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Lionel Messi is Awarded the Ballon d’Or 2021… And is Gifted a Unique Purnell Watch

Watchmaking and football team up. And yes, the ball is a tourbillon.

| By Brice Goulard | 2 min read |

The Ballon d’Or is to football (or soccer, if you’re living on the other side of the Atlantic) what the Oscars are to the film industry, and the GPHG’s Aiguille d’Or is to the watchmaking industry. And this year, the title goes to Lionel Messi, honouring his impressive performance over the previous year. And, in addition to the golden ball-shaped trophy that he’ll be able to admire in his house, he’ll also be able to contemplate his victory on the wrist, with a dedicated Purnell Ballon d’Or watch where the tourbillon takes on the shape of a ball.

The most prestigious individual award for football players, the Ballon d’Or (or golden ball), is presented by the French news magazine France Football. Since 1956, the trophy honours the best performing football player of the previous year and is decided by a panel of international journalists. And this year, for the 65th edition of the award, the Ballon d’Or has been awarded to Lionel Messi, now playing for French team PSG.

And there’s more to the award than just the trophy because Messi also received a rather impressive watch, a unique Purnell Ballon d’Or 2021 in gold. Based on Purnell’s Escape II model, this watch has been co-created with master-watchmaker Eric Coudray. Housed in a 48mm gold case, the movement is built around a tourbillon, with its cage shaped like a football making a complete rotation in 30 seconds. And the two barrel covers are each engraved with dedicated texts related to the trophy. The winner of the Ballon d’Or (and also the female winner) will have the watch engraved by hand with their name by the artist Juliane Coulet.

There will be a commercial edition of this watch released in a limited edition of 8 pieces, with a carbon and gold case, as you can see below in our photos taken during Dubai Watch Week 2021. Start training hard because the watch comes with a whopping price tag of CHF 330,000. 

For more details about the unique Purnell Ballon d’Or watch and the limited edition model, please visit

1 response

  1. I’ve always loved Purnell watches and I’m a huge fan of Eric Coudray. His movements are topnotch.

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