Leo Messi and a watchmaker of Audemars Piguet. ©Audemars Piguet.

- This spring, Sotheby’s will join forces with Audemars Piguet to support the Leo Messi Foundation. The No.10 Royal Oak Leo Messi will be presented in Sotheby’s Geneva auction of Important Watches on 11 May 2013 and the entirety of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Foundation of the man widely regarded as the world’s best football player.

At just 25 years old, Leo Messi has already become a footballing legend. The first player in history to win four consecutive Ballon d’Or, the Argentinian has made a huge impact on the game of football, with his exceptional technique and exemplary sense of teamwork and fair play. In 2012, he scored no less than 91 goals in 69 matches – a new world record.

(left) Leo Messi wearing the No.10 Royal Oak Leo Messi. ©Audemars Piguet. (right) The No. 10 Royal Oak Leo Messi. Platinum 41 mm case, tantalum bezel, glareproofed sapphire crystal. Screw-locked crown. Water-resistant to 50m. Platinum case-back engraved with the inscriptions “ROYAL OAK LIMITED EDITION” and “LEO MESSI”, numbered 10/100.

Designed with Leo Messi’s collaboration, worn by him in the video below, this 41 mm chronograph in platinum is the 10th watch produced by Audemars Piguet in a limited series of only 100 pieces made in honour of the player. Lot 110 in the sale - as a nod to Leo Messi’s number 10 FC Barcelona and Argentina shirts, the watch will be accompanied by an Argentina national team’s number 10 jersey autographed by Leo Messi and the original drawing of the watch signed by the footballer and Audemars Piguet’s artistic director, Octavio Garcia. The successful bidder will also be given the chance to meet the football legend in person in Barcelona.

Beyond the excitement of the forthcoming sale, the No.10 Royal Oak Leo Messi invites us to look at the common values shared by watchmakers and sports people. In football as in watchmaking, equal importance is given to rigour and beauty of movement, precision and boldness, work and fluency, talent and elegance. Audemars Piguet and Leo Messi embody these values of excellence and authenticity in their respective fields. We are therefore delighted to be associated with them on this occasion.

The Royal Oak Leo Messi was the only Royal Oak special edition produced by Audemars Piguet in 2012 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak – a timeless icon of sporting elegance. The Limited Edition in platinum has a pure and elegant deep blue dial with white gold hour markers, without repeating the “tapisserie” motif which was the Royal Oak’s trademark. The three auxiliary chronograph counters and the small seconds counter are encircled by a finely brushed silvered ring.