related images. 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. Without the famous guitarist’s provenance the same reference in yellow gold sold for $539,000 at Bonham’s 2015 Geneva auction. 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.”. This could be explained by the continuing, extended public interest in both Rolex and auctions. I did: the last Monaco, a gold Rolex Submariner, a Heuer Carrera, another Heuer chronograph, and three stopwatches used in the film. This article is about the 1971 film. A notable presence at this year's race was Solar Productions, Steve McQueen’s film company, at Le Sarthe to make a feature film revolving around the race directed by John Sturges. 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. Even so, somehow one of the five remaining Monacos still managed to go missing – probably to Steve.”. 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. Delaney consoles her and rescues her from a horde of reporters. He has a flashback of Belgetti losing control of his Ferrari, forcing him to crash as well. Back in 1970, the blue-dialed Monaco with its two subdials and date window retailed for $400. We decided to meet at his estate. 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. He got the second prize instead, the racing suit. Nunley collected a number of other items from the film, too. Lastly, Nunley kept the original Le Mans script. Nunley writes in his book, Le Mans in the Rearview Mirror: “Steve looked over all the watches on the table. Proceeds went to Orbis, a non-profit providing eye care in developing nations. Housed in a red, spring-hinged case sporting the Heuer logo and a checkered flag motif. The watch is seated in a red felt base. Jack Heuer had submitted four chronograph models, three of which looked similar to the other watches. “I got a call from a billionaire, one of the Forbes 400,” he said. On the left is British driver Derek Bell. Surprise! Townsend enters and asks him to take over driving Ritter's car. My friend is truly an authority on the subject of films and the film industry, and Le Mans is no exception. 6302094. It seems that way. That is until McQueen strapped it to his wrist, climbed into his Porsche 917, and roared into history. On those days he’d wear whatever white driver’s racing suit was hanging in wardrobe and his Submariner. Porsche driver Johann Ritter senses that his wife, Anna, would like for him to quit racing. High performance escapement with “triple pare-chute” protection. He liked hanging out with the drivers. The watch was a steel Reference 5512 from circa 1967 with three hands and no date, but in decent condition. It is engraved with the caption “TO HAIG LE MANS 1970” on the caseback. Momentarily distracted by the flames of Aurac's car, Delaney reacts too late to safely avoid a slower car, striking the guardrail and then bouncing several times across the road, striking the guardrails on each side of the road multiple times, totaling his Porsche 917. I told him that if I took any more money I’d just put it into my grandkid’s education fund. [3] McQueen had intended to race a Porsche 917 together with Jackie Stewart,[4][5] but the #26 entry was not accepted. Steve McQueen wearing the Monaco in 1970 during filming for Le Mans. He was just coming off two hits – Bullitt and The Thomas Crown Affair. His shopping list included stopwatches, timing boards, logo patches (for wardrobe), and several chronographs. Instead, he is depicted as starting the race in the blue #20 Gulf-Porsche 917K driven by Jo Siffert and Brian Redman. “It was until then impossible … Steve McQueen and Director John Sturges long worked on the project and originally had the film set up at Warner Bros. as "Day of the Champion". 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. 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. Daniel Craig’s Omega Planet Ocean used in Casino Royale brought $255,565, the highest price ever paid for a James Bond watch. In fact, his sleeve is often conspicuously pushed up to reveal the watch for the cameras. However, this one has a story behind it. In all, the actor’s possessions – including other watches and a motorcycle – brought in a total of $5.7 million at this New York City auction. 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. 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. KKNBBE Steve McQueen as Michael … He wanted to know if I had any other watches – of historic significance or not – that I might be willing to sell. 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 … Steve McQueen picked what would become one of the most famous watches in history out of a lineup. 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. The Porsche 917 is an iconic race car that plays a leading role in the movie ‘Le Mans’ with Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney. Catalogue View Lots Share This; Chassis No. The faster pair quickly catches Wilson. Nunley saved the final four as backup reserves in the event that the primaries were damaged or somehow also disappeared. He was one of the stunt drivers in the making of the movie. 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]. Here’s what he told me. Delaney merely stares him down. The watch of choice for this race was the unique square-cased racing watch from Heuer called the Monaco. 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. His star status rubbed off on whatever he touched. It features actual footage captured during the 1970 race held the previous June. Filming Le Mans took its toll on McQueen, both financially and personally. “This was the actual watch that McQueen wore in the film. In 1970 he placed second in the 12 Hours of Sebring – a professional race – driving a Porsche 908/02. My friend now admits that he should have bought all the Heuer stock he could haven gotten his hands on.

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