McQueen’s Other Watch


Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

One of the important aspects of Steve McQueen’s longevity as an icon of rugged elegance is that he was born with style

long before he had the cash to buy up Rolexes and Ferraris he was into functional, good-looking clothes and accessories – though he never would have called them that – and always bought the best he could afford at the time. In his early days in Hollywood, when he first began pulling down some scratch but was many years away from becoming the highest paid actor in town, his watch of choice was a simple, elegant Hanhart Aviator Chronograph, handsome and tough enough to wear on his motorcycle rides and endurance races but by no means a piece of showy man jewelry.


In fact it wasn’t even made in Switzerland; Hanhart was a German manufacturer that specialized in producing shockproof, antimagnetic chronographs for the German Air Force, including the Luftwaffe in World War II and later the West German Air Force in the 1950s; it was one of the latter models McQueen adopted for his own use. If you can find one of the relatively rare pieces today, they have not suffered the same rampant inflation as other McQueen-related paraphernalia; $3,500 or so should net you an extremely clean example, like this one on 1st Dibs. And because McQueen never threw something good out just because he could afford better, the Hanhart popped up on his wrist from time to time throughout his colorful career. A lesson for us all…


Words by JPS for duncan quinn