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Only Watch 2023

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The tenth, anniversary edition of the Only Watch auction will be held 5 November 2023 at the Palexpo in Geneva, under the high patronage of His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince of Monaco Prince Albert II. Only Watch just revealed the 62 unique lots created by the finest brands to support the research of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 

UPDATE, 23 October: On 17 October Audemars Piguet canceled its participation and watch donation to the 2023 edition of Only Watch. In the following days questions were raised about the transparency, the allocation of funds and the governance of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies. As Only Watch press release states – ‘The AMM has decided to postpone the 10th edition of the Only Watch (OW) auction to 2024, originally scheduled for 5 November 2023 in Geneva.’

Only Watch celebrates its 10th birthday this year. So far every editions had a dedicated colour – now the anniversary auction celebrates the colours of previous editions in its visual identity, and adding the colour green, a symbol of hope. 

Altogether 126 brands have participated to Only Watch since 2005, representing the majority of the high horology industry. This year the one-of-a-kind creations are the result of the work of 73 brands, featuring 16 collaborations and resulting in an auction of 62 lots. 

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 2023. Independent brands and smaller watchmakers are also there to support the good cause – like Akrivia, Armin Strom, Bovet, F.P. Journe, H. Moser & Cie together with 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, Tiffany & Co., Tudor, Ulysse Nardin or the previous auction’s record-holder Patek Philippe.

The watches are more colourful than ever before and we can find exciting, creative or highly artistic  pieces in the line-up. 

In 2023 there are new brands among the 73 watchmakers, such as Biver – a hyper-exclusive brand created by Jean-Claude Biver and his son, Pierre; a special co-creation of Furlan Marri x Dominique Renaud x Julien Tixier in the form of an ultra-simplified secular perpetual calendar or a project by the Geneva-based Barbier-Mueller family, known worldwide for its collection of primitive arts, the Mosaïque II. 

Discover all the Only Watch 2023 creations here.

Only Watch auction & tour

The auction will be held by Christie’s Geneva on Sunday, 5 November, at 2pm (CET) at Palexpo and it can also be followed online via christies.com. As every year the Only Watch pieces are going to a world tour, which will start on 6 September, 2023, in Los Angeles, and will end on 5 November, 2023, in Geneva. 

Tour stops hosted by Only Watch and Christie’s: 14-17 September, New York; 5-7 October, Hong Kong; 11-12 October, Bangkok; 3-5 November, Geneva. 

Tour stops hosted by Only Watch and other Partners: 27-30 September, Monaco Yacht Show; 20-22 October, Singapore Malmaison by The Hour Glass; 27 October, Dubai – Seddiqi at the Museum of the Future. 

Only Project 

Only Watch was launched in 2005 by Luc Pettavino in collaboration with the watch industry for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He is the co-founder of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (AMM) and has started this themed charity auction for personal reason – his late son, Paul, suffered from muscular dystrophy. 

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. It is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy. Symptom onset is in early childhood, usually between the ages of 3 and 5. The disease primarily affects boys, but in rare cases it can affect girls. (DMD is a rare muscle disorder but it is one of the most frequent genetic conditions affecting approximately 1 in 3,000 male births worldwide.) 

On top of grants and fellowships given out by the charity to researchers within public institutions (hospitals and universities) two biotechs were created in 2012 and in 2015. These allow researchers to develop a promising biotechnology. As the Only Project describes – ‘After years of organising roundtables, financing projects here and there testing the tangibility of such and such therapeutic avenue — one of the key challenges being get the genetic ‘repair message’ to all cells in a lasting yet non-toxic way — one pathway was found to be particularly promising. A professor had created a new class of antisense oligonucleotides (synthetic RNA fragments that attach to the mRNA) that could bring the message in the right places, efficiently.’

Now the actions of the charity are regrouped under the name the ‘Only Project’ with a new logo, created by French designer Antoine Peltier. The focus is organising key conversations for  researchers from around the world to share knowledge and accelerate breakthroughs; and financially supporting dozens of research projects with the goal of reaching and refining therapeutic outcomes for DMD. 

See more on the Only Project website and check out the video with Tess Pettavino (daughter of Luc Pettavino, founder of Only Watch) below.


Source: press release. Photo credits: Only Watch 2023
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