Arnold Schwarzenegger got detained at a German airport over an ultra-rare Audemars Piguet watch

arnold Schwarzenegger

The one-of-20 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was just auctioned off at the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative charity dinner for €270,000

Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally said “hasta la vista” to customs officials in Germany after he was detained for three hours for failing to declare a unique Audemars Piguet watch.

The Terminator star was travelling to Austria to auction off the luxury timepiece for charity but was nabbed by customs officers at Munich Airport last Wednesday for failing to complete the appropriate paperwork, a customs spokesperson told CBS News.

According to the source, the actor was never asked to fill out a declaration form but immediately agreed to pay the customs duty on the watch, which reportedly amounted to about US$38,000. That caused a kerfuffle, too, as the airport card machine wasn’t working. The amount was also too high to be taken out at the ATM and the bank was closed. Finally, the customs office found another working machine, the source said.

The former California governor was eventually allowed to leave with the watch, according to German tabloid BILD. The coveted wrist candy was set to go under the gavel on 18 January 2024 at the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative’s charity dinner in Kitzbühel, with a starting price of roughly US$54,300 (€50,000).

As per auction documents shared by the Daily Mail, the watch resembles the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph that AP released with Arnie earlier this year. The anniversary edition (Ref. 25770SN) pays homage to the “End of Days” model that Schwarzenegger co-designed with AP in 1999. It features a 43 mm black ceramic case, a matching ceramic bezel, and a mega tapisserie dial with three subdials. Under the sapphire crystal lay white-gold hour markers, hands coated in black nickel with yellow luminescence, and a tachymeter scale.

The watch that went on auction has a different caseback to the retail model, though. The skeletonised movement features a gold rotor engraved with an image of Schwarzenegger doing his iconic bodybuilder pose and text that reads “Arnold Classic.” (The original’s movement is inscribed only with “AP.”) It is more exclusive, too, with the auction literature stating it is one of only 20 in existence. The anniversary reference, on the other hand, is limited to 500 examples.

The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative raised a total of €1.31 million, with the watch contributing €270,000.

This story was first published by Robb Report USA