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Last week, Arnold Schwarzenegger made headlines following a debacle regarding a unique Audemars Piguet watch—an updated version of the Ref. 25770SN the actor co-designed with the brand for “End of Days” back in 1999. This particular edition of the model was complete with a special exhibition caseback showcasing a skeletonized movement featuring a gold rotor engraved with an image of Schwarzenegger doing his iconic bodybuilder pose and text that reads “Arnold Classic.” In case you missed the full fiasco, here are the high points.
The Terminator star was en route to his home country of Austria to sell the watch at a charity auction but failed to complete the appropriate customs forms for the timepiece. Three hours and about $38,000 (€35,000) later, the former California governor was released from detainment and proceeded onward to his Climate Initiative’s charity dinner in Kitzbühel, but the story doesn’t end there.
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On Thursday night, the special edition Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph went under the gavel as planned with a starting price of roughly $54,300 (€50,000). The anniversary edition was only expected to fetch around $100,000. However, in a curiously unsurprising twist of events, the watch ended up selling for nearly three times that, raking in almost $300,000 (€270,000) and bringing the total of the fundraiser to roughly $1.4 million (€1.3 million), marking a new record for the organization.
While we hesitate to say that Schwarzenegger intentionally “forgot” to compile the proper customs forms and the entire comedy of errors was planned, the “Governator” most certainly seized upon the media attention surrounding the customs detainment to draw attention to the charity auction. With the wild results we saw at the auction block last year, a little publicity driving up the price of a timepiece for charity isn’t the worst thing in the world. The proceeds of the auction all go to a worthy cause supporting the climate crisis, so consider this a win for Mother Earth.
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