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Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, the world leader in watch auctions, has announced the sale of the Rolex Submariner bought by Steve McQueen in 1964. The actor gave it to Loren Janes, one of the most legendary Hollywood doubles, in Thank you sign. On the back is this recorded phrase: "To Loren, the best damn stuntman in the world. Steve" (For Loren, the best damn double in the world. Steve). From today it becomes the first watch with the name of McQueen that will be auctioned publicly.
McQueen was in the habit of giving watches to friends and colleagues, and it is more than understandable that Janes was the recipient of one of them, as he was the actor's favorite specialist for decades, appearing in 19 of his 27 most important films, including classics such as Bullitt, The Thomas Crown Case and The Great Evasion.
The double was in contact with McQueen until shortly before the actor's death in 1980, he retired in 2002, and died in 2017. A year before he died, Janes and his family suffered a forest fire in California that consumed his home. To the family's dismay, it was believed that almost all of his belongings, including Loren Janes' collection of movie memories, were lost.
However, the current consignment, who knew the resistance of the Rolex Submariner, encouraged the family to try to find the clock among the rubble. And they found it. It was sent to be examined and restored by Rolex USA, which took special care in documenting the restoration process and in preserving the invaluable watch case fund.
The watch has been carefully restored with a set of specific gears to recreate what it was like in 1964. But the inscription, the truly exceptional piece of this historically significant watch, remains intact, yes, even with soot.
Steve McQueen during the filming of Papillon © Getty Images
The Rolex Submariner Watch Reference 5513 that goes on auction is part of a lot that contains a letter signed by Loren Janes that proves its origin; the letter and photos of Rolex USA, documenting its restoration and a book entitled Steve McQueen: A Life in Pictures, which includes photos of Steve McQueen using the watch.
It also includes a gold Rolex Submariner dial and the needle set corresponding to its year of manufacture, purchased at a high price by the current owner to return the watch to its original configuration, as it would appear on McQueen's wrist in 1964.
A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit The Boys Republic, the McQueen family charity that rehabilitated it when it was young. Another additional part of the proceeds will go to the heirs of Loren Janes.
It is estimated that the watch and the accompanying documentation reach between $ 300, 000 and $ 600, 000. But everything is possible, since the Rolex Paul Newman Daytona reached in October last year the record figure of 15, 228, 095 euros! The McQueen Submariner model can easily be considered one of the most important vintage Rolex watches that has appeared on the market.
"For Loren, the best damn double in the world. Steve" reads the inscription of the Rolex Submariner © Phillips
But this Rolex Submariner, given by Steve McQueen to his double specialist Loren Janes is, apart from valuable, a tribute to these two inimitable men who made their art a cinematic journey.
THE KING OF COOL
Actor Steve McQueen (Beech Grove, Indiana, 1930 - Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, 1980), nicknamed 'The King of Cool' was made known by the popular television series Randall, the Justice (Wanted: Dead or Alive) of 1958 to 1961.
The actor never met his father, who abandoned his mother shortly before he was born, a fact that affected him throughout his life. He grew up in his uncle's house, in the state of Missouri, and at twelve he was a young rebel.
His uncle returned him to his mother's house in Los Angeles, but two years later he was sent to a reformatory. He soon abandoned him and wandered around to join the Marines in 1947. Five years later, he decided to become an actor and began studying at the famous Actor's Studio (New York).
The movie that made him a star was The Great Escape (1963). And three years later he was nominated for an Oscar for starring in the Yangtze in flames (1966), repeating with Bullit (1968). That same year he starred in another classic: The Case of Thomas Crown (1968). From then on, McQueen was combining action roles, such as in the car racing film Le Mans (1971), the box office La huida (1972) or Papillon (1973), demonstrating that besides being a star he was a good actor.
After El coloso en llamas, in which McQueen shared a poster with actors such as Paul Newman and William Holden, he retired for a few years from the cinema. He returned in 1978 to act in An enemy of the people, based on the homonymous work of Henrik Ibsen.
McQueen was a big fan of motorcycles and racing cars, like Paul Newman. He used to drive the vehicles himself in the chase scenes of his films, to such an extent that he seriously considered becoming a racing driver.
He was one of Bruce Lee's personal friends and trained in Jeet Kune Do. After 1978 McQueen starred in two more films, in one of which, Tom Horn, stands out for its excellent performance.
His sentimental life was unstable. He married his third and last wife, Barbara McQueen Brunsvold, in January 1980, ten months before he died. He was previously married to the actress Ali MacGraw and before with the mother of his two children, the actress and dancer Neile Adams.
He was on the famous blacklist of the sect of the murderer Charles Manson: 'The family'. As soon as he learned that his friend Sharon Tate had been killed and that he could be next, he bought a gun he always carried.
He died of lung cancer on November 7, 1980 at age 50, in Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua, Mexico). It is believed that his illness could be related to the inhalation of asbestos from cleaning the hulls of Navy ships.
McQueen used to drive the vehicles himself in his films © Phillips
TRAVEL THROUGH THEIR THREE BIG FILMS
Three of his greatest successes were shot in San Francisco, Boston and Munich. The streets of these cities witnessed the most famous persecutions and escapes in the history of cinema starring one of the actors that more - and better - were involved in them.
Bullitt was directed in 1968 by Peter Yates, with Steve McQueen in the lead role. The script, by Alan Trustman and Harry Kleiner, is based on the 1963 novel Mute Witness, by Robert L. Fish. The film, which won an Oscar for best editing, was a candidate for the best sound and is preserved in the archive of the Library of Congress of the United States.
It is remembered for the car chase through downtown San Francisco. Steve McQueen and his Ford Mustang go on the hunt for two assassins who escape in a Dodge Charger. So famous is this long sequence that has been honored in several subsequent productions, as well as television commercials.
San Francisco, like Los Angeles or New York, is a natural film set. In its streets so many films have been shot that it is impossible to walk through them without feeling the protagonist of the last box office … Especially if we are driving a car through its streets.
And it is that the majority of the cinematographic tourism in which we have participated during decades has been carried out, essentially, in vehicles. Many tourists visit Alcatraz, Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies, Pier 39 or the Fisherman's Wharf.
McQueen had a habit of giving watches to friends and colleagues, such as double Loren Janes © Phillips
However, we recommend adding a few stops to this essential itinerary. The best way to see and cross the Golden Gate is to rent a bicycle . If you have the strength, do not hesitate to follow the route to the beautiful town of Sausalito, where Hitchcock rolled Los Pájaros.
You can stop for a picnic with panoramic views of the bridge and the city or enjoy the huge gastronomic offer of Sausalito. Also, if you feel very tired you can always take the ferry back and enjoy the fantastic views of the bay and Alcatraz.
The popular Fisherman's Wharf jetty has a wide range of bars and restaurants, as well as food stands and a daily organic market. The best is to try the typical giant red crab from California or the Clam Chowder: a soup made with potatoes, milk and clams that is served in the typical Boudin bread made with sour dough. You can also go to the Gary Danko restaurant , an entire institution in San Francisco.
A great choice if you are looking for an elegant dinner for a special occasion. If you decide to spend the night, you can do it at the most emblematic hotel in the city, The Westin St. Francis. Located in Union Square, it houses the historic Magneta Grandfather Clock and is located in front of a cable car stop.
The Caruso serves coffee in the morning and The Oak Room restaurant serves American dishes for dinner. The Clock Bar also opens every night and offers exclusive cocktails, while Chateau Montelena organizes wine tastings from this award-winning winery in the Napa Valley.
Steve McQueen in Bullitt (1968) © Getty Images
The Case of Thomas Crown (1968) tells the story of a Boston millionaire who, out of boredom and to escape the routine, steals a bank and then leaves for Brazil. An insurance investigator suspects that he is the culprit, but he has to prove it.
Filming was mainly done outdoors in Boston and areas around Massachusetts and New Hampshire. McQueen made his own scenes playing polo and driving a buggy at full speed on the beach in Massachusetts.
Since the famous tea riot in 1773, Boston has been the site of many important events that shaped American history before and after the independence of the United States, so it is not surprising how many historical monuments to visit.
In addition, it is easy to get away from New York to the capital of the state of New England, something that many of those who visit the Big Apple do. You can visit the areas of Boston Common (the park that has become famous for Ally McBeal) and Beacon Hill, a historic neighborhood full of beautiful streets and brick houses, and more than 30 locations during a fascinating walking tour of film and television .
Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in The Case of Thomas Crown (1968) © Getty Images
You can go to the location of the car accident in Fly through the air, directed by directed by Stephen Hopkins in 1994, visit one of the mafia booths frequented by Jack Nicholson in The infiltrators or take a photo at the locations of The Indomitable Will Hunting .
In addition to the movie and television stages, you can tour the most prominent places in Boston's history, such as Boston Public Garden, Massachusetts State House, Brewer Fountain, Park Street Station (the first US subway station) and Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
At the heart of the Boston West End is the Liberty Hotel, which was once a prison. For many it is the hotel with the best views of the city and the Charles River. The building, built in 1850, has even a ghost that they say roams its halls …
In the best case, you will always have the latest generation fness, bike rental, free yoga classes and the famous Clink restaurant with its varied menu of typical American dishes, with the right point of sophistication.
In Boston you can visit one of the mafia booths frequented by Jack Nicholson in The infiltrators or take a photo at the locations of The Indomitable Will Hunting © Getty Images
The Great Evasion (1963) is about a group of English and North American officers who are prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp and who organize a leak in which two hundred and fifty prisoners will be involved.
The film was entirely filmed in Europe, in a field near Munich similar to the construction of the prison camp in the Second World War of Stalag Luft III in Poland. The exteriors of the escape sequences were shot in Rhine Country and in areas near the North Sea, and McQueen's motorcycle scenes were shot in Fussen, on the Austrian border, and in the Alps.
C. Wallace Floody, a mining engineer before the war and one of the main responsible for the construction of the tunnels, left his life as a businessman to devote himself to advise the pre-production of the film.
He chose the exteriors near Munich for many of the scenes of the film because they were considered quite similar to the Sagan area, where the authentic Stalag Luft lll was located, although at the time of filming this area already belonged to Poland and was called Zagan.
Although Munich is a city that can be visited on a weekend, if you have more time you can rent a car and make a route through the area of Bavaria where the film was filmed and visit its fairytale villages.
Another good option is to make day trips from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle or to the Dachau concentration camp .
If you opt for Munich city, you can take a tour of history and gastronomy, especially for beer. Odeonsplatz is one of the most famous sites in Munich. In that same building, Hitler was arrested in 1923. However, years later, when he came to power, he made Odeonsplatz a Nazi sanctuary. Those who were not related to the regime took another path to avoid passing by. Today there is no trace of that black past and it is a very interesting building.
Munich can be visited on a weekend but if you have more time, do not hesitate to make a route throughout Bavaria! © Getty Images
Another place of interest is the Baroque-style Nymphenburg Palace, which was the summer residence of the governors of Bavaria, or the Munich Opera House, the largest in the country and one of the most imposing in Europe.
If you are a speed lover, like McQueen, you will know the great car tradition of the city. As a Bavarian brand that is BMW, it has many museums dedicated to it. The best is the BMW Welt, a free exhibition where you can see cars of the brand. However, you can also visit the BMW museum, which is right next door, even if it is paid, and hallucinate with the company's offices.
Munich is also famous for its restaurants and breweries. The Hofbräuhaus de Platz is a tavern and inn famous not only for its dimensions (the ground floor can accommodate a thousand people), but for the relationship it has with the Third Reich. Hitler gave in this brewery one of his first political speeches, which has gone down in history as the founding act of the Nazi party.
Empress Sissí, Mozart and Lenin have also been here … They currently say that more than two million people pass through HB (as it is known in the city) a year and that more than ten thousand liters of beer are consumed daily. You can end this film tour with a movie hotel: Mandarin Oriental, Louis Hotel, Beyond by Geisel will make you dream even for a while before returning to reality …
The Rolex Submariner is the first watch with the name of McQueen publicly auctioned © Getty Images