Bonhams, Goodwood Revival, 12 September 2015
Sold for £10,000
The square-cased Heuer Monaco is undoubtedly a legend among driver’s chronographs, largely due to its cameo appearance on Steve McQueen’s wrist in the film Le Mans. But it genuinely was worn by F1 drivers, not least because – back in the early 1970s at least– there really was no other watch quite like it.
This 1970, reference 1133 example is one of the most collectable early models featuring the ground-breaking Calibre 11 movement (one of the first self-winding chronograph mechanisms) which had the distinctive feature of a left-hand crown. Heuer made a play of this in the watch’s advertising campaign, majoring on the fact that the only time a wearer need touch the crown would be when adjusting the time.
Consigned directly by the Italian racing driver Arturio Merzario , this watch is fitted with its original, beautifully made NSA Heuer bracelet which is also engraved with the driver’s name. One of Merzario’s greatest claims to fame, incidentally, is that he was the main person responsible for pulling Niki Lauda from the wreckage of his blazing Ferrari after his infamous crash at the Nurburgring Nordschleife during the 1976 German Grand Prix.