Michael Schumacher’s collection exceeds $4 million at Christie’s

Michael Schumacher’s collection exceeds $4 million at Christie’s

Borna Bošnjak

In the early 2000s, there was really only one name dominating the Formula 1 scene, and that was Michael Schumacher. His four-peat championship run that ended in 2004 was marked by the German driver breaking pretty much every record possible, and cementing his name as the greatest of all time. That debate still rages on today, but what is without a doubt true is that Schumacher was a watch guy. Whether that’s his affiliation with Audemars Piguet, the 15-year relationship with Omega that created many a collectible Speedmaster, or the very early days with TAG Heuer and the S/el. Thanks to Jean Todt and Christie’s, we just got another insight into Schumacher’s collection, and were there ever some rare birds. Listed as part of Christie’s spring Rare Watches auction, eight lots belonging to Schumacher were listed, including six F.P. Journe models, one of them unique. Let’s get into the details.

F.P. Journe Vagabondage 1

fp journe vagabondage piece unique michael schumacher

Starting off with the top lot, and one that has attracted lots of discussion for a few of its quirks. First of all, this is a first-series F.P. Journe Vagabondage cased in platinum, customised for Schumacher on behest of Jean Todt, a well-known Journe aficionado. It was Todt’s gift to Schumacher, engraved on the back with “X-MAS 2004 – Jean Todt for my friend Michael Schumacher”. Its production date makes it even more special, as it would have been one of the earliest Vagabondage models ever produced, as it was released to market two years later. The dial’s odd layout features 10 markers – seven Vs to represent Schumacher’s world championships, an aperture for the wandering hours display, and two low-poly renderings of the Ferrari shield and Schumacher’s helmet. With the odd – shall we say – dial printing, personal connection between two Ferrari greats and the early production, it’s no surprise it sold for US$1,646,700 (estimate US$1,200,000 – US$2,300,000).

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph

audemars piguet royal oak chronograph michael schumacher

Preceding the Vagabondage was this Royal Oak Chronograph, another watch custom-made for Schumacher and gifted to the driver by Todt. Cased in white gold and with a white dial, we see the repeated icon of Schumi’s helmet at 9 o’clock, with the other sub-dials surrounding the prancing horse logo, and six stars circling Schumacher’s race number. The caseback bears another engraving: “J. TODT POUR M. SCHUMACHER NOEL 2003”, meaning it was gifted to the driver some seven years before he would actually become an Audemars Piguet ambassador. The ref. 25960BC sold for US$457,380, comfortably exceeding its estimate of US$180,000 – US$280,000.

F.P. Journe ruthenium quintet

fp journe ruthenium collection michael schumacher

If Sebastian Vettel is to be believed, everyone is a Ferrari fan, but for those few die-hard Ferrari deniers, there were more rare F.P. Journe models on offer. More specifically, Schumacher’s entire Ruthenium Collection number 92/99. Instead of solid gold movements Journe is using now, this collection is notable for its ruthenium-coated brass dials and calibres, and comprises of five models. The Octa Jour et Nuit was only ever part of the Ruthenium Collection, and along with the Octa Chronographe and Octa Calendrier had the lowest estimates (US$180,000 – US$280,000), despite the former two being exceedingly rare pieces. The Tourbillon Souverain and Chronomètre à Résonance are arguably the two most famous Journe models (estimates US$350,000 – US$570,000) – one being the first-ever tourbillon with a remontoir d’egalité, the other the only resonance wristwatch ever made. Christie’s offered the five pieces as separate lots, but they were thankfully purchased by one collector for a total sum of US$1,800,000, and will hopefully be kept together in their original five-slot box for a long time.

Rolex Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6262

rolex daytona paul newman 6262 michael schumacher 1

Though it might not be an ultra-rare, complete set of F.P. Journes, let alone a one-off commission, one can’t look past a Paul Newman-dialled Daytona. Neither could Michael Schumacher, as it turns out. This 6262 is a reverse-panda example, and when it comes Paul Newman Daytonas, is actually one of the rarer ones, though the bezel doesn’t seem to match any 6262s I’ve seen. Its case is nearly identical to its predecessor, the 6239, but features a Valjoux 727, an improvement over the slower-beating 722 in the 6239. Michael Schumacher’s example sold for US$346,500 (estimate US$230,000 -US$460,000).