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The Heuer Monaco 1133B: Le Mans & McQueen

In the world of horology, some watches stand out not just for their craftsmanship but also for the stories they carry. The Heuer Monaco 1133B is one such timepiece, etching its place in history through its connection to the iconic actor Steve McQueen and the cult classic racing film "Le Mans."

The Heuer Monaco 1133B rose to stardom with the release of "Le Mans," a film that not only showcased the intensity of motor-racing but also cemented Steve McQueen's status as the "King of Cool." What made this watch so special in the movie? It was its unconventional square case and distinctive design that made it a standout accessory on McQueen's wrist. This watch became synonymous with McQueen's image and the golden age of racing.

In the movie, the Heuer Monaco wasn't just a prop; it played a significant role on and off the screen. The watch's distinctive appearance was featured prominently in advertising material for "Le Mans," adding to its allure.

Behind the scenes of "Le Mans," there was another hero: Haig Alltounian, the chief mechanic responsible for keeping the high-speed racing sequences safe and spectacular. His role was pivotal as the film's exotic prototype racers, including Porsche's 917, regularly hit triple-digit speeds on set. It was a dangerous job, and one stunt driver even lost a leg during filming. McQueen recognised the importance of Alltounian's work and, at the conclusion of the movie, gifted him one of just six Heuer Monacos used in the film. The watch was not just a token of appreciation; it was a symbol of gratitude. McQueen had the caseback engraved with the words, "To Haig Le Mans 1970," encapsulating the intense bond forged during the making of the movie. It was a heartfelt gesture that connected the watch even more deeply to the world of racing and cinema.

Steve McQueen wearing the Heuer Monaco on the set of Le Mans in 1970

Alltounian's Journey: From Racing to Hollywood

Haig Alltounian's story is just as remarkable as the watch itself. A racing enthusiast from California, Alltounian started his journey in amateur racing with a 1959 Porsche RSK Spider. When his racing funds ran low, he found himself on the assembly line at Shelby America, working on the iconic 289 Cobra. His life took a thrilling turn when he was hired in Shelby's racing division just two weeks later. Years down the line, Alltounian joined Dan Gurney's All-American Racers team, a move that cemented his place in the motorsport world. During his time there, he served as Denny Hulme's race mechanic for the 1968 Indy 500 and maintained a long-lasting friendship with the racing legend. Alltounian's expertise and connections led to him working with John Von Neumann's Competition Motors racing team, where he served as the chief mechanic for legendary drivers like Ken Miles and Richie Ginther. In 1970, Alltounian received a unique offer from McQueen's production company: to act as the chief mechanic on the set of "Le Mans" and help McQueen prepare for racing scenes. The collaboration between McQueen and Alltounian extended to the track, where they participated in the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring and secured an impressive second place finish in a Porsche 908/02.

The Heuer Monaco 1133B that McQueen gifted to Alltounian carried with it an incredible history that few watches can rival. Its association with a Hollywood legend, its role in a classic racing film, and its connection to the dedicated mechanic who helped ensure McQueen's safety during filming all add layers of significance. In 2020, this iconic watch, which had witnessed high-speed runs down Le Mans's Mulsanne and held a special place in the heart of Hollywood history, went up for auction at Phillips. Its final selling price? An astounding $2,208,000.

Heuer 1133B from McQueen to Haug 1970

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11

The design of the current-day Monaco Calibre 11 remains faithful to its groundbreaking roots. It boasts a striking blue dial with horizontal steel indexes that provide a classic and timeless appeal. The silver sub-dials for the chronograph minutes and hours add functionality, while the date display at 6 o'clock and the bold red chronograph hand give it a racing-inspired touch. To complete its racing style, this watch comes with a black calfskin leather strap. What sets it apart is a special finish inspired by the asphalt of racetracks, adding a unique and sporty dimension to its design.

In terms of technical specifications, the Monaco Calibre 11 features a 39 mm case diameter with a thickness of 14.3 mm, striking a balance between a substantial presence and comfortable wear. The lugs distance measures 22 mm, and it offers water resistance up to 100 meters, making it suitable for everyday wear and some water-related activities.

The case itself is constructed from steel with a fine-brushed and polished finish, combining durability with an elegant appearance. The steel bezel is fixed, and the watch features a steel crown. The caseback is made of sapphire and steel, allowing for a clear view of the movement.

Under the hood, the watch is powered by the namesake Calibre 11 automatic movement, known for its reliability and precision. It offers a power reserve of approximately 40 hours and operates at a balance frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz). Functionally, the Monaco Calibre 11 includes hours, minutes, and seconds hands, along with a chronograph function that provides 1/4-second precision and a 30-minute counter. The date display is positioned at 6 o'clock, enhancing its practicality.


Available Now

The TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211P.FC6356 stands as a true icon in the world of horology. Its history is richly adorned with watchmaking collaborations, memorable film and television appearances, and famed iterations that have shattered auction records. At MVS Watches, we invite you to immerse yourself in the essence of motorsport and avant-garde elegance through this exceptional timepiece, which serves as a genuine tribute to design, craftsmanship, and innovation. Discover the allure of this unworn, preowned TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211P.FC6356 in the link below:

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 on a black cushion with shadow background


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