Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona: The Iconic Watch Linked to Hollywood Royalty


Greetings watch enthusiasts! Today, we’re taking a closer look at one of the most iconic timepieces in the world – the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona. For many, this watch has come to represent the ultimate in style, luxury, and speed. The model even takes its name from the famous Daytona International Speedway in Florida. But it’s not just the watch’s design and performance that have made it a true classic. The fact that it was owned by Hollywood icon Steve McQueen has turned the Rolex Daytona into a legendary piece of pop culture history. In this article, we’ll delve into the history and allure of the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

History of the Rolex Daytona

Rolex introduced the Daytona model in 1963, targeting race car drivers and motorsport enthusiasts. It came equipped with a tachymeter scale on its bezel, allowing drivers to measure their average speed over a given distance. The watch quickly became a favorite among professional drivers, including many winners of the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

However, it wasn’t until the early 1970s that the Daytona gained mainstream popularity. That’s when Steve McQueen was spotted wearing one on the set of his film “Le Mans.” The watch instantly became a symbol of style and masculinity, with many people referring to it as the “Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona.”

Now, the watch is considered a must-have for collectors and enthusiasts around the world. Due to its popularity, Rolex has released countless variations of the Daytona, with new colorways, materials, and features. However, the original steel version with black and white chronograph counters remains the most sought-after.

Steve McQueen and the Rolex Daytona

Steve McQueen is widely regarded as one of the coolest and most iconic actors of all time. He starred in countless classic films, including “The Great Escape,” “Bullitt,” and of course, “Le Mans.” The latter film was a passion project for McQueen, who had a deep love for auto racing.

On the set of “Le Mans,” McQueen was spotted wearing his trusty Rolex Daytona. The watch became an instant sensation, with many people scrambling to get their hands on one. McQueen even wore the watch in the film itself, solidifying its status as a cultural icon.

However, McQueen’s watch wasn’t just a fashion accessory. As we mentioned earlier, the Rolex Daytona was a favorite among professional drivers due to its tachymeter scale. McQueen himself was an accomplished racer, and he often participated in races when he wasn’t filming. So, it’s safe to say that his Daytona saw some serious action.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona


Advantages Description
Iconic Design The Rolex Daytona is one of the most recognizable watches in the world, with a design that has stood the test of time.
High-Quality Materials Rolex is known for using only the finest materials in its watches, ensuring that they are both durable and luxurious.
Excellent Performance The Daytona is equipped with a precision chronograph movement that is accurate and reliable, making it a favorite among racers and watch aficionados alike.
Status Symbol Owning a Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona is a status symbol that sets you apart from the crowd and shows that you have impeccable taste.


While the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona is certainly a fantastic watch in many respects, there are a few drawbacks to consider as well.

For starters, the watch is quite expensive, with some models fetching tens of thousands of dollars on the secondary market. This makes it difficult for many people to justify owning one, especially given the current economic climate.

Additionally, the watch’s popularity means that it can be difficult to get your hands on one. Authorized Rolex dealers often have waiting lists for the Daytona, and many models are only available through private sales or auctions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona so special?

The Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona is special because it combines iconic design, high-quality materials, and excellent performance into one package. Additionally, the fact that it was owned by a Hollywood legend like McQueen only adds to its allure.

What is a tachymeter scale, and how does it work?

A tachymeter scale is a feature that allows you to measure your speed over a given distance. On the Daytona, the scale is located on the bezel and is used in conjunction with the chronograph function. To use it, simply start the chronograph at the beginning of the distance and stop it at the end. The scale will then show you your average speed in units per hour.

Can you still buy a Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona?

While the original Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona is no longer in production, you can still buy newer versions of the watch that pay homage to the original. These models often feature similar design elements and color schemes, but with modern updates and improvements.

How do you know if a Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona is authentic?

To ensure that you’re buying an authentic Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona, be sure to purchase from an authorized Rolex dealer or reputable seller. Look for serial numbers and paperwork that prove the watch’s authenticity, and be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

What is the resale value of a Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona?

The resale value of a Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona can vary widely depending on the model, condition, and rarity. However, most models hold their value well and can even appreciate over time.

Can you wear a Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona every day?

While the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona is certainly durable enough to be worn every day, many collectors prefer to keep it in their collection as a special occasion watch. Additionally, the watch’s value and rarity make it a prime target for theft or loss.


As we’ve seen, the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona is a watch that represents the ultimate in style, luxury, and performance. Thanks to its association with Hollywood royalty and the world of motorsports, it has become a true cultural icon. Whether you’re a collector, racer, or simply a fan of beautiful timepieces, the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona is a watch that deserves a place in your collection.

So, what are you waiting for? Head to your nearest Rolex dealer or reputable seller and see if you can get your hands on one of these legendary watches today.

Closing or Disclaimer

In conclusion, we hope that this article has provided you with a comprehensive overview of the Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona and its history. While we’ve tried to be as accurate and informative as possible, please note that the information provided in this article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Additionally, we cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information provided. Finally, if you do decide to purchase a Steve McQueen Rolex Daytona, be sure to do your research and only buy from trusted sources. Happy collecting!