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Engraved watches go to auction – Paul Newman and Steve McQueen

Luxury Rolex Watch

Luxury Rolex Watch

The exciting announcement of two iconic watches is set to hit auction on 12 December 2020 at Phillips in New York City. The two timepieces are going to be a huge hit with car and film enthusiasts alike due to their famous appearances and past owners. A Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with strong links to Paul Newman and a Heuer Monaco that was worn by Steve McQueen in the late film Le Mans.

These watches that are being auctioned at the tastefully named “Racing Pulse”, are set to sell for millions of dollars and here’s why…

Paul Newman: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6263

This fantastic Rolex is referred to as the “Big Red” and was given to Paul as an iconic 25th-anniversary gift by his wife, Joanne back in 1983. It has a very personal and sentimental engraving on the back “Drive Slowly – Joanne”.

The ironic custom message will have skyrocketed the soon to be auctioned item, pushing it to estimated millions of dollars. The watch has gained its famous persona from appearing in an abundance of photographs since the mid ’80s

Past watches from Paul Newman’s superior collection have sold for record-breaking amounts, the top sum being $17.5 million back in October 2017 at another prestigious Phillips auction. The “Big Red” Rolex isn’t thought to create such an uproar at the auction this year but nonetheless, will make its own phenomenal impact in the history of auctioned watches.

The family of Paul Newman has said they will donate the funds to charities founded by Paul including Serious Fun – Children’s Network.

Steve McQueen: Heuer Monaco Ref. 1133

The second luxury engraved watch that has been announced to sell at the live online auction is a blue Heuer Monaco, that was featured in the classic film Le Mans. This watch will be the final watch from six that were used within the making of the 1971 hit flick.

This specific classic watch was gifted from Steve to his friend and chief onset mechanic, Haig Alltounian and tells this story by the timeless engraving on the back “TO HAIG – LE MANS 1970”. The story continues and develops through Haig’s 2015 documentary, The Man & Le Mans, where he explains he did not want to accept the watch, only to find his name had already been engraved on the back.

Revealing this information attracted the attention of watch collectors expressing the apparent value the engraved watch could hold… One of the previous watches in the set of six sold for $799,500 in 2012 and this was without a personalised engraving. What makes this year even more special is the 50th anniversary of the uber-famous racing film.

Here at Engravers Guild, we specialise in personalised engravings and also stock an extensive watch list for both male and female audiences. We use precision diamond-tipped cutters to engrave everlasting words that will carry their meaning for years to come.