Two years ago the Only Watch charity auction set a new all-time world record price with a Patek Philippe timepiece when a Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010, created for the first time in steel, sold for $31 million ($33.6m).
The biennial spectacle returns on November 9, with 54 unique timepieces created by the world’s greatest watchmakers, submitted for sale.
The auction is run by Christie’s, and 99% of the money raised will go to scientific and medical research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
It has raised over $83 million since 2005.
Only Watch was founded and is organised by Luc Pettavino, whose teenage son died of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
He is now president of the Association Monégasque Contre les Myopathies, which studies the condition.
Only Watch auction watches
The 54 timepieces donated to Only Watch come from across the Swiss watch landscape, including hallowed independents such as F. P. Journe, Voutilainen and De Bethune; all four LVMH watch brands; privateers Richard Mille, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet; Swatch Group’s Breguet and Blancpain; Kering-owned Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin; Richemont’s Montblanc and Rolex sibling Tudor.
The full list of participating brands, announced on July 1, is:
AKRIVIA – ANDERSEN GENÈVE x EDWARD SEXTON – ARMIN STROM – ARTYA x JOHN MC LAUGHLIN – ATELIER DE CHRONOMETRIE – AUDEMARS PIGUET – BALTIC – BELL&ROSS – BLANCPAIN – BOUCHERON – BOVET 1822 – BREGUET – BULGARI – CARL F. BUCHERER – CHANEL – CHARLES GIRARDIER – CHOPARD – CYRUS GENEVE – CZAPEK GENÈVE – D.CANDAUX x SATURNO – DE BETHUNE x VOUTILAINEN – F.P.JOURNE x FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA – FABERGE – FREDERIQUE CONSTANT – GIRARD-PERREGAUX x BAMFORD WATCH DEPARTMENT – H. MOSER & CIE – HERMÈS – HUBLOT – JACOB&CO – JAQUET DROZ- KONSTANTIN CHAYKIN – KRAYON – LAURENT FERRIER – LOUIS MOINET – LOUIS VUITTON – LUDOVIC BALLOUARD – MAURICE LACROIX – MB&F – MONTBLANC – MORITZ GROSSMANN – PATEK PHILIPPE – PERRELET – REBELLION TIMEPIECES – RESERVOIR – RICHARD MILLE – ROMAIN GAUTHIER – SPEAKE-MARIN – TAG HEUER – TRILOBE x DANIEL BUREN – TUDOR – ULYSSE NARDIN – URWERK – ZENITH x FELIPE PANTONE
If the 2021 auction is to beat the record of CHF 38.6 million ($41.8m), it looks likely to do so with several watches selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, or the occasional piece in the low millions.
Patek Philippe has submitted a complicated desk clock Ref. 27001M-001 inspired by a piece delivered to James Ward Packard in 1923 that is preserved in the Patek Philippe Museum. It has an estimate of CHF 400,000 to CHF 500,000.
Audemars Piguet’s offer is a Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin that is the last unique ref. 15202 and the last unique piece powered by Calibre 2121, the thinnest automatic movement with central rotor and date indication of its time, first introduced on the Royal Oak in 1972.
F. P. Journe is donating a watch conceived over a dinner in 2012 at movie director Francis Ford Coppola’s house in the Napa Valley where Francois and Francis appear to have had a surreal conversation about watch hands over one too many glasses of pinot noir.
“He asked me if it could be possible to tell time with a hand in a watch,” Mr Journe recalls.
“I replied that the idea was interesting and required thinking about it. But how to display 12 hours with 5 fingers? It was not an easy matter and this complex challenge inspired and motivated me. Once I figured it out, Francis immediately sent the sketches for the fingers positions. After more than 2 years, I could finally focus on “Fecit”. After 7 years of development, I am proud to present the FFC prototype,” he describes.
A letter from Only Watch founder Luc Pettavino
I always start the word of welcome on each edition of ONLY WATCH (OW) with a grateful thought from us all for the person who has inspired and participated to this fantastic altruistic impulse: the courageous-admirable-handsome-funny-and-kind Paul Pettavino. His light hovers over ONLY WATCH.
The acts of altruism, compassion and empathy seem to have accelerated since the pandemic hit. They are a reason for optimism. They speak to humanity’s enduring emotional intelligence, have the power to positively shape our lives, and can be applied in a sustainable way to help each other and the planet.
Under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, ONLY WATCH, now in its 9th edition, is one concrete example that with a gentle, human touch, an easy to understand motto: create beauty to do good, a clear goal: progress with patience and determination towards therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an ethical and identical approach with each member of the OW community and organizational costs topping 1 to 2% maximum of the result, we can achieve incredibly beautiful things, raise considerable amounts of money, and make friends, making it a way of life.
This year, we have the great privilege to gather more than 50 brands, as well as people who have collaborated to create some of these unique timepieces, to raise funds for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Thanks to the generosity of the watchmakers, donors, partners, and the extraordinary international press coverage this group is creating again a unique momentum in the watch industry. Have a look at the pieces and you will agree with me.
This will bring more direct resources to the researchers supported but Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies. They have reached the promising stage of preparation for a first clinical trial in 2022, with the reasonable hope of changing the lives of thousands of young people and families. We have come a long way since the first edition of ONLY WATCH in 2005.
In the weeks preceding the auction, the watches will be presented to the public, media, and horological enthusiasts, during a promotional tour that will start on 22 September in Monaco, at the Monaco Yacht Show, and will end in Geneva with an auction in collaboration with CHRISTIE’S, on 6 November 2pm, at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues.
Off we go to a stratospheric new ONLY WATCH edition!
Thank you for your support.
Luc Pettavino, Founder of ONLY WATCH