In the 1971 action film, Le Mans, Steve McQueen's character, Michael Delaney, is seen wearing a Tag (Heuer had not yet been purchased) Monaco chronograph. Tag Heuer, to this day, has continued to use Steve's image in various marketing campaigns to aid in selling the classic blue-faced model, which holds the claim of "the world's first automatic chronograph". It is important to note that while the on screen McQueen is associated with the brand, he never wore Tag off screen.
In his "real" life McQueen's preferred brand of timepiece was Rolex. In fact, Rolex has its own McQueen "signature" watch, the Explorer II aka "The McQueen Rolex". This watch is highly sought after today due to its rarity and exclusivity (it was discontinued in 1985). The watch, itself, is a very handsome model and comes equipped with the much coveted orange 24 hour hand. Though McQueen did wear his Explorer II off screen his favorite watch was something a little different.
Similar in design to the Explorer II, the Rolex Submariner was McQueen's go to. This particular Submariner, available exclusively in the UK and produced from 1959 through 1978, was truly Steve's everyday watch. It was what McQueen "the man" not "the actor on the silver screen" wore on a daily basis. All McQueen connections aside, the Rolex Submariner is a beautiful timepiece that embodies the classical and understated nature of all the things that I love. McQueen realized this too and put on his Submariner everyday because of it.
[Editor's Note: Notice how McQueen, who was left handed, wears his watch on his right wrist.]