Patrick Dempsey on his love for watches and his passion for car racing

It might be fair to say that Patrick Dempsey is the Steve McQueen of today: It's not just their movie-star good looks we're talking about, nor their impressive marks on the entertainment industry. Like McQueen, Dempsey has a passion for speed, for beautiful and powerful vintage cars, and for the timeless and equally as thrilling Monaco watch.

To celebrate 50 years of the timepiece, we caught up with the "Grey's Anatomy" actor to talk about his love of racing, his long history with Tag Heuer and where his love of watches spurred from. 

You've been a fan of watches for years. Where do you think that love originates from? 

It started more with my father, I remember him loving watches. As a man, there's only so much you can wear. And certainly with a watch and motorsports, it kind of all comes together. 

From the mechanisms to the aesthetics, they all tell a story. Any pieces in your collection that speak to you the most? 

Certainly, the Monocao watch, because Steve McQueen's Le Mans. Being at Le Mans multiple times, racing there, having the watch on as a sponsor means a lot to me. The history of the brand, getting to know Jack Heuer... and also on the creative side, allowing to be a filmmaker and to be able to shoot there with Jack. So creatively as a sportsman and as an ambassador and the quality of the experience I've had with them over the past five years, I've gotten a lot out of it on a personal level. I'm proud to be a part of it. 

45 PHOTOS
Patrick Dempsey's love for racing and cars
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Patrick Dempsey's love for racing and cars
BOWMANVILLE, ON - JULY 12: Patrick Dempsey walks through the paddock before practice for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Mosport Park on July 12, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)
Actor and race car driver Patrick Dempsey walks through the grid before his race during Lone Star Le Mans on September 19, 2015 in Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro/Corbis via Getty Images)
MONACO - JUNE 12: TAG Heuer Ambassador and actor Patrick Dempsey visits the Car Collection of Prince Albert of Monaco and inaugurate the renovated map of Albert 1er, ancestor of Prince Albert II of Monaco. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for TAG Heuer)
SOUTH PORTLAND, ME - JULY 15: Patrick Dempsey at the all Porsche car show to benefit the Dempsey Center at Bug Light Park. The Dempsey Center provides free support services to anyone impacted by cancer. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
SOUTH PORTLAND, ME - JULY 15: Patrick Dempsey looks inside of a vintage Porsche during a Porsche car show to benefit the Dempsey Center at Bug Light Park. The Dempsey Center provides free support services to anyone impacted by cancer. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
WESTERLAND, GERMANY - MARCH 31: Hollywood actor and racecar driver Patrick Dempsey with Porsche 91the 1 RS 2.7 prior to the Grand Opening of "Porsche auf Sylt" on March 31, 2017 in Westerland, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images For Porsche)
WESTERLAND, GERMANY - MARCH 31: Hollywood actor and racecar driver Patrick Dempsey with Porsche 91the 1 RS 2.7 prior to the Grand Opening of "Porsche auf Sylt" on March 31, 2017 in Westerland, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images For Porsche)
WESTERLAND, GERMANY - APRIL 01: Jens Puttfarcken (L), CEO Porsche Deutschland GmbH talks to Hollywood actor and racecar driver Patrick Dempsey and Porsche Brand Ambassador Mark Webber (R) at the brand experience destination "Porsche auf Sylt" during the Grand Opening on April 1, 2017 in Westerland, Germany. German car manufacturer Porsche has opened a new brand experience destination on the German island of Sylt. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images For Porsche)
WESTERLAND, GERMANY - APRIL 01: Porsche Brand Ambassador Mark Webber drives with Hollywood actor and racecar driver Patrick Dempsey a Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS during the Grand Opening of "Porsche auf Sylt" on April 1, 2017 in Westerland, Germany. German car manufacturer Porsche has opened a new brand experience destination on the German island of Sylt. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images For Porsche)
Us's actor Patrick Dempsey, owner of Proton Dempsey Racing, looks on from the pit area during the 84th Le Mans 24-hours endurance race, in which the team's Porsche 911 RSR N° 89 participates, on June 19, 2016 in Le Mans, western France. - Porsche snatched their 18th Le Mans 24 Hour Race victory with the Porsche 919 Hybrid N°2 in the most dramatic of circumstances after Toyota suffered engine failure with just three minutes left on June 19, 2016. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Patrick Dempsey (C) poses with Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (R) and Infiniti Red Bull Racing's German driver Max Verstappen (L) at the Monaco street circuit, on May 29, 2016 in Monaco, ahead of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. / AFP / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET (Photo credit should read JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)
Actor and race car driver Patrick Dempsey walks through the grid before his race during Lone Star Le Mans on September 19, 2015 in Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro/Corbis via Getty Images)
October 4 2014: Actor Patrick Dempsey's helmet on top of his car before the Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda, the season-ending IMSA race in the TUDOR United SportsCar Challenge series held at Road Atlanta in Braselton Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Snook/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
US Actor Patrick Dempsey (Porsche 911 RSR N°77 ) waits in his car during the warm-up of the 82th Le Mans 24 hours endurance race, on June 14, 2014 in Le Mans, western France. Fifty-four cars with162 drivers will participate on June 14 and 15 in the Le Mans 24-hours endurance race. AFP PHOTO / JEAN FRANCOIS MONIER (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 04: Patrick Dempsey unveils the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR as his team is selected to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the press day of the 84th International Motor Show which will showcase novelties of the car industry on March 4, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 04: Patrick Dempsey unveils the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR as his team is selected to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the press day of the 84th International Motor Show which will showcase novelties of the car industry on March 4, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)
MONTEREY, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: Patrick Dempsey Watches from the pits during practice for the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 7, 2012 in Monterey, California. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)
American actor Patrick Dempsey (R) and one of his co-drivers, US' Joe Foster pose beside their car during the technical audits of le Mans 24 hours endurance race, on June 16, 2013 in Le Mans, western France. Patrick Dempsey will participate his second 24 hours endurance race on June 22 and 23 in a Porsche 911 GT3 N°77 of Team Dempsey/ Del Piero, with his teammates US' Joe Foster and Patrick Long. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER (Photo credit should read jean francois monier/AFP/Getty Images)
MONTEREY, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Patrick Dempsey poses for a photo with a fan during an autograph session before the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 8, 2012 in Monterey, California. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: Executive Chairman of McLaren Automotive Ron Dennis and actor Patrick Dempsey attend the McLaren Beverly Hills Grand Opening Party at McLaren Beverly Hills on January 10, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Mathew Imaging/WireImage)
LEXINGTON, OH - JUNE 08: Patrick Dempsey is shown in the pits during practice for the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 8, 2012 in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)
March 31 2012: Owner and racer for Dempsey Racing, Patrick Dempsey prepares for the Grand-Am Rolex Series race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL. (Photo by Michael Chang/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: Actor Patrick Dempsey and Executive Chairman of McLaren Automotive Ron Dennis attend the McLaren Beverly Hills Grand Opening Party at McLaren Beverly Hills on January 10, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Mathew Imaging/WireImage)
MILLVILLE, NJ - JULY 22: Actor Patrick Dempsey watches practice for the American Red Cross 250 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car race at New Jersey Motorsports Park on July 22, 2011 in Millville, New Jersey. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)
MONTEREY, CA - JULY 08: Patrick Dempsey walks through the paddock during practice for the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on July 8, 2011 in Monterey, California. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JULY 7: (L - R) Actor/race car driver Patrick Dempsey, Fuzzy Zoeller and Scott Pruett pose for a photo at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as part of the Nature Valley First Tee Open held at Pebble Beach Golf Links on July 7, 2011 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 29: Actor Patrick Dempsey attends the IZOD Presents Hot Wheels Fearless at the 500 world record trophy truck jump prior to the IZOD IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
30 January 2011: Actor/driver Patrick Dempsey celebrates his first podium finish, Rolex 24 at Daytona, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL (Photo by Brian Cleary/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, FL - OCTOBER 10: Actor Patrick Dempsey is sighted at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 10, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, FL - OCTOBER 10: Actor Patrick Dempsey is sighted at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 10, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, FL - OCTOBER 09: Driver/actor Patrick Dempsey is sighted at Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 9, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, FL - OCTOBER 09: Driver/actor Patrick Dempsey is sighted at Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 9, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
©2009 RAMEY PHOTO US ONLY Spain, Sept 25, 2009 PATRICK DEMPSEY in Madrid promoting a new Subaru car. PGta68
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04: Actor Patrick Dempsey, driver for Dempsey Racing, signs autographs for fans prior to the start of the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2009 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04: Actor Patrick Dempsey, driver of Dempsey Racing, talks to a crew member after strapping into his car prior to the start of the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
©2009 RAMEY PHOTO EXCLUSIVE! BEVERLY HILLS, 4/17/09 PATRICK DEMPSEY had a business meeting in Century City. He was driving a Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona. It was made in late 60's and it was a very limited edition. It's worth about one million US dollars. JIB-BNSA (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
©2009 RAMEY PHOTO US, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZELAND, AND SOUTH AFRICA ONLY! BEVERLY HILLS, 2/2/09 PATRICK DEMPSEY DRIVING AROUND IN HIS CLASSIC CONVERTIBLE. MMK (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
©2009 RAMEY PHOTO US, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZELAND, AND SOUTH AFRICA ONLY! BEVERLY HILLS, 2/2/09 PATRICK DEMPSEY DRIVING AROUND IN HIS CLASSIC CONVERTIBLE. MMK (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
Driver and television actor Patrick Dempsey gives the 'thumbs up' to a group of fans from his pit during the first day of practice for the Rolex 24 hour auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, Thursday, January 22, 2009. Dempsey is driving with Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster for Dempsey Racing in the Rolex 24 Hour auto race at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday, January 24, 2009. (Photo by Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
Photo © 2008: Maria Loreto/The Grosby Group Los Angeles, Nov. 24,2008 PATRICK DEMPSEY leaves his agents office building driving a Classic Jaguar XK120. PGmlv6 (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 10: Patrick Dempsey sighting on October 10, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photos by David Aguilera/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
LONDON - APRIL 21: Patrick Dempsey and a Maserati Quattroporte car as he attends the Made of Honour celebrity screening held at the Soho Hotel on April 21, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 26: Actor Patrick Dempsey makes an appearance prior to the start of the Rolex 24 automobile race at the Daytona International Speedway on January 26, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Daly/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 26: Actor Patrick Dempsey makes an appearance prior to the start of the Rolex 24 automobile race at the Daytona International Speedway on January 26, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Daly/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 26: Actor Patrick Dempsey makes an appearance prior to the start of the Rolex 24 automobile race at the Daytona International Speedway on January 26, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Daly/Getty Images)
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Do you look for the same things in cars as you do watches? 

Most of the cars I collect now are Porsche, because of my relationship with them. The same goes for the Heuer watches -- the Autavia, the Monaco watches and the Carrera -- and in having those, it's really the specific history in what they represent from the point of view of Jack Heuer and when he introduced them and the impact he had within the watch community at the time.  

And I feel that it's important that I invest in the brand that's investing in me to understand and respect the history. 

Is this a love you're passing on to your kids as well? 

Yes. They're starting to get it. But you know, everybody uses iPhones! To get the boys to wear watches is really good. And to even get them to tell time! It's the purpose of it! 

It's a conversation piece, too. Especially with the Monaco watch...everybody loves the Monaco watch. 

33 PHOTOS
Steve McQueen's racing past
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Steve McQueen's racing past
American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) with his son Chad at the California-500 Indycar race in Ontario, California, September 1971. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) with his daughter Terry (1959 - 1998) at a California-500 Indycar race in Ontario, California, circa 1973. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) at the 50th Grand Prix of Endurance Le Mans during the making of 'The 24 Hours Of Le Mans'. Original Publication: People Disc - HJ0452 (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen on the set of the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images) (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen on the set of the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images) (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen with young fans on the set of the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images) (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen on the set of the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images) (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen on the set of the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images) (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen on the set of the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images) (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen relaxes as he stars in the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen relaxes with his son Chad as he stars in the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen relaxes with his son Chad as he stars in the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Actor Steve McQueen relaxes with his son Chad as he stars in the movie 'Le Mans' on June 24, 1971 in Le Mans, France (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS, FRANCE - 1971: Actor Steve McQueen on set for the film 'Le Mans' in 1971 in Le Mans, France. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LE MANS - JUNE 23: A racing scene from the movie "Le Mans", 1971. Shown is car number 20, a 1970 Porsche 917 K just after Steve McQueen's character, Michael Delaney crashes. Image is a frame grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
American actor and racer Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) on the set of Le Mans, directed by Lee H. Katzin, circa 1971. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
American actor and racer Steve McQueen on the set of Le Mans, directed by Lee H. Katzin. (Photo by Cinema Center Films/National General Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor and racer Steve McQueen on the set of Le Mans, directed by Lee H. Katzin. (Photo by Cinema Center Films/National General Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
FRANCE, LE MANS - NOVEMBER: American film actor Steve McQueen on the set of his motor-racing film "Le Mans" on the race track in November 1970, in Le Mans, France. (Photo by Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Peter Revson, 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring, 04 October 1970. Peter Revson, driving his Porsche 908/02, finished second in the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring with his teammate Steve McQueen. (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) in racing overalls at the race track at Le Mans, France, November 1970. McQueen is filming 'Le Mans' with director Lee H. Katzin. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Steve McQueen, Porsche 917, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans, 14 June 1970. Hollywood star Steve McQueen during the shooting of his film "Le Mans". (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
Steve McQueen, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans, 14 June 1970. Hollywood star Steve McQueen during the shooting of his film "Le Mans". (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
Steve McQueen, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans, 14 June 1970. Hollywood star Steve McQueen during the shooting of his film "Le Mans". (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
Steve McQueen, Matra-Simca MS660, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans, 14 June 1970. Hollywood star Steve McQueen during the shooting of his film "Le Mans". (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) at the Le Mans trials, France, 12th April 1970. He has been banned from taking part in the race for insurance reasons. (Photo by Reg Lancaster/Daily Express/Getty Images)
Steve McQueen, Jean Graton, Bob Sicot, 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring, 21 March 1970. Hollywood star Steve McQueen with Belgian author Jean Graton showing him one of his "Michel Vaillant" comic books where Steve McQueen is one of the characters. (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
Steve McQueen, 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring, 21 March 1970. Hollywood star Steve McQueen during the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race. (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
Peter Revson, Steve McQueen, 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring, 21 March 1970. Peter Revson and Steve McQueen at the finish of the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring, savoring their second place overall. (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
Peter Revson, Steve McQueen, 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring, 21 March 1970. Steve McQueen and Peter Revson in the pits during practice for the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring. (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) in Firestone racing driver suit holding his helmet, at Riverside Raceway in Riverside, California, circa 1966. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Actor Steve McQueen during motorcycle racing across the Mojave Desert. (Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 24: Steve McQueen of the CBS television western "Wanted: Dead or Alive" at CBS Television City, Hollywood, CA with his horse and his sports car, a Jaguar XK-SS, special racing model. Image dated May 24, 1960. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
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