Audemars Piguet Charity Auction Raises $1.5 Million

October 25, 2000

Audemars Piguet Charity Auction Raises $1.5 Million

Audemars Piguet and Christie's raised $1.5 million for charity Monday in an auction of celebrities' watches. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Muhammad Ali hosted the Christie's auction that also featured Audemars Piguet timepieces worn and signed by Mariah Carey, Jon Bon Jovi, Sophia Loren, Sharon Stone and about 30 other movie stars, singers and athletes. The funds were raised without the three watches stolen in Rome two weeks ago during an auction preview.

Schwarzenegger's titanium-and-18k gold chronograph wristwatch from the company's Royal Oak collection topped the bidding at $340,000. Ali's 18k pink-gold watch from the Jules Audemars collection sold for $220,000, and watches belonging to Loren and Stone sold for $75,000 each. Bon Jovi's 18k white gold oval watch went for $20,000, while Carey's – an 18k gold-and-diamond piece – raised $21,000. The buyers, none of whom were named, are collectors, socialites and celebrities, according to Christie's and Audemars Piguet, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer.

Schwarzenegger added a bonus to the auction when he took off the watch he was wearing, a prototype he wore during filming of his latest film The Sixth Day. It sold for $35,000. All the money raised benefits the Inner City Games Foundation, which offers sports contests and educational programs for children, and the Muhammad Ali Center, an educational institution.

- by Michael Thompson