After one year since Paul Newman’s 'Paul Newman' Daytona sold for a record-shattering US$17.75m, Phillips New York is going to offer another iconic timepiece on 25th October this year. A Rolex Submariner owned and worn by the legendary Steve McQueen is up for auction with an estimate of US$300,000 - 600,000.
Steve McQueen has been revered as 'The King of Cool', dominating the big screen in the 60s and 70s. He became the highest-paid movie star in the world in 1974. His other popular films include Papillon, The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape.
Loren Janes passed away last year
Loren Janes as McQueen's stunt double
Steven McQueen couldn’t have made so many classic films without the support of his personal stuntman, Loren Janes. Of McQueen’s twenty-seven major motion pictures, Loren Janes was his stunt double in nineteen. Close friends for life, Janes and McQueen were in direct contact before McQueen’s final trip to Mexico for medical treatments.
During the 70s, McQueen gifted the present watch to Janes and inscribed on the caseback - O LOREN, THE BEST DAMN STUNTMAN IN THE WORLD. STEVE.
Rolex Submariner was a fitting gift to a man who had risked his life for McQueen on countless occasions. But this Submariner had a final and unbelievable stunt to perform, though off the wrist of its owner.
The wildfire outside of Los Angeles in 2016
In 2016, a wildfire outside of Los Angeles burned intensely for almost two weeks, destroying over 40,000 acres of land. Of the eighteen buildings destroyed, one of them was the home of Loren Janes and his wife. To the dismay of the Janes family, nearly all of their personal belongings and Loren Janes’ personal collection of film memorabilia were believed lost. But this Submariner miraculously ‘survived’ and was returned to Janes, whose family sent it to be examined and restored by Rolex U.S.A.
The watch will be sold with a letter signed by Loren Janes attesting to its provenance; a remarkable letter and photos from Rolex U.S.A. documenting its restoration while enthusiastically praising Loren Janes, Steve McQueen, and the resilience of this extraordinary Submariner; and a book titled Steve McQueen: A Life in Pictures, which includes photos of Steve McQueen wearing the watch.
Rolex Ref. 5513 - Steve McQueen's Submariner
Created in: circa 1964
Estimate: US$300,000 - 600,000
Auction house: Phillips New York
Auction date: 2018/10/25