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

The ninth edition of the Only Watch auction will be held 6 November 2021 in Geneva, under the high patronage of His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince of Monaco Prince Albert II. The selection includes unique timepieces created by the finest brands to support the research of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 

The Only Watch is a biennial charity auction of unique timepieces created and donated by fine watchmakers for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Luc Pettavino, co-founder of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (AMM) and founder of Only Watch has started this themed charity auction for personal reason – his late son, Paul, suffered from muscular dystrophy. 

Since the first edition of Only Watch in 2005 “a personal story that I have transformed into a universal project,” – the generosity of the watchmakers, donors and partners enabled the ‘Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies’ to collect more than EUR 70 million to date. The 8th sale ended with CHF 38,593,000, which is not far from the total of the former 7 editions altogether. Discover more about it here.

These results have contributed to significant advances in research over the last years. The researchers who AMM support have reached the promising stage of preparation for a first clinical trial in 2022, with the reasonable hope of changing the lives of the effected young people and families. Luis Garcia – Research Director talks more about the research progress here.

World tour & auction

From the 22 September to 6 November, the special collection will travel around the world. The Principality of Monaco will host the first stop of this itinerant exhibition, on the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show, from 22 to 25 September. 

The following stops are Dubai (30 September – 3 October, at Christie’s), Tokyo (8-10 October, Christie’s), Singapore (15-20 October, The Hour Glass), Hong Kong (25-28 October, Christie’s) and Geneva (4-6 November, Christie’s – Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues). 

The Only Watch auction will take place on Saturday 6 November 2021, 2 PM at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues, in Geneva, under the hammer of Christie’s.

Prince of Monaco Prince Albert II
His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince of Monaco Prince Albert II (right) at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues, in Geneva at Only Watch 2019

Watch brands in the 9th edition

This year 54 brands participating in the 9th edition of the biennial charity auction and the 53 lots that will be auctioned. Big luxury groups, like Swatch Group and LVMH Group are also participating – from Swatch Group Breguet, Blancpain and Jaquet Droz present a special watch for the auction; while from LVMH Bulgari, Hublot, Zenith, Louis Vuitton and Tag Heuer create pieces for Only Watch 2021.

Independent brands and smaller watchmakers are also there to support the good cause – like Akrivia, Armin Strom, Bovet, F.P. Journe, H. Moser & Cie., MB&F, URWERK, Laurent Ferrier, De Bethune and more.

Of course Only Watch has the ‘big guns’ and very well know brands like Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, Hermès, Chanel, Chopard, Tudor, Ulysse Nardin or the previous auction’s record-holder Patek Philippe.

At the Geneva Watch Days 2021 we previewed two exciting creations, follow us along.

De Bethune – Kind of Magic for Only Watch 2021

Estimate: CHF 200,000 – 250,000

Since Only Watch is about timepieces which are absolutely one-of-a-kind or very first in a limited edition series, more and more niche brands are teaming up to create something special. Denis Flageollet (co-founder and master watchmaker of De Bethune) and Kari Voutilainen (Finnish master watchmakers who is known for stunning guilloché dials, exceptional movements and impeccable finishing) are co-signing a creation whose DNA blends the main characteristics of each. 

The ‘base’ was De Bethune’s reversible watch, released this January. The 10-piece limited edition DB Kind of Two Tourbillon includes two very different dials in one timepiece and you can very easily change it thanks to a new mechanism. 

On the Kind of Magic timepiece the two dials show two different watchmaking identities: this perfectly reversible watch embodies the union between two distinct but identical watchmaking worlds – one from De Bethune and the other from Voutilainen. 

As Denis Flageollet shares – ‘Kari and I share the blood-line of watchmaking know-how passed on by the man who taught us both: Charles Meylan. I am pleased that we are combining our experience with that of Voutilainen for the beautiful cause represented by Only Watch 2021, and delighted by this moment of sharing.’

The 43.3mm diameter polished, grade 5 titanium case ‘frames’ the two dials – one is with the guilloche engraved blue-coloured dial and matching two-tone hands, which are really Voutilainen signatures, the other side features a skeletonized version of De Bethune’s popular dead-beat seconds movement (here the OW21) with a black hour ring with rose gold index, black minutes dial with rose gold colour transfer.

De Bethune – Kind of Magic for Only Watch 2021
De Bethune – Kind of Magic for Only Watch 2021
De Bethune – Kind of Magic for Only Watch 2021
De Bethune – Kind of Magic for Only Watch 2021

MB&F – HM10 Panda Only Watch 

Estimate: CHF 100,000 – 150,000

In 2011 MB&F created the HM4 timepiece with a panda for Only Watch – a friendly panda piloting a unique space-age HM4 jet. In 2021 the panda returns in a brand new creation – as Max Büsser describes this animal symbolises childhood to him

The Horological Machine No10 already had a Bulldog version – now it became the rounded body black and white panda bear. The top section of the watch is stainless steel coated in black and white lacquer. Other design features include two black titanium panda ears, added atop the sapphire crystal dome (as his head), and a tail which is a ceramic ball. 

MB&F - HM10 Panda Only Watch
MB&F - HM10 Panda Only Watch

The flying balance wheel and the escapement are in front of the panda, his eyes are two black aluminium domes (turning the hours and minutes) and his jaw with sharp teeth indicates the power reserve. 

MB&F adds a little extra touch to the unique creation: the watch is being offered together with unique works of art by multidisciplinary designer – specialising in typography and watch design – Lee Yuen-Rapati (well-known in the watchmaking world as OneHourWatch on Instagram, where he shows watch drawings done by hand every day in one hour or less). He has created a series of illustrations inspired by the HM10 Panda specially for the auction. You can see a few here

Browse through the whole collection on the Only Watch 2021 website.

Photo credits: Only Watch 2021, Loupiosity.com
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