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Michael Schumacher’s Custom Audemars Piguet and F.P. Journe Watches Up for Auction

Formula One fans, start your engines: eight watches belonging to racing legend Michael Schumacher are about to hit the auction block.

Taking pole position among the timepieces at the upcoming Rare Watches auction at Christie’s in Geneva is the F.P. Journe Vagabondage 1 Model from around 2004, with a striking red dial commemorating his seven world titles.

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Housed in a platinum case, the watch contains an 18-karat gold wandering hour movement and features the Ferrari logo as well as Schumacher’s distinctive helmet. It was commissioned as a gift by Jean Todt, at the time general manager of Ferrari’s racing division.

Its low estimate stands at 1 million Swiss francs, Christie’s head of watches Europe and U.S. Rémi Guillemin told WWD, thanks to an already “celebrated and iconic” model from the watchmaker made even more unique by its full customization and provenance.

Michael Schumacher’s F.P. Journe Vagabondage watch.
Michael Schumacher’s F.P. Journe Vagabondage watch.

Another watch that is sure to get aficionados of fine mechanics hot under the collar is the legendary driver’s bespoke Audemars Piguet Royal Oak chronograph.

The white-gold dial features the Italian automotive manufacturer’s prancing horse emblem on the seconds sub-dial, while the German driver’s helmet is depicted on the 12-hour register and the “1” on the register dial is surrounded by six stars marking his wins. It is also engraved with a dedication on the back.

A more commercial alternative and relatively easily wearable by collectors that “remains extremely strong in terms of identification to the pilot,” it is estimated between 150,000 Swiss francs and 350,000 Swiss francs, according to Guillemin.

Also going under the hammer from Schumacher’s collection are a Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona, reference 6262. Its provenance from Schumacher’s personal stash makes it another ultimate catch for watch lovers and Formula One fans alike, said the expert.

There will also be a set of five watches from F.P. Journe’s Ruthenium collection.

Guillemin said the sale was “an exceptional moment for watch and F1 enthusiasts alike,” thanking the family of the retired Formula One legend for “their trust in us and their wish to share these masterpieces of horology with other passionate collectors around the globe.”

Schumacher had a three-decade career that made him one of the most successful drivers in motorsport history, beginning with his 1991 debut at the Belgian Grand Prix. Best known for his five consecutive wins with Ferrari between 2000 and 2004, he also held the record for most Grand Prix wins, until surpassed by Lewis Hamilton in 2020.

In addition to his sports career, the German driver helped develop a groundbreaking helmet for racing drivers that was lightweight and could resist being driven over by a tank; donated $10 million to aid efforts after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake; was a special ambassador to Unesco, and supported campaigns, including one recognizing road deaths as a major global health issue.

Shortly after his 2012 retirement from racing, he suffered severe brain injuries in a skiing accident in 2013 and remains in convalescence. In 2017 Schumacher’s family founded the Keep Fighting Foundation to continue his charity endeavors.

Before their May 13 sale at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, Schumacher’s watches will be exhibited in Los Angeles from Friday to Sunday; Hong Kong, Taiwan and Dubai in April, and New York in early May.

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