One of the most iconic film stars of today, Steve McQueen will be forever linked with the Heuer Monaco from the 1971 film Le Mans. He had a difficult start to life, with an absent father and alcoholic mother, McQueen ended up on his uncle's farm in Missouri. Uncle Claude gave him his first shiny red bike at four years, which was said to have started the passion for speed and racing. He went back to live with his mother and stepfather at the age of seven, but he was beaten so much he left to live on the streets. By the age of 12 he was part of a gang and involved in petty crime. After a spell in the circus and a longer one at a correctional facility for boys having stolen some hubcaps, McQueen finally joined the Marines.
He enjoyed his time in the US Marine corp but left in 1950 to learn to act. He started in New York, motorcycle racing at the weekends to fund his stage lessons. He later moved out to California and for the next two decades he owned the box office, with those steel blue eyes. He often did his own stunts in the films, including some of the famous car chase in “Bullett” and motorcycle race in “The Great Escape. Racing was his great love and he considered a career in professional racing. He came third in the British Touring Car Championship, 1961 and won the 3 litre class of 12 Hours of Sebring driving a Porsche 908/02 driving with a cast on his left foot after a motorcycle accident two weeks prior to the race!
In the film Le Mans, McQueen plays Delaney a Porsche racing driver. Jo Siffert was on hand to advise McQueen on how to improve his role. They got on extremely well. Siffert was also a huge spokesperson for Heuer at this time. When the question of what to wear came up, McQueen asked to wear Siffert's racing suit and also chose the new Monaco wrist chronograph. This film now has cult status and the watch, the groundbreaking square case and blue dial will forever by synonymous with Steve McQueen.