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Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Detained at the Airport Over a One-of-a-Kind Audemars Piguet

©MCA/Courtesy Everett Collection

Arnold Schwarzenegger, famous watch collector and actor, will have to follow the Terminator's lead if he wants to see a valuable and unique Audemars Piguet again. “I’ll be back…for the watch,” he probably said, after he was detained at the Munich airport for not declaring his timepiece.

According to CBS News, while on his way to Austria, the Governator was held for three hours in Germany by customs officials over the watch. (The German tabloid Bild has a picture of Schwarzenegger in the office.) This was reportedly a one-of-a-kind AP from the actor’s private collection, which he was planning on putting in an auction benefitting the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative at the Austrian World Summit Thursday. (Schwarzenegger did not immediately return a request for comment.)

In an attempt to get the watch on its way to Austria, there was a long fiasco involving Arnie’s credit card and several ATMs. CBS News spoke to a source who said Schwarzenegger was never actually asked to fill out a form to declare the watch. And when customs officials did find the timepiece, the actor would have been happy to pay the taxes on it. If only it were that simple. The first credit card machine they tried was out of commission. Schwarzenegger was allowed to visit a second ATM but the limit was too low to cover the taxes. Then the bank closed before Schwarzenegger could get his money out of it. Custom officers actually had to find and bring a working credit card machine to Schwarzenegger so he could pony up.

Schwarzenegger is one of the most influential collectors in the history of watches. He helped usher in the age of massive timepieces in the ’90s and has been a longtime supporter of Audemars Piguet. He worked with the brand back in 1999 on a limited-edition piece for his movie End of Days. “It was the first Royal Oak Offshore that had a celebrity tie-in—it ushered in a whole new direction for AP,” Paul Boutros, the head of watches in America for Phillips, told me back in 2020. “It was such a big deal because back then Schwarzenegger was an A-list celebrity—this was a mainstream movie with a mainstream actor who collaborates with AP.”

Twenty five years on, Schwarzenegger is still bringing attention and new lore to Audemars Piguet’s timepieces. While the actor was allowed to continue on to Austria, CBS reported, the watch was kept in Munich. Imagine the auction price when it gets out—boy, does it have a story to tell.

Originally Appeared on GQ


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