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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

Following the preview of the one-off dedicated pieces of participating brands from 7-9 November, the 8th edition of the biannual Only Watch charity auction is about to begin at the Four Seasons’ Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva.

UPDATE: The 8th sale ended with CHF 38,593,000, which is not far from the total of the former 7 editions altogether. Lot 28, Patek Philippe The Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010 alone was hammered CHF 31,000,000.

‘Only Watch portrays a world where diversity doesn’t create opposition but instead works in harmony, in a common effort to do good, and where altruism, cooperation and the public interest take over selfishness and the « every man/woman for him/herself » approach. We have to acknowledge that our societies are currently expressing a need for more of these humanist values.’ – highlights Luc Pettavino founder of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (AMM) at the opening of the Only Watch auction.

Mr Pettavino’s determination to battle the Duchenne muscular dystrophy his son Paul had suffered has established a consistent financial stream for research to finding a cure for this incurable medical condition. The 7 editions of the biannual Only Watch have raised over EUR 35m so far since 2005.

Please see our latest overview about the auction here.

All participants let it be the organizers, the watch brands, the venue, the auctioneer or the logistic company take care of their part at no charge, making 99% of the income arrive at its destination.

Luc Pettavino, Founder and Organiser of Only Watch receives the Special Jury Prize at the GPHG Gala 7 November 2019 for uniting the watch industry for a single cause
Luc Pettavino, Founder and Organiser of Only Watch receives the Special Jury Prize at the GPHG Gala 7 November 2019 for uniting the watch industry for a single cause

Where does research currently stand?

The funding has allowed forefront research laboratories to recruit young scientists, to acquire cutting-edge equipment and to significantly improve their operational resources. Two companies SYNTHENA in Switzerland and SQY Therapeutics in France were also initiated, dedicated to drug discovery. The synthetic compound they developed is currently in a preclinical stage. It is safe in rodents and non-human primates, and according to mouse models of the disease it allows dystrophin rescue and functional improvement in skeletal muscles, heart and brain following a few weeks of treatment.

Additionally, in the search for beneficial drug combinations from the past decades, the retrospective analysis of enriched databases for cardiac complications has also been conducted.

What does Only Watch mean to watch brands

The increasing public desire to deliver change in matters such as environment protection and social issues has raised the demand for companies to develop meaningful Corporate Social Responsibility programs. CSR in luxury has been typically around elements of their respective supply chain, such as sourcing precious metals and gemstones or working with mining communities. With Only Watch Luc Pettavino managed to unite watch players big and small for a single cause outside their sphere of business. ‘The framework is clear. It is not about power. There is no room for ego. It’s just about the project.’ – he underlines.

Participation gives companies the opportunity to show their human face, which makes it more lovable for customers – a factor increasingly important in the luxury sector in 2019.

Brands create one-off pieces on their own or in collaboration. The 50 lots this year have travelled around the world (Dubai, Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei) before arriving to Four Seasons’ Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva for the final viewing before the auction at 2pm, 9 November.

The auction is held by Christie’s for the second time.