Celebrating Monaco’s Past & The Present: Steve McQueen and Lewis Hamilton - The Duel
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the mythic Monaco, TAG Heuer has created Steve McQueen and Lewis Hamilton: The Duel, a cinematic showdown between Steve McQueen, the man who wore the iconic chronograph first, and Lewis Hamilton, the man who wears it now. The film uses advanced special effects to pit the two TAG Heuer ambassadors against each other in a virtual race on the storied track of Le Mans, where the Monaco first caught the world’s attention.
The Legend and the Virtuoso on the same track…
McQueen drives a Porsche Gulf 917K, as he did in his 1970 race film classic, Le Mans. On his wrist – the same Monaco he wore in the film, the blue-dialled, square-shaped icon that changed the face of Swiss watchmaking. Hamilton drives the single-seat McLaren in which he won the F1 World Drivers’ Championship in 2008. On his wrist – the Monaco LS Chronograph Calibre 12, the Monaco’s radically redesigned and seriously supercharged descendent.
Cutting-edge Editing Techniques
With the help of chroma key techniques, Hamilton and his racecar were integrated into the original footage of Le Mans. Max Casanova, the film Director hired by Digital District, the Paris-based post-production house who created the film, explained the technique: "We chose shots from Le Mans where we could swap in Lewis Hamilton in place of characters in the film who talk with Steve McQueen. We shot Lewis Hamilton from the same angles and with the same lighting, but in front of a green screen, so we could then integrate him into the original images. The same technique was used to key his F1 car into the driving scenes.”
The result is staggeringly realistic. The two men joust verbally before the race, then match each other curve for curve on the track.
But who wins?
Enter the contest at tagheuer.com and win a Monaco Gulf Limited Edition
“That’s the big, unanswered question,” said TAG Heuer President and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin after the first half of the film was screened at the BaselWorld fair on March 26. “Who wins? The legend or the virtuoso? The Porsche 917K or the McLaren? The marathon runner or the sprinter? The past or the present?“ The victor won’t be revealed until later. In the meantime, you can cast your vote for who wins at tagheuer.com. Each lucky winner drawn will receive a Monaco Gulf Limited Edition.
Lewis Hamilton: Movie Star?
It is the second time that Lewis Hamilton has shared the screen with an iconic TAG Heuer ambassador: he appeared alongside the brand’s long-time ambassador Tiger Woods in Knights of Modern Time in 2008.
“This time, though, it was so bizarre because, of course, Steve wasn’t there! But his spirit was incredibly present,” said Hamilton. “And I could definitely feel the atmosphere of the film, Le Mans. The best part for me was the challenge of rising to the occasion and completely throwing myself into this imaginary duel. I am no Leonardo DiCaprio - a TAG Heuer ambassador since January 2009 - , and believe me, acting is not my strong point, but I hope people will enjoy watching this movie. And who knows, my virtual encounter with Steve might change the way Hollywood sees me!