Legendary Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher’s watch collection is going on sale

Eight of Formula One legend Michael Schumacher’s luxury and personalized watches are going up for auction – and they could sell for more than US$4.8 million in total.

The rare timepieces will be exhibited in New York from May 3 to May 5, the weekend of the Miami Grand Prix, ahead of the auction in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 13, according to auction house Christie’s.

Schumacher’s family holds an array of watches collected by the champion driver over the years and, “more recently, they decided to part ways with specific watches of the collection, where they believed watch collectors would be able to appreciate the true value of the pieces,” Christie’s head of watches Remi Guillemin told CNN Thursday.

“We’re really just extremely happy to have these watches and to have been able to collaborate with the family,” he added.

The collection will form part of Christie’s traditional rare watches auction, consisting of vintage and modern pieces of high-caliber watchmaking from brands such as Audemars Piguet, F.P. Journe and Rolex.

Standout pieces include Schumacher’s platinum F.P. Journe Vagabondage 1, which holds almost half the estimated value of the entire collection, with an expected sale price of up to US$2.2 million.

Meanwhile, a Rolex stainless steel Paul Newman Daytona watch is expected to sell for up to US$440,000 and Schumacher’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch is expected to sell for up to US$280,000.

The Rolex watch was named after the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, according to Guillemin, who described the timepiece as “one of the most iconic watches that Rolex ever made.”

The white gold Royal Oak chronograph was commissioned as a personalized gift for the seven-time F1 World Championship winner from his early mentor and former Ferrari CEO Jean Todt, according to the auction house.

Presented to Schumacher at Christmas 2003, its features celebrate the six Championship victories he had achieved by that time, Christie’s said. The 30-minute register dial is surrounded by six stars, and there are depictions of Ferrari’s famous prancing horse emblem and Schumacher’s red racing helmet.

“It’s a unique watch,” said Guillemin. “When you see the watch from afar, you just know that it’s something special and that it speaks to Michael Schumacher.”

The platinum Vagabondage 1 watch was also a gift from Todt, but for the following Christmas. So, while it has similar features, its striking red dial hosts symbols that represent the seventh Championship Schumacher won for himself and Ferrari.

A prototype of the watch was sold in 2003 to benefit the Paris Brain Institute (ICM) Foundation, of which Schumacher and Todt are founding members, according to the auction house.

“These watches (are) for people who are following Formula One, who have followed, like I have, Michael Schumacher when he was racing. It’s just a true piece of memorabilia and history – and, on top of that, these two watches are important for watchmaking,” Guillemin added.

Schumacher sustained a brain injury after suffering severe head trauma during a skiing accident in 2013.

He has not appeared in public since, but his wife Corinna said in a 2021 Netflix documentary, “We live together at home. We do therapy. We do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable.”

Leave a Comment