Calling time on Just Fontaine – a French football legend, RIP

We love discovering sports memorabilia with great stories. Recently we acquired one of Just Fontaine’s commemorative watches, which fills exactly that brief.

Just fontaine, french football, 1958 World cupThe wristwatch is inscribed to dial “Just Fontaine. World Record 13 goals 1958-1998”. Fontaine, French football legend, presented one of these watches to each of the twenty two members of the French 1958 World Cup Squad¬† to commemorate his extraordinary record of scoring 13 goals in one World Cup tournament, including 4 against the defending champions, West Germany. In case you’re wondering, Pele scored 12 over 4 World Cup tournaments. So far, no one has bettered Fontaine’s record. Fontaine’s debut for France in 1953 gave a few clues as to what he might achieve, three to be exact – the 20 year old scored a hat trick against Luxembourg, ending in a meaty 8-0 score.



Maryan Wisnieski, French football, just fontaine, world cup football


Subsequently Fontaine presented his dedicated watches to his former teammates after the Final of the 1998 World Cup at the Dinner Banquet. Upon receipt of their watches, each member exchanged with another team mate. Maryan Wisniewski swapped with his room mate Jean Vincent – Wisniewski’s World Cup shirt number was ’22’ and Vincent’s ’21’. The watch we have is number ’21’, engraved to verso. The details of all Fontaine’s thirteen goals are also inscribed to verso. A handwritten letter from Wisniewski (written in French) explains the history of the watch.

France finished third in the 1958 World Cup, beating West Germany 6-3 in the 3/4th play off match. Wisniewski  was no slouch himself: he scored two goals in the Finals in Sweden and played 33 times for France from 1955-63. Wisniewski passed away in 2022. Just Fontaine passed away on 1st March 2023 Рthis watch encompasses the spirit of two great French football legends.