The REAL Steve McQueen Rolex Explained: Boxes & Papers Included, Orange Hand Not

So you say you wanna be like Steve McQueen, eh?  Judging from the number of posts talking about this man on our blogging brethrens websites, we have to say he's as much of a men's style icon as he is anything else at this point, and the Wall Street Journal tends to agree.  Sure, McQueen had those Persol Sunglasses, and that Heuer Monaco, but in reality he only wore that while filming.  Then there is McQueen's connection to Rolex, superseded only by his good buddy Paul Newman's connection with the watchmaker. 

For years and years collectors called the original Rolex Explorer II (ref 1655) the "Steve McQueen Explorer", after someone had been told that this was the timepiece Steve wore on a day to day basis.  The supposed McQueen connection coupled with that bright orange 24-hour hand caused this model to absolutely sky-rocket in price.  The funny thing is, McQueen never wore this watch, and was certainly never photographed wearing it.

What McQueen ACTUALLY wore was the higher grade (chronometer rated) version of your typical no-date Submariner, a watch called the Reference 5512 Submariner (the most common, non-chronometer rated Subs are ref 5513).  How do we know he wore a 5512 Sub?  Well, there are about 23,000 pictures of him wearing it.  And he even wore it in his final film, the Hunter. 

McQueen's Final Scene In His Final Film, Wearing The Reference 5512 Submariner

We also know that McQueen wore a 5512 Submariner because just last year Antiquorum sold his actual Rolex for an astounding $234,000.  Since that sale, the desirability of the rare 5512 Submariner has gone up considerably, while the "Orange Hand" has seen prices slide.  The 5512 Submariner is much harder to come by than your typical 5513, and if you want to do your best King of Cool, you'd better make it an early 70s "4-line" version.  Lucky for you, we exist.

The watch we have found today is something you just don't see every day.  It is indeed a 4-Line Submariner 5512 just like McQueen wore every day of his life, but it also happens to come with all original boxes and documentation.  This means with this McQueen Submariner you're getting set of open perforated papers, Rolex service booklet, service papers, chronometer certification and original box.  All are dated 1972, just like the caseback of the watch, and what makes this better than even Steve's watch sold last year is that the hands, dial, and pearl are lightly and evenly faded. The only downside of this sale is that it does not include a bracelet, but you can easiliy throw on an inexpensive NATO strap and you're cooking with gas.

This amazing 1970s Rolex Submariner 5512 set is being offered at a shade under $9000, which, considering that this is actually the model Rolex Steve McQueen wore, seems pretty fair.  This is an investment grade Sub, and if you fancy yourself the reincarnation of McQueen, this is what needs to be on your wrist.  Click here for details.