Steve McQueen’s Rolex Submariner is Expected to Fetch a Pretty Penny at an Upcoming Auction

  • June 12, 2018

Actor Steve McQueen was once dubbed by the general public as “The Coolest Man on Earth.” When he arrived in Hollywood, he quickly made it big, becoming one of the largest box office draws of the 1960s. His effortless style and tough-guy persona was the type of rebellious leading man the world wanted. He made his mark in history through such classics like The Great Escape (1963), Bullitt (1968), and The Thomas Crowne Affair (1968).

Steve McQueen's Rolex Submariner is set to be sold at auction this October (Photograph courtesy of Bloomberg)
Steve McQueen’s Rolex Submariner is set to be sold at auction this October (Photograph courtesy of Bloomberg)


It isn’t a surprise that many collectors today still look forward to purchasing something touched by the movie god during his bright career. Not too long ago, his racing suit (which he wore for the 1971 film Le Mans) sold at auction for a whopping $984,000, becoming one of the most expensive movie props ever purchased by a private individual. McQueen fans have another reason to look forward to October 25th of this year. Bloomberg has announced that the actor’s Rolex Submariner (reference 5513) will be auctioned off at New York City through Phillips Watches. It is expected to fetch anywhere between $300,00 to $600,00, but could also possibly reach a sale as high as $2 million. This still would not compare to last year’s sale of a Rolex watch owned by Oscar-winning actor Paul Newman, which was sold for $17.8 million.

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Steve McQueen wearing the watch before gifting it to his favorite stuntman, Loren Janes
Steve McQueen wearing the watch before gifting it to his favorite stuntman, Loren Janes


The Rolex watch itself has a very interesting history. Purchased by the star in the 1960s, he would gift it to his stunt double Loren Janes after several years of owning it himself. McQueen had the back engraved with a special note. It reads: “LOREN, THE BEST DAMN STUNTMAN IN THE WORLD. STEVE.” Janes was a usual collaborator for McQueen. He worked on films such as Bullitt with the actor, performing death defying stunts. The watch remained under his possession for the next four decades. In 2016, the Rolex was thought to have been lost, when the Sand Fire wildfire hit Los Angeles, and much of Janes’s possessions were destroyed. It was later found amongst the rubble of his property, and was immediately sent to Rolex for fixing and restoration. Afterwards, Beverly Hills Real Estate broker Michael Eisenberg purchased the piece to add to his collection of Hollywood memorabilia. This week’s announcement has caused an excited flurry amongst timepiece collectors and cinema lovers, looking to bring a piece of Steve McQueen back home with them.

For more information visit https://www.phillips.com/watches

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