The Biennial Only Watch charity auction, organised by the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy and the Monaco Yacht Show every other November, is a unique watch event. It is an occasion for the world’s most famous luxury watch brands to show off their technological prowess, by remodelling one of their best timepieces in a way that it generates the best response at the auction. What the winning bidder gets is the rarest of rare watches, a unique piece which will never be replicated by the watch company. It is no wonder that watch lovers, collectors and connoisseurs are willing to pay top dollar to lay their hands on one of these watches. Not surprisingly, the charity has, since 2005, raised more than $25 million through these auctions, making it easily the biggest watch event of its kind. On the eve of the 7th auction that will take place in Geneva on 11th November, we take a look at the best of the nearly 50 watches that will be auctioned this year.
A one-of-a-kind model, this 39 mm Classique watch in yellow gold is distinguished by its movement’s original construction, featuring an in-line perpetual calendar. The automatic in-house caliber 502QPLT has a power reserve of 45 hours. The dial features fine guilloche work. The indication on one line includes day, month, date and leap years, with instant jump.
Blancpain has reinterpreted one of its iconic Fifty Fathom models for the occasion. Yellow being the theme colour of Only Watch this year, the indexes and hands are in yellow Super-LumiNova, with a yellow date display and black unidirectional bezel with luminescent yellow markings. Comes in a 40.3 mm diameter steel case and is powered by Caliber 1151 mechanical movement, with automatic winding and 96-hour power reserve. ‘Only Watch’ is engraved on the gold winding rotor.
The specially created watch stands out as the first and only version of this timepiece where the 42-mm case has been created in titanium, a metal rarely used for a Patek Philippe. It features a blue dial adorned with a hand-guilloched carbon-fibre pattern. 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 42 mm white gold case features the Harry Winston signature excentre hours and minutes with a big date window at 6 o’clock. The yellow accents on the dial, which allude to the thematic colour of this year’s Only Watch auction, are treated with a phosphorescent material that emits a long-lasting blue glow in the dark. The mechanical automatic movement with twin barrels and a flat silicon balance spring has a power reserve of 72 hours.
This watch, which features a new 1/100th of a second chronograph movement and a double chain structure with two regulators, is in a 44-mm black DLC titanium case with touches of yellow, and is dedicated to Only Watch. It comes in a customized Only Watch box.
This reinterpretation of the legendary Grande Seconde watch and its playful figure 8 features a cuprite background made from copper-oxide-rich stone that is reminiscent of the Martian surface. The two counters traditionally aligned on the 12 o’clock / 6 o’clock axis are made off-centre. It comes in a 43-mm red gold case and is powered by an automatic mechanical movement with a power reserve of 68 hours. Hand engraved with the mentions `1/1` and `Only Watch 2017 Cuprite’.
Ulysse Nardin has reinterpreted its Marine Tourbillon Only Watch timepiece with a blue Grand Feu enamel dial, flying tourbillon and 60- hour power reserve. Yellow tints on the 7-hour indexes and the power reserve indicator pay homage to the 7th edition of Only Watch. It comes in a 43-mm stainless steel case, driven by the selfwinding UN-128 caliber. The flying tourbillon can be seen at 6 o’clock.
This signature Hautlence watch in a 37 mm x 43.5 mm rectangular titanium case allows the wearer to play pinball. In this specially created piece, the face of a robot appears in the dark on the dial, and the pinball machine outlines are illuminated by Super Luminova.
This watch, in a 43 mm x 45 mm yellow gold case, displays the finest Piaget goldsmithing with superimposed matt and shiny surfaces, creating a depth effect on the case. A reinterpreted version of a watch once owned by Andy Warhol, this unique timepiece features a hardstone dial in brown pietersite as well as an Only Watch 2017 unique watch engraving on the case back. Powered by the automatic manufacture caliber 534P.
This watch, dedicated to the greatest contemporary sprinter, comes in a 45 mm completely transparent sapphire case. The green, black, and gold colour scheme is a tribute to Usain Bolt’s home country. The micro blasted yellow gold-plated dial features the silhouette of Bolt’s famous victory pose at 9 o’clock. The seconds hand is in the shape of the sign of a lightning bolt. The pushers are in 18K yellow gold. The caliber Hublot UNICO HUB1242 self-winding chronograph flyback movement has a power reserve of 72 hours.
This watch, in a 43 mm titanium and ceramic case with yellow accents on the dial, is unique in the sense that the chronograph indications in the centre replace the usual counters of the dial. Time is indicated by the hour and minute hands that rotate on the peripheral axle. Powered by the self-winding caliber AgenGraph 6361.
Featuring the new Chopard high-frequency movement and made from titanium, this watch was inspired by the legendary Belgian race car driver Jacky Ickx. The 45 mm case, with a thick bezel with eight screws, is decorated with lines that look like racing car pedals. The automatic caliber 01.11-M movement has a power reserve of 60 hours.
It comes with a skylight-blue `Grande Tapisserie` dial, polished counters in solid grey gold and orange-tinted photo-realistic moon, combined with an entirely hand-finished 41 mm black ceramic Royal Oak case, bezel and bracelet, creating a one-of-a-kind colour palette. This is the first perpetual calendar wristwatch featuring a black ceramic case back with sapphire display, revealing a hand-finished black oscillating mass. It’s powered by the automatic winding caliber AP5134 with a 40-hour power reserve.
An automatic mechanical skeleton chronograph with an X shaped upper bridge, the 45 mm case is in carbon forge and ceramic with rubber inserts. It has grey-tinted sapphire crystal and a dial with metal skeletonised Superluminova filled hour and minute hands. The small seconds is at 3 o’clock and the skeleton date at 6 o’clock. The chronograph is a 30-min timer at 9 o’clock, with central chronograph seconds.
This watch, which is part of the brand’s Poetic complications collection, stands out for its alarm function, in the form of a unique countdown timer at the bottom of the dial. The 40.5 mm case which is usually in rose gold has been made in titanium for Only Watch. The caliber H1912 movement has a 50-hour power reserve.
This reinterpretation of the famous watch comes with its 44-mm case in vintage looking bronze and green. Inspired by the Minerva chronographs from the 1930s, it also features a vintage green dial. Powered by the MB M16.29 hand-wound monopusher chronograph movement.
The timepiece features a perpetual calendar with hours, minutes, moon-phase, date, day, month and leap year. It comes in a 42 mm, 18K rose gold case with a sapphire case back. What makes this piece truly exclusive is its one-of-a-kind dial, made from a meteorite found in the Namibian desert. Powered by the automatic FC-775 Manufacture caliber with a 38-hour power reserve.
This marvellously balanced timepiece, with a slate-grey dial in a 42-mm bronze case that is just 10.16 mm thick, stands out for its contemporary, casual chic style. Powered by a mechanical self-winding movement with a 54-hour power reserve.
TAG Heuer has reinterpreted its Connected Modular 45 watch, the first modular TAG Heuer luxury watch, featuring the Swiss Made mark in the Only Watch signature colours of black and vibrant yellow. It features GPS, an NFC payment sensor with Android Pay, a stunning high-definition AMOLED screen, a selection of customisable TAG Heuer dials, and it also incorporates the latest generation of Android Wear 2. The connected module is interchangeable with an Haute Horlogerie mechanical module – a 3-hand watch or COSC-certified Chronograph Tourbillon. This exclusive Only Watch box set contains the Tourbillon module.
For the first time, Carl F. Bucherer adds a royal blue peripheral rotor and a 40.6 mm, 18K white gold case to the classic lines for this watch. Powered by the automatic winding caliber CFB A2050 movement with a royal blue peripheral rotor, with a 55-hour power reserve. Blue indices, hands and date eleven in blue, and a metallic dedication on the see-through sapphire-crystal case back which reads “ONLY WATCH 2017 – Pièce unique – Fabriquée en Suisse”. Blue alligator leather strap.
This mini J12 blends the art of embroidery and watchmaking precision and refinement. It features a hand-sewn cuff studded with black glass beads, beveled with silver calfskin rim. Two glossy black leather straps wrap around the cuff and the black ceramic case. The small 19 mm case is topped by a notched bezel whose inner rim features 24 baguette-cut diamonds (0.52 carat); the crown is also paved by a diamond (0.05 carat). The black onyx dial has two white gold hands tracking the hours and minutes. The white gold buckle clasp and two loops are also studded with 9 and 10 baguette-cut diamonds respectively (0.14 and 0.2 carats).
This famous watch with twelve hand-printed cubes on its dial, featuring nautical flag designs on eleven and one displaying the hour, has been reinterpreted with new colours for Only Watch. It incorporates three unique colour tones – orange, yellow and red on the dial and the in-house movement. Comes in a 41-mm titanium case with bezel, lugs, and crown in white gold. Powered by the automatic manufacture caliber LV 77.
This rare left-handed navy watch (the winding crown is placed on the left) is based on the Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM from last year. It is presented in a 43-mm, bronze coloured aluminium bronze alloy case, with a PVD-treated steel case back. Powered by the automatic caliber MT5601-LHD with a 70-hour power reserve.