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Watches of the King of Cool

by Michael Weare
31 May, 2012
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

The King of Cool Steve McQueen

If, as you do, you have that unofficial feeling that you might be Steve McQueen, then The King of Cool.com is the perfect site for you. It’s not only all about the legend that was Steve McQueen, it actually allows you, in exchange for hard currency, to vicariously live the Steve McQueen lifestyle. Even though in reality, you would never look anything like as cool living it. No one could.

Whether it was carefully cultivated, or just a casual coincidence, Steve McQueen did exude a massive amount of classic cool that has very rarely been equalled – certainly not by any celebrity living today. Unfortunately for living celebrities, the ceaseless paparazzi fest that deliberately seeks to capture them at their lowest moments stumbling out of bars or ranting uncomprehendingly at press intrusion, robs them of that essential element of cool.

On The King of Cool.com, in addition to a host of more coffee table style books on the man than you could ever dream possible, there is also the opportunity to emulate the late Mr. McQueen in more practical ways.

Steve McQueen Dust Jacket

Barbour Steve McQueen Dust Jacket

 

There’s the Barbour Steve McQueen Dust jacket black; a retro motorcycling jacket which undoubtedly does have a cool, rebellious look about it. It’s made from a heavy duty cotton; with a half height lining in the back that is printed with an image of McQueen jumping on his Triumph TR6. Now the question is, is it cool to have your hero imprinted on your jacket?

Steve McQueen Titus Check Shirt

 

Steve  McQueen Titus Check Shirt

Another faithful recreation of the Steve McQueen look is the Barbour Steve McQueen Titus check shirt. Now, not a lot of people know this, (a line borrowed from a film idol contemporary of Steve McQueen, Michael Caine, even though he never actually said it) but Steve McQueen’s wife Barbara said that he would often spend hours sat in his old chair in the yard sifting through the small ads in the back of the local papers looking for bargains, and instead of popping down to Rodeo Drive for his clothes, he was happy buying shirts and pants that were on promotion at his local JC Penney. What on you or I would look shopping mall monotonous, instantly became iconic if Steve McQueen wore it.

Frank Bullitt Jacket

 

Frank Bullitt jacket

 

 

Now we come to a truly classic item from Steve McQueen’s wardrobe, an impeccably faithful reproduction of the herringbone jacket he wore in Bullitt. The site owner got a Savile Row tailor to watch the movie with him and take copious notes about the cloth, cutting and style so as to reproduce this wonderful replica. The pockets are at the correct angle and positioned where they should be. There’s also a small flapped ticket pocket on the right. As the site owner explains, a subtle touch that only the keenest of eyes would spot is that McQueen’s Frank Bullitt jacket had what in the tailoring world is known as a ‘swelled’ edge.

 

Steve McQueen watches

Steve McQueen Tag Heuer Monaco

 

For watch and Steve McQueen followers, there’s even a Frank Bullitt watch, modelled on a Vietnam veterans watch, the implication being perhaps he was ex-military. The watch itself was produced to a specification for infantry watches known as MIL-W-3818B and they were made by Hamilton, Bulova and Benrus.

Steve McQueen Frank Bullitt watch

Frank Bullitt watch

 

 

 

Of course Steve McQueen wore many watches, including the famous Tag Heuer Monaco with blue matte dial, and the Rolex Submariner ref 5512.

Hanhart 417 chronograph

Hanhart 417 Chronograph

 

Perhaps less known is the Hanhart 417, a relatively rare watch. It is estimated that only 500 were made in either pure stainless steel (reference 417ES) or chromed brass (reference 417). A small number were made with white dials for the medical service. Well, The King of Cool.com, clearly sticklers for detail, have – or rather had because it is sold out, a faithful reproduction of this watch by Hanhart. Once again, Hanhart reintroduced the watch in ‘leave ‘em wanting more’ quantities. This apparently was McQueen’s watch of choice while motorcycle trialling.

Steve McQueen 1968 Mustang GT Bullitt

1968 Mustang GT Bullitt

 

 

Finally, if you really must have all the toys, literally, a must have is the Frank Bullitt/Steve McQueen 1968 Mustang GT Bullitt 1:18. It’s a brand new die cast model. For a number of technical reasons which you can pore over on the site, the 1:18 model made by a company called Greenland is nerdishly and slavishly accurate to the real thing. It’s a cool model for sure, but probably a little too McQueen collectible to be genuinely cool.

 

Hanhart 417 Chronograph watch picture courtesy of heuerville.wordpress.com

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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