For the second time since its first edition in 2005, the world renowned biennial charity auction ONLY Watch will be taking place in Geneva instead of Monaco. On November 11th, 2017, this exceptional fundraising for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy will be opening the autumn Geneva watch auction week, in presence of hundreds of connoisseurs, donators and collectors who will undoubtedly engage in strong bidding competition for the unique timepieces especially made by the finest watchmakers for ONLY Watch. Christie’s will be conducting the auction for the very first time instead of Phillips Watches who had executed the last two auctions for ONLY Watch. With 49 one-off watches, the 2017 ONLY Watch collection will tour around the globe during one and a half months, starting on September 27th in Monaco.
The Monaco Yacht Show will launch the journey by exhibiting the watches from September 27th thru the 30th within the show venue. The collection will then be flown to different cities across the world as follows:
- Bangkok - October 2-3 at Christie’s
- Singapore - October 5-6 at The Hour Glass
- Dubai - October 9-11 at Christie’s & Seddiqi
- Hong Kong - October 23-24 at Christie’s
- Taipei - October 26-27 at Christie’s
- New York - October 29-30 at Christie’s
- Los Angeles - November 1-2 at Westime
- Geneva - November 9-11 at Christie’s
For the 2017 edition of Only Watch, it has been proposed, whenever possible and according to the brand’s culture and desire, to combine the timepiece with a unique experience with either a brand ambassador or an exceptional event. Collaborations between brands, brands x artist, brand x ambassador, brand x media will also catalyze a lot of interest both from collectors and lifestyle donors.
With a total of 49 participating brands, the ONLY Watch Auction 2017 has partnered with the WOSTEP watchmaking school as well as with the following watch brands: Andersen Genève, Armin Strom, Arnold & Son, Audemars Piguet, Barbier Mueller, Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Boucheron, Bovet Fleurier, Breguet, Carl F.Bucherer, Chanel, Chopard, Christophe Claret, Chronoswiss, De Bethune, Dewitt, F.P. Journe, Fabergé, Frédérique Constant, Girard Perregaux, H.Moser & Cie, Harry Winston, Hautlence, Hermès, Hublot, Jacob & Co, Konstantin Chaykin, Laurent Ferrier, Jaquet Droz, Louis Moinet, Louis Vuitton, Maurice Lacroix, MF&F, MCT, Montblanc, Moritz Grossmann, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Rebellion, Ressence, Speake Marin, Tag Heuer, Tudor, Ulysse Nardin, Urwerk, Voutilainen and Zenith.
Our Picks at the Auction
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ONLY Watch Piece Unique
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ONLY Watch piece unique ref. 26599CE.OO.1225CE.01 in black ceramic evokes the last moments of light cast by the sun as darkness descends on the evening sky, reflected by the ‘skylight’ royal blue Grande Tapisserie dial, polished counters in solid grey gold and orange-tinted photo realistic moon. Juxtaposed against the entirely hand-finished black ceramic Royal Oak case, bezel and bracelet, the transition from the blue, orange and silver dusk to the pitch black of night is a powerful combination. In addition to the unique dial, the Only Watch unique piece is the first black ceramic perpetual calendar wristwatch to feature a black ceramic case back with sapphire display back revealing a unique hand-finished black oscillating mass.
Patek Philippe ref. 5208T-010 Triple Complication
The Patek Philippe reference 5208T-010 Triple Complication wristwatch showcases Patek Philippe’s mastery in the sphere of grand complication watches. It brings together a minute repeater, a monopusher chronograph, and an instantaneous perpetual calendar displayed in apertures along an arc. This is also one of very few ultra-complicated watches endowed with a self-winding mechanism. Orchestrating this highly sophisticated combination of functions is a movement comprising 719 parts, hand-finished throughout in accordance with the great Genevan tradition. Reference 5208T-010 was created specially for Only Watch 2017. It stands out as the first and only version of this timepiece ever produced in titanium, a metal rarely used for a Patek Philippe. This unique piece features a blue dial adorned with a hand-guilloched carbon-fiber pattern, underlining the manufacture’s role as protector of the rare handcrafts. The caliber R CH 27 PS QI movement, visible through a sapphire-crystal display back, also presents a distinctive finish with the entire movement being black rhodium-plated. The platinum micro-rotor is hand-guilloché with the same decoration as the dial. A blue Cordura strap echoes the dial color.
Armin Strom Manual Hunt Slonem Edition for ONLY Watch
In cooperation with the American artist Hunt Slonem, famous for his highly original works, the Armin Strom watchmakers have created a timepiece which represents a spectacular fusion of creative art and mechanical craftsmanship. This unique piece combines the signature of the New York artist who enjoys a prestigious international reputation with the unmistakable style of the Swiss watch manufacturer. The titanium case of the Armin Strom Manual Hunt Slonem Edition for ONLY Watch houses the manually wound AMW11 calibre with off-center time display and small seconds. Its open worked spring barrel provides a 5 day power-reserve. The plate and bridges of the manufactured calibre feature sophisticated decoration and are hand-engraved. The dial side serves as a screen onto which Hunt Slonem’s contemporary art has been transferred. The colours and motifs have been taken from a Slonem's painting which awaits its new owner together with the watch.
MB&F Horological Machine No. 8 HM8 ONLY Watch
For this 7th edition of the ONLY Watch Auction, MB&F has created the MB&F Horological Machine No. 8 HM8 ONLY Watch in collaboration with young artist Cassandra Legendre. Based on Horological Machine N°8, this Pièce Unique in 18K white gold and grade 5 titanium is instantly recognizable thanks to its special sapphire crystal pane engraved and metallized with a whimsical drawing created by the talented 15-year old Cassandra. Visible under the doodle, the automatic HM8 engine features a unique purple winding rotor. Check the lateral time display and you’ll notice a miniature white gold elephant situated between the hour and minute prism; the elephant was sculpted by engraver Olivier Kuhn based on the elephant in Cassandra’s drawing Final touch: the MB&F logo on the double-screwed plate has been replaced by a happy face symbolizing the childlike perspective that Cassandra Legendre brings to HM8. Cassandra Legendre is a 15-year old student currently living in Madrid and her primary method of artistic expression is ballet, not these drawings which she produces in her spare time. As an exception for MB&F’s contribution to ONLY Watch, Legendre and her family agreed to this one-off participation to strengthen the message of HM8 ONLY Watch —a child creating something to help children who have been denied many of the dreams and opportunities of childhood.
F.P. Journe Monopusher Split Seconds Chronograph
F.P. Journe has developed an entirely new watch exclusively for ONLY Watch. It is a unique watch that will never exist in the F.P.Journe collection, we are talking about the Monopusher Split Seconds Chronograph —Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante. The watch is unique, the dial is unique, the case is unique. With a 44 mm case in Tantalum, a pusher at 2 o'clock for the chronograph and a pusher at 4 o'clock for the rattrapante —split seconds function—, the F.P. Journe Monopusher Split Seconds Chronograph for ONLY Watch features a blue chrome dial adorned with an unusual topography and adorned with vivid colors.
Tudor Black Bay Bronze One
Following the successful results obtained by the Tudor Black Bay One selling for CHF375,000 Swiss Francs at the fifth edition of the ONLY Watch auction in 2015, Tudor continues to collaborate and support the good cause behind this auction. This time, Tudor has released a unique piece of the Black Bay Bronze with a unique combination of colors. This flagship model is offered to ONLY Watch in a unique configuration with the winding crown on the left, an olive green dial and bezel and a military green fabric strap.
Worn on the right wrist, its ergonomic design is ideal for left-handed people. As its name would suggest, the Black Bay Bronze One’s case is made of bronze —an aluminium bronze alloy used in naval engineering— the appearance of which changes over time, typically darkening to a rich and noble patina. Fitted with a manufacture calibre with official chronometer certification, this unique piece is a concentration of the brand’s distinctive characteristics. Additionally, the future owner of this Tudor Black Bay Bronze One will get the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Tudor's Headquarters in Geneva. This exceptional invitation for one person, a first for Tudor which like Rolex runs no visit program, will include all travel expenses paid by the brand.
Frederique Constant Perpetual Calendar Manufacture ONLY Watch
As a passionate supporter of charitable foundations, Frederique Constant continues to show its support to this noble cause. This year, the brand does so with the Perpetual Calendar, which has been praised as one of the most reliable and affordable grandes complications in the industry. For this exclusive ONLY Watch edition, the brand wanted to present a variation of this timepiece that is incredibly jaw dropping. What makes this piece truly exclusive is the one-of-a-kind meteorite dial giving the once classic timepiece, an edgy twist. Meteorite stones are often found in desert areas; in this case, the one used for this unique piece was uncovered in the desert of Namibia.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Cuprite
This reinterpretation of the legendary Grande Seconde watch and its playful figure 8 features a cuprite background. Its fiery red color embodies all the passion dedicated to both the timepiece and the ONLY Watch project. The cut of the mineral dial requires the extreme, expert delicacy for which Jaquet Droz is known. Each inclusion, vein and detail of the dial makes for a singular masterpiece. But the Grande Seconde goes even further as the two counters traditionally aligned on the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock axis are positioned in an off-centered way. Adding an original, dynamic touch to this purest of canvases, the thinness of the circled gold flanges match that of the hands and the majestic direct-drive seconds hand, while the crown is shifted to 4 o’clock for a subtle aesthetic twist.
Since 2005, the uniqueness of a project such as ONLY Watch underlines how great brands from luxury groups or independent craftsmen have achieved to unite in the pursuit of a common goal: financing research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This synergy, under the patronage and support of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, driven by the enthusiasm shown by individuals within the brands and partners, shows a deep wish to help this noble cause. In six editions, ONLY Watch has raised more than 25 million euros for Association Monégasque Contre les Myopathies —Monaco Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy— helping make significant advances in research over a decade.
On this 7th edition, the international leading auction house Christie’s, which will fully support the project throughout its 80 specialist departments, led in this case by Christie’s global watch team will be looking forward to hold the ONLYWatch 2017 edition on November 11th, 2017 at 2:30 pm —UCT+1— in Geneva at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues.
For more info on ONLY Watch Auction 2017 click here.