Seven Wild Timepieces Coming To The ‘Only Watch Auction’

In November, Only Watch will offer 54 utterly unique timepieces.

By Victoria Gomelsky 12/07/2021

Mark your calendars. The watch world’s most high-profile selling event, the biennial Only Watch charity auction to benefit research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, takes place on Nov. 6 in Geneva.

The last time the event was staged, in 2019, a new world record was set for the highest price paid for any watch sold at auction, ever (for a unique version of the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime). With 54 brands, from Akrivia to Zenith, producing wild and unique pieces for the sale (seven of which are highlighted below), the 2021 Only Watch auction is poised to see similar headlines.

F.P. Journe x Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue

F.P. Journe x Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue

F.P. Journe x Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue F.P. Journe

Master watchmaker François-Paul Journe was having dinner at Francis Ford Coppola’s house in Napa Valley in 2012 when the director asked him if it was possible to create a watch in which a hand, using various combinations of fingers, displayed the hours.

“I replied that the idea was interesting and required thinking about,” Journe said in a statement. “But how to display 12 hours with five fingers? It was not an easy matter and this complex challenge inspired and motivated me.”

Nine years later, the idiosyncratic prototype timepiece that resulted from that offhand (see what we did there?) conversation is called the FFC Blue. Presented in a 42 mm tantalum case, the model is based on F.P. Journe’s revered automatic Octa Calibre 1300, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The minutes are driven by a rotating disk located at 12 o’clock, while the mobile fingers appear or disappear instantaneously, indicating the hours by their position. (The fingers were inspired by a mechanical hand created by Ambroise Paré, a 16th-century physician known as the father of modern surgery.) Estimated at CHF 300,000–400,000 (approximately $439,310-$585,740); fpjourne.com

Girard-Perregaux Casquette

Girard-Perregaux Casquette

Girard-Perregaux Casquette Girard-Perregaux

Girard-Perregaux’s retro-futuristic entry into the Only Watch auction is a sleek reboot of its 1976 Casquette model. A quartz-powered wristwatch with an LED digital display, the original Casquette—encased in a choice of steel, yellow gold-plated metal or Makrolon—was the embodiment of the era’s funky design style, its TV-shaped case a reflection of the decade’s space-age obsession.

The redux edition seen here is the product of Girard-Perregaux’s second design collaboration with George Bamford, founder of the English customizer Bamford Watch Department (the first effort, the Laureato Ghost, came out last November). Bamford told Robb Report last year that he had his heart set on reviving the vintage model and here we have it.

This time around, the case is made of forged carbon, and the caseback and push buttons of grade 5 titanium. “Although some observers may describe the ’70s design of this watch as retro, I would argue that the shape of the case and the use of forged carbon make it look decidedly futuristic,” Bamford says. We couldn’t agree more. Estimated at CHF 10,000–20,000 (approximately $14,640-$30,750); girard-perregaux.com

Moser & Cie. Streamliner Cylindrical Tourbillon

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Cylindrical Tourbillon

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser & Cie

The movement at the heart of H. Moser’s Streamliner Cylindrical Tourbillon for Only Watch was developed in 2020, when the watchmaker teamed with fellow independent brand MB&F on one of the year’s most talked-about collaborations. For this year’s auction, H. Moser chose to render the dial of its popular Streamliner model in Vantablack, the darkest man-made substance in existence, to accentuate its three-dimensional cylindrical tourbillon movement. Housed in a 40mm steel cushion case, on the complex Streamliner integrated steel bracelet, the piece is a subtle but unmistakable work of haute horlogerie. Estimated at CHF 60,000–80,000 (approximately $87,860 – $117,150); h-moser.com

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Hublot

Complete transparency, thanks to a case and dial made entirely of sapphire glass, has become something of a calling card for Hublot. For Only Watch, the brand has turned its eye for clarity on the Big Bang Tourbillon, whose bezel and hands are decked out in the special event’s signature orange hue. Powered by a new self-winding manufacture tourbillon movement—MHUB6035—introduced in January, the model comes with two interchangeable One Click structured lined rubber straps (one is transparent and the other is orange). The “Pièce Unique” engraving on the back seals the deal. Estimated at CHF 160,000–180,000 (approximately $174,071-$195,830); hublot.com

Ulysse Nardin UFO Clock

Ulysse Nardin UFO Clock

Ulysse Nardin UFO Clock Ulysse Nardin

Part timekeeper, part art object and part horological experiment, Ulysse Nardin’s UFO table clock answers a philosophical question: “What would a marine chronometer designed in 2196 be like?”

To capture the next 175 years of timekeeping, the watchmaker relied on its historic expertise with marine chronometers as well as its reputation for bold, futuristic watchmaking, best represented by the legendary Freak wristwatch of the early Aughts.

The 663 components contained by the glass-blown bell jar of the UFO sit upon a gentle swing meant to evoke the perpetual movement of the ocean. Equipped with three dials, allowing the display of three different time zones, the UFO is the product of a collaboration with the traditional clockmaker Maison L’Epée.

Introduced in April in a metallic blue edition of 75 pieces, the UFO has been remade for Only Watch as a singular object with its spherical anodized aluminium base, power reserve disks, lower ties, connecting cylinders and Ulysse Nardin logo insert decked out in a bright orange hue. Estimated at CHF 42,000 (approximately $61,500); ulysse-nardin.com

Urwerk UR-102 Gaïa

Urwerk UR-102 Gaïa

Urwerk UR-102 Gaïa Urwerk

At first glance, the UR-102 Gaïa from the avant-garde watchmakers at Urwerk seems like a departure from their signature style. Simple to the extreme, the model’s only concession to time display is a single wandering hour. Dig deeper, however, and you’ll discover that the model, encased in a round asphalt-coloured anodized aluminium case with a platinum caseback, is derived from the watch Urwerk showcased at its very first appearance at the Baselworld fair, in 1997.

The piece is named after the Gaïa Prize for entrepreneurship, which Urwerk founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei won in 2020. “The award recognises a journey from oblivion to the limelight, along with tenacity, conviction and pugnacity that have repeatedly been put to the test,” Baumgartner and Frei said in a statement. “This model reflects this fierce determination that blazes new trails. We dedicate this symbol of hope to all those who struggle to make things happen.” For Only Watch, what could be more fitting? Estimated at CHF 32,000–75,000 (approximately $46,860-$109,830); urwerk.com

Zenith Defy 21 Double Tourbillon

Zenith Defy 21 Double Tourbillon

Zenith Defy 21 Double Tourbillon Zenith

Chronographs are Zenith’s bread and butter, but the brand’s Only Watch entry, its most advanced and complex chronograph to date, takes it up a notch or three. The Defy 21 Double Tourbillon features two independent tourbillons operating at 5Hz for the timekeeping function of the movement and 50Hz for the 1/100th of a second chronograph, each rotating at rates of 60 seconds and 5 seconds, respectively.

What truly elevates the timepiece, which is sheathed in a transparent 46mm sapphire case, into the realm of art (both the kinetic and static variety) is the three-dimensional PVD rainbow coating that’s been applied as a surface treatment to the tourbillon chronograph movement. Created by contemporary artist Felipe Pantone, a specialist in op art, the multicolour treatment produces an optical effect of transitioning hues throughout the open dial. Colour us impressed. Estimated at CHF 180,000–220,000 (approximately $263,580 -$322,160); zenith-watches.com

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Escape from the Ordinary

Ponant, the luxury cruise line known for its meticulously planned itineraries and high-end service, ups the ante on their upcoming European Journeys that promise an unrivalled exploration of the Mediterranean.

By Robb Report Team 19/02/2024

Not all cruises are created equally. Ponant, the luxury cruise line known for its meticulously planned itineraries and high-end service, ups the ante on their upcoming European Journeys that promise an unrivalled exploration of the Mediterranean. From the stunning Amalfi Coast to the pristine Greek Islands, the narrow Corinth Canal to the picturesque Dalmatian coast, historic Istanbul and beguiling Malaga, each destination is a unique adventure waiting to be unravelled. With Ponant, these aren’t just locations on a map; they’re experiences that come alive with the intimate knowledge and insight that their expert guides provide.

Ponant’s luxury cruises are renowned for their individuality, with no two journeys the same. This is not by chance. Itineraries are scrupulously designed to ensure that each passenger is left with a feeling of having embarked on a journey unlike any other.

Athens-Venise. Photograph by N.Matheus. ©PONANT

In 2025, their fleet will set sail for a combined 56 departures from March to October, exploring the dreamy locales of Greece and the Greek Islands, Malta, Italy (including Venice and Sicily), Croatia, France, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. These European Journeys offer an intimate encounter with the Mediterranean, its people and culture. As you cruise in luxury, you’ll dive deep into the heart of each destination, exploring historic sites, engaging with locals, sampling scrumptious cuisine and soaking in the vibrant atmospheres.

The company’s small, sustainable ships, which can accommodate from as few as 32 to 264 guests, have the exclusive ability to sail into ports inaccessible to larger cruise liners, affording privileged entry into some of the world’s most treasured alcoves. Picture sailing under London’s iconic Tower Bridge, crossing the Corinth Canal, or disembarking directly onto the sidewalk during ports of call in culturally rich cities like Lisbon, Barcelona, Nice and Venice, among others.

Photo by Tamar Sarkissian. ©PONANT

This singular closeness is further enriched by destination experts who unravel the tapestry of each locale’s history and traditions.

Onboard their luxurious ships, every guest is a VIP and treated to refined service and amenities akin to sailing on a private yacht. Whether at sea or ashore, their destination experts guarantee a fascinating experience, immersing you in the rich cultural and historical diversity of each region.

Indulge in the finest gastronomy at sea, inspired by none other than gastronomic virtuoso and Ponant partner, Alain Ducasse. Each voyage offers an expertly crafted dining experience, from a-la-carte meals with perfectly matched wines by the onboard Sommelier at dinner and lunch, to a French-inspired buffet breakfast, featuring all the favourite pastries, fresh bread and quality produce.

Chef Mickael Legrand. Photograph by NickRains. ©PONANT

For a more intimate discovery, consider Le Ponant, with its 16 high-class staterooms and suites—perfect for private charter—sailing eight exclusive routes between Greece and Croatia, offering guests unparalleled experiences both onboard and ashore. Ponant’s commitment to crafting unforgettable experiences extends beyond itineraries. Aboard their ships, the luxury is in every detail. Unwind in opulent cabins and suites, each offering private balconies and breathtaking views of the azure water and destinations beyond.

Ponant’s upcoming European Journeys are more than just cruises—they’re your passport to a world of cultural immersion, historical exploration, and unrivalled luxury. Don’t miss this opportunity to embark on the voyage of a lifetime: the Mediterranean is calling.

To book European 2025 sailings visit au.ponant.com; call 1300 737 178 (AU) or 0800 767 018 (NZ) or contact your preferred travel agent.

 

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Saint Laurent Just Opened a New Bookstore in Paris. Here’s a Look Inside.

The chic new outpost is located on the city’s arty Left Bank.

By Rachel Cormack 14/02/2024

Saint Laurent is taking over even more of Paris.

The French fashion house, which only just opened an epic new flagship on Champs-Élysées, has launched a chic new bookstore on the Left Bank. Located in the 7th arrondissement, Saint Laurent Babylone is a mecca of art, music, literature, and, of course, fashion.

The new outpost is a tribute to the connection that Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Bergé had to the Rue Babylone, according to Women’s Wear Daily. (In 1970, the pair moved to a 6,500-square-foot duplex on the street.) It is also inspired by the house’s original ready-to-wear boutique, Saint Laurent Rive Guache, which opened in the 6th arrondissement in 1966.

The exposed concrete in contrasted by sleek marble accents. SAINT LAURENT

With a minimalist, art gallery-like aesthetic, the space is anchored by a hefty marble bench and large black shelves. The raw, textured concrete on the walls is juxtaposed by a soft blue and white rug, a wooden Pierre Jeanneret desk, and sleek Donald Judd stools.

The wares within Saint Laurent Babylone are the most important part, of course. Curated by Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello, the collection includes everything from photos by British artist Rose Finn-Kelcey to books published by Saint Laurent itself. Some tomes on offer are so rare that white gloves are required for handling.

The store also offers an enviable selection of records that are no longer being pressed. Highlights include Sade’s Promise, Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, and the debut studio album of electronic band Kraftwerk.

Other notable items on the shelves include Leica cameras, chocolates made in collaboration with pastry chef François Daubinet, prints by Juergen Teller, and brass skull sculptures. You’ll also find an assortment of YSL merch, including pens, lighters, and cups.

To top it off, Saint Laurent Babylone will double as an event space, hosting live music sessions, DJ sets, book readings, and author signings over the coming months.

Saint Laurent’s latest endeavor isn’t exactly surprising. With Vaccarello at the helm, the Kering-owned fashion house has entered new cultural realms. Only last year, the label established a film production company and debuted its first movie at Cannes.

The space is fitted with a Pierre Jeanneret desk and Donald Judd stools.
SAINT LAURENT

Perhaps Saint Laurent film reels and movie posters will soon be available at Babylone, too.

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The Best Watches at the Grammys, From Maluma’s Jacob & Co. to Jon Batiste’s Vacheron Constantin

Music’s biggest names sported some outstanding watches on Sunday evening.

By Rachel Mccormack 08/02/2024

Weird yet wonderful watches punctuated this year’s Grammys.

The woman of the moment, Taylor Swift, who made history by winning Album of the Year for an unprecedented fourth time, wore an unconventional Lorraine Schwartz choker watch to the annual awards ceremony on Sunday night. That was just the tip of the horological iceberg, though.

Colombian singer-songwriter Maluma elevated a classic Dolce & Gabbana suit with a dazzling Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon and a pair of custom, diamond-encrusted Bose earbuds, while American musician Jon Batiste topped off a stylish Versace ensemble with a sleek Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon. Not to be outdone, rapper Busta Rhymes busted out a rare Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for the occasion.

There was more understated wrist candy on display, too, such as Jack Antonoff’s Cartier Tank LC and Noah Kahan’s Panerai Luminor Quaranta BiTempo.

For the rest of the best watches we saw on the Grammys 2024 red carpet, read on.

Maluma: Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon

Maluma busted out some truly spectacular bling for this year’s Grammys. The Colombian singer-songwriter paired a classic Dolce & Gabbana suit with a dazzling Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon and a pair of custom, diamond-encrusted Bose earbuds. The sculptural wrist candy sees a four-arm movement floating in front of a breathtaking dial adorned with no less than 257 rubies. For added pizzaz, the lugs of the 18-karat rose-gold case are invisibly set with 80 baguette-cut white diamonds. Limited to just nine examples, the rarity is priced at $1.5 million.

Asake: Hublot Big Bang Essential Grey

Nigerian singer-songwriter Asake may not have won the Grammy for Best African Music Performance for “Amapiano,” but did wear a winning Hublot Big Bang at Sunday’s proceedings. Released in 2023, the Essential Grey model is made purely of titanium for a sleek, uniform feel. The 42 mm timepiece was limited to just 100 pieces and cost $37,000 a pop.

John Legend: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding

Multihyphenate John Legend wore a legendary Audemars Piguet with silky Saint Laurent on Sunday evening. The self-winding Royal Oak in question features a 34 mm black ceramic case, a black grande tapisserie dial, and striking pink gold accents. The watchmaker’s signature is also displayed in gold under the sapphire crystal. The piece will set you back $81,000.

Jon Batiste: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon

American musician Jon Batiste received four nominations but no wins at this year’s Grammys. The “Butterfly” singer can take solace in the fact that he looked ultra-sharp in Versace and Vacheron Constantin. A tribute to the spirit of travel, the Overseas Tourbillon features a 42.5 mm white-gold case, a bezel set with 60 baguette-cut diamonds, and a blue dial featuring a dazzling tourbillon cage inspired by the Maltese cross. Price upon request, naturally.

Fireboy DML: Cartier Santos

Fireboy DML’s outfit was straight fire on Sunday night. The Nigerian singer paired an MCM wool jacket with a Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet, several iced-out rings, and a sleek Cartier Santos. The timepiece features a steel case, a graduated blue dial with steel sword-shaped hands, and a seven-sided crown with synthetic faceted blue spinel.

Noah Kahan: Panerai Luminor Quaranta BiTempo

Best New Artist nominee Noah Kahan wore one of Panerai’s best new watches to Sunday’s festivities. The Luminor Quaranta BiTempo features a 40 mm polished steel case and a black dial with luminous numerals and hour markers, a date display at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. The timepiece can be yours for $14,000.

Busta Rhymes: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

Legendary rapper Busta Rhymes busted out a chic Audemars Piguet for this year’s Grammys. The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in question is distinguished by a 42 mm rose-gold case and a matching pink méga tapisserie dial with an outer flange for the tachymeter scale. The face is fitted with three black subdials, large black numerals, and a black date display at 3 o’clock. You can expect to pay around $61,200 for the chronograph on the secondary market.

Jack Antonoff: Cartier Tank Louis Cartier

Producer of the year Jack Antonoff took to the red carpet with a stylish Cartier on his wrist. The Tank Louis Cartier in question appears to be a large 33.7 mm example that features an 18-carat rose-gold case, a silvered dial with black Roman numerals and blued steel hands, a beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon, and a brown alligator strap. It’ll set you back $19,900.

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This 44-Foot Carbon-Fiber Speedboat Can Rocket to 177 KMPH

The new Mayla GT is available with a range of different powertrains, too.

By Rachel Cormack 03/02/2024

We knew the Mayla GT would be one of the most exciting boats at Boot Düsseldorf, but a deep dive into the specs shows it could be downright revolutionary.

The brainchild of German start-up Mayla, the 44-footer brings you the blistering performance of a speedboat and the luxe amenities of a motor yacht in one neat carbon-fiber package.

Inspired by the go-fast boats of the 1970s and ‘80s, the GT sports an angular, retro-futuristic body and the sleek lines of a rocket ship. Tipping the scales at just 4500 kilograms, the lightweight design features a deep-V hull with twin transversal steps and patented Petestep deflectors that help it slice through the waves with ease. In fact, Mayla says the deflectors decrease energy usage by up to 35 percent while ensuring a more efficient planing.

The range-topping GT can reach 185 kph. MAYLA

The GT is also capable of soaring at breakneck speeds, with the option of a gas, diesel, electric, or hybrid powertrain. The range-topping GTR-R model packs dual gas-powered engines that can churn out 3,100 hp for a top speed of more than 100 knots (185 kph). At the other, more sustainable end of the spectrum, the E-GT is fitted with an electric powertrain that can produce 2,200 horses for a max speed of 50 knots. The hybrid E-GTR pairs that same electric powertrain with a 294 kilowatt diesel engine for a top speed of 60 knots (111 km/h/69 mph). (The GT in the water at Boot sported two entry-level V8s good for 650 hp and a top speed of over 70 knots.)

The GT is suitable for more than just high-speed jaunts, of course. The multipurpose cockpit, which can accommodate up to eight passengers, features a sundeck with sliding loungers, a wet bar and BBQ, and a foldaway dining table for alfresco entertaining. Further toward the stern, a beach club sits atop a garage with an electric transom door.

The garage has an electric transom door. MAYLA

The GT is even fit for overnight stays. Below deck lies a cabin with a double bed, sofa, wardrobe, vanity, and en suite. You can also expect a high-tech entertainment system with TVs and premium audio.

As for price, the GT with the entry-level powertrain will cost between $2.7 million and $2.9, depending on the final configuration. (You can fine-tune the layout, hull color, and interiors, naturally.) Interested buyers can set up a sea trial with Mayla, with test-drives set to begin this spring in Europe.

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Red Centre

First Nations artist Shaun Daniel Allen joins forces with Chopard to create a timepiece inspired by the Australian landscape.

By Horacio Silva 29/01/2024

Shaun Daniel Allen does not look like your typical collaborator on a prestige watch. For one, Shal, as he prefers to be known (“There are many Shauns but only one Shal,” he explains), is more heavily tattooed than your average roadie. His youthful appearance, bad-boy ink and all, belies his 38 years and leads to a disconnect. 

He recounts being recognised on the street recently by a journalist, who, unable to remember his name, shouted out, “Chopard!” “I was with a friend,” Shal says, holding court in his apartment in Sydney’s inner city, “and he’s, like, ‘What the hell? Does that happen to you often?’”

Perhaps because of his body art, he reasons, “People don’t put me and Chopard together.” It’s not hard to understand the confusion, Shal adds; even he was taken aback when Chopard reached out to him about a potential collaboration a little more than a year ago. “When I first went in to see them, I was, like, I don’t know if I’m your guy. I’m not used to being in those rooms and having those conversations.”

He’ll have to adapt quickly to his new reality. Last month Chopard released Shal’s interpretation of the Swiss brand’s storied Alpine Eagle model, which in itself was a redo of the St. Moritz, the first watch creation by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (now Co-President of Chopard) in the late 1970s. 

Previewed at Sydney’s About Time watch fair in September, to not insignificant interest, and officially known as the Alpine Eagle Sunburnt, the exclusive timepiece—issued in a limited edition of 20—arrives as a stainless steel 41 mm with a 60-hour power reserve and a burnt red dial that brings to mind the searing Outback sun. Its see-through caseback features one of Shal’s artworks painted on sapphire glass.

When the reputable Swiss luxury brand approached Shal, they already had the red dial—a nod to the rich ochre hues of the Australian soil at different times of the day and gradated so that the shades become darker around the edges—locked in as a lure for Australian customers.

Shal was charged with designing an artful caseback and collectible hand-painted sustainable wooden case. After presenting a handful of paintings, each with his signature abstract motifs that pertain to indigenous emblems, tattoos and music, both parties landed on a serpentine image that evoked the coursing of rivers. “I have been painting a lot of water in this last body of work and the image we chose refers to the rivers at home,” he says, alluding to formative years spent at his grandfather’s, just outside of Casino.

It says a lot about Chopard, Shal points out, that they wanted to donate to a charity of his choosing. “Like everything else on this project,” he explains, “they were open to listening and taking new ideas on board and it actually felt like a collaboration, like they weren’t steering me into any corner.”

In another nice touch, a portion of the proceeds from sales of the watch will go to funding programs of the Ngunya Jarjum Aboriginal Corporation—an organisation, established in 1995 by Bundjalung elders, whose work Shal saw firsthand after the 2022 eastern Australia flood disasters ravaged their area. “Seeing Ngunya Jarjum suffer from the floods,” he says, “and knowing how much they do for the community on Bundjalung Country was heartbreaking. I want to see Bundjalung families thriving and supported.”

So what’s it been like for this booster of Australian waterways to be swimming in the luxury end of the pool? “I’ve done a few things with brands,” he offers, referring to the Louis Vuitton project earlier this year at an art gallery in Brisbane, “but nothing on this scale. It’s definitely fancier than I’m used to but I’m not complaining.” Neither are watch aficionados.

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