Auction: Millions for Michael Schumacher watches

auction
Millions for Michael Schumacher watches

A watch owned by Michael Schumacher on the sales catalog of Christie’s auction house. photo

© Christiane Oelrich/dpa

Eight watches owned by Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher have been auctioned. The showpiece was a Christmas present for the former sports star.

The luxury watch collection from Michael Schumacher has shrunk and the family was able to earn three million euros: eight valuable watches belonging to the former Formula 1 racing driver were auctioned in Geneva. Only four bidders took part in Tuesday’s auction.

The pieces all came from high-end manufacturers: Rolex, Audemars Piguet and FP Journe. Some had tiny signs of wear, as a watch expert said before the auction, proof that they were not just sitting in a display case, as is often the case with collectors, but had been worn. Because of the prominent owner, this did not reduce the value, but rather increased it, said the expert. Because it inspires the imagination to imagine that the signs of wear on the wrist of the Formula 1 legend could have happened.

Schumacher lives with his family not far from Geneva on Lake Geneva. He no longer appeared in public after a serious skiing accident in 2013. The family has not provided any information about how he is doing.

Ferrari watch with a bright red dial

Who will probably wear the watches in the future? Unfortunately, the auction house does not reveal this secret. Even the answer to the question of whether one of them might find its way to Germany is subject to absolute discretion. This is all the auction house Christie’s revealed the day after the auction: “There was international interest in the watches and they were all bought by private collectors.”

The most striking watch and the showpiece of the Schumacher collection was a timepiece from the FP Journe manufacturer, probably from 2004. The then team boss of Schumacher’s Ferrari racing team, Jean Todt, had the watch made especially as a Christmas present for his protégé. The watch has a bright red dial, the color of Ferrari, and on it symbols for Schumacher’s seven world championship titles. There’s a different way to be discreet – anyone who wears this watch will stand out.

Compared to the estimated price of one to two million francs, the watch was actually not that expensive: the new owner won the bid for 1.2 million francs (a good 1.2 million euros). There is also the commission for Christie’s: in this case almost 25 percent. A Schumacher Rolex sold for 250,000 francs plus commission, an Audemars Piguet watch for 330,000 francs.

Anonymous bidder pays 1.5 million euros for five watches

One of the anonymous bidders dug particularly deep into his pockets at the auction in Geneva and got rich booty: he secured five FP Journe ruthenium watches from a series that were sold individually. He – or she – put the equivalent of a good 1.5 million euros on the table, including commission. The auction house confirmed that all five watches went to the same person.

This person also didn’t spoil the money for the corresponding box: it was estimated at 5,000 francs, but because other bidders wanted to dispute it with the new owner of the watches, the price shot up – until the new owner of the watches suddenly increased significantly 15,000 francs, silenced the others and won the contract. This means that the pieces with serial numbers 92 to 99 should continue to be in their original box in the future.

dpa

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