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Michael Schumacher’s watch collection goes for CHF4m

Simon de Burton
May 17, 2024
4 min

Michael Schumacher’s watch collection exceeded its expected CHF3m result, with the eight watches selling for around CHF4m on May 13; a situation that went some way to restoring faith in Christie's after a reported cyber attack saw previous auctions being postponed or changed to "in-person" only.

The seven-time Formula One champion has not appeared in public since suffering a traumatic head injury after a skiing accident in 2013, but Christie’s European watch head Remi Guillemin says he was approached by the F1 star’s family more than two years ago to discuss a possible sale. This is a truly remarkable collection. The watches comprise a set of all five ‘ruthenium’ F.P Journe watches; a Rolex Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ and a platinum F.P Journe Vagabondage and white gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, both of which have been uniquely customised. 

From left to right: Customised Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and F.P. Journe Vagabondage both Christmas presents from former mentor and Ferrari CEO and Scuderia manager Jean Todt and a Rolex Paul Newman

The F.P Journe quintet features 2004 editions of the Octa Calendrier, Octa Chronographe, Octa Jour et Nuit, and Chronomètre à Résonance, all four of which were all numbered 92 of 99. There is also a 2007 Chronomètre à Résonance numbered 269. The steel Rolex Paul Newman (Reference 6262) features a black reverse panda dial with an original, unmarked bracelet and appears to be in overall pristine condition.

The absolute star of the collection, however, wass the unique Journe Vagabondage with a platinum case and a personalised dial finished in Ferrari red, the marque’s prancing-horse shield at the nine o’clock position and Schumacher’s race helmet at three. Encircling the dial are seven FIA globe emblems, representing each of Schumacher’s World Championship victories (the last five of which he achieved consecutively between 2000 and 2004 while driving for Ferrari).

A dedication engraved on the case back of the customised F.P Journe reads: “Xmas 2004 – Jean Todt for my friend Michael Schumacher”.

The watch dates from that final championship year and was gifted to Schumacher by his mentor, the former Ferrari CEO and Scuderia manager Jean Todt. A dedication engraved on the case back reads: “Xmas 2004 – Jean Todt for my friend Michael Schumacher”.

It went on to fetch CHF1.5m, while the white gold Royal Oak chronograph sold for a more conservative CHF250,000. Another Christmas present, it’s engraved on the back “J. Todt pour M. Schumacher, Noel 2003” and has a similarly personalised dial to the F.P Journe, with Schumacher’s race helmet forming the background of the 12-hour sub dial at nine o’clock and the Ferrari logo on the 60- second sub at six o’clock. The 30-minute counter carries six small stars - one for each of the World Championship wins Schumacher had achieved by 2003. 

At the time Todt gifted the watches to Schumacher, the driver was a long-standing ambassador for Omega which had produced several versions of the Speedmaster Reduced (aka 39mm) carrying his name. In 2010, however, it was announced that he had moved to Audemars Piguet which, two years later, launched a trio of Royal Oak Offshore models dedicated to him.