Only Watch is every watch aficionado’s dream auction. The event, which is held once every two years in Switzerland, sees watch brands creating unique pieces for the special auction dedicated to raising funds for muscular dystrophy research. This genetic disorder is devastating, affecting children as young as 3 onwards. The event is organised by Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, the Monaco Yacht Show and Phillips auction house in association with Bacs & Russo.
This year sees 44 watch brands participate in the charity auction which takes place 7 November under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Bids are accepted online, and prior to the auction, the watches will be making their way around the world, with six stops scheduled so you can have a closer look at the pieces. Unfortunately, the locations closest to us are Hong Kong (2-5 October) and Beijing (9-12 October). However, we’ve selected a few choice pieces that we think are definitely covetable, if you’re planning to put in your bid.
Blancpain Villeret Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel
The unique lunar calendar watch that Blancpain invented has been realised in a lustrous grand feu enamel dial with an enamel and gold rotor that bears the Only Watch inscription. It’s an impressive complication that is powered by the calibre 3638, with a week-long power reserve.
Bell & Ross BR01 Skull Bronze Tourbillon
The Skull Tourbillon of Bell & Ross comes in a unique bronze alloy case, with a distressed patina that feels as if it’s been aged for decades. It’s sexy to say the least, with a BR-CAL.281 movement that has a power reserve of five days.
Christophe Claret Espoir & Paix
The name of the watch refers to hope and peace, and bears a mirascope effect that was seen in an earlier Claret piece, the Aventicum. Sitting in the centre of the dial is an emerald, and the hands are on the inner bezel rather than tha dial centre. The case back bears an engraving of Alfred Nobel with an agate rim showing the movement, and the names of 129 Nobel laureates are engraved on the back as well.
DeWitt Academia Out of Time
The cool watch by Jerome DeWitt bears his signature complication, the deadbeat seconds that also acts as a regulator, and a free seconds hand that’s a DeWitt invention, on a blue lacquer dial that bears a miniature painting of a mountain range. It’s elegant and free-spirited, an homage to the dream of living free.
F.P. Journe Tourbillon Soverain Bleu
Mister Journe is perhaps one of the greatest watchmakers of our era, and his experiments with materials have yielded interesting results in the past. This unique piece for Only Watch 2015 is constructed in a tantalum case, and its lurid blue is matched with a blue chrome dial that has a mirror-shine. The watch bears Journe’s remontoire and deadbeat seconds and the tourbillon on the dial side.
H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Moser’s Perpetual Calendar, with its foolproof function and simple display, is probably the only perpetual calendar that we’ll happily hand over our credit card and kidney for. The special edition that it’s created for the auction comes in a titanium case with DLC treatment, fume dial, and a date disc that has a hand-written chalkboard-style indication. The dates were written out by the children of Moser’s employees, a lovely personal touch.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Square
The new shape that Laurent Ferrier introduced this year, the Galet Square, has a cushion form that reminds us of Piaget’s Emperador Coussin, but with a more rigid style. Its design is pure and simple, with an accentuated circle and curved markers paired with assegai-shaped hands. Where the words “Swiss Made” usually appear, the inscription reads “Only Watch 2015” instead. The silvered dial and unique lugs on the watch makes it a unique Laurent Ferrier.
We’ll have more updates on the Only Watch 2015 auction tomorrow.