Only Watch has become the watch industry’s biggest charity event in history after raising CHF 38.6 million ($39m) for research into Muscular Dystrophy.
Patek Philippe is dominating headlines for setting a new world record with its unique double-dialled Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010 made in stainless steel selling for CHF 31 million.
But that should not overshadow the generosity of 49 other watchmakers that created one-off timepieces for the charity auction, boosting the final total by a further CHF 7.6 million.
An F.P. Journe Astronomic Blue sold for CHF 1.8 million and an Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 made just over CHF 1 million.
Only Watch founder Luc Pettavino followed a speech by Prince Albert II of Monaco to introduce the auction — hosted for free by Christie’s in Geneva — and talk about progress in developing treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which prematurely claimed the life of his son.
“Breaking records is obviously a source of pride and happiness. What a beautiful moment and emotion shared together! And what matters most today is the difference we are going to be able to make in research against muscular dystrophies and for hundreds of thousands of patients and families around the world for their lives to get better,” Mr Pettavino said.
Only Watch is a tiny organization, supported by the generosity of the participating watchmakers and organisations like Christie’s, which helped take the 50 watches on a world tour to drum up interest.
Its leanness means 99% of funds raised go directly to medical and scientific research projects channeled through the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy.