This is the third year in a row that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has held its annual gala in St. Tropez. The highlight of the event is a fundraising auction to benefit the foundation, which was held on July 26. The Foundation exists to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change and to help protect endangered wildlife. The fundraising auction typically features a combination of very high end experiences, access to events, luxury goods and objets d’art. Items up for auction this year included a large assortment of artworks donated for the event. In all, over $30 million was raised.
Vanity Fair reports, “The majority of the sum came from a multi-lot auction that included gifted art works from Richard Prince, Damien Hirst, Jonas Wood, Cecily Brown, and Rudolf Stingel. A large work by Urs Fischer, who was in the crowd, sold for more than $2.5 million. A brief bidding war ensued between Harvey Weinstein and DiCaprio over a large portrait of the actor in paint and crushed-up plates by Julian Schnabel. DiCaprio, who was on stage and teasing the producer to stop putting his hand up, finally banged the gavel on his winning bid of $400,000.”
Watches were featured as well. For the past three years, DiCaprio has auctioned one of his own personal Rolexes, but this year Jacob & Co. also donated a unique piece version of the Astronomia Tourbillon for the event.
The Astronomia Sky is a new version of the Astronomia Tourbillon, and it shares the latter’s four-armed carrier system. On one arm is a double tourbillon (including the rotation of the entire carrier, the Astronomia Tourbillon and Astronomia Sky are actually triple-axis tourbillons). On the other three, in the Astronomia Tourbillon, are the hour and minute hands (arranged on a gear system that keeps 12:00 at the top of the display, irrespective of the rotation of the carrier) a rotating globe cut from an orange sapphire; and a rotating running seconds indicator. I went hands-on with the Astronomia Sky earlier this year, and there’s really nothing else like it out there.
The Astronomia Sky is also distinct from the original Astronomia Tourbillon in having, as part of the dial, a star chart with a moving ellipse that shows the portion of the sky visible overhead, day or night. The ellipse rotates once per sidereal day, acting as a sidereal time indication as well. For the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Jacob & Co. donated a version of the Astronomia Sky inscribed with DiCaprio’s signature, and the words, “Generosity Is The Key To Our Future On This Planet.” This particular version of the Astronomia Sky doesn’t have a sapphire globe, by the way; instead, it uses a spherical diamond, as in the original Astronomia Tourbillon.
The exact figure reached by the watch is confidential, however Jacob & Co. reports it was well over the $580,000 retail price of the standard model. For more info about how the Astronomia Tourbillon came to be, check out our video interview with Jacob Arabo and watchmaker Luca Soprano, who discuss some of the technical challenges involved in creating the watch; and find out more about the environmental initiatives of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation at leonardodicaprio.org.