Twelve epic watches set to go to auction for charity
Forty-seven watches and two spectacular clocks make up the year's docket for the Only Watch charity auction, ranging from unique dial variations of existing pieces to completely unique creations produced specifically for the event.
Founded in 2005 to support the Association Monégasque Contre les Myopathies — a charity funding research in muscular dystrophy — the Only Watch auction brings together luxury watch brands and the collecting community like no other event on the planet.
A chance to acquire a unique piece of haute horlogerie and support an important charity has driven bidders in past years to break numerous sales records. Looking at this year's docket, we expect to see at least a few chart-topping bids come the big event on November 11.
F.P. Journe Chronographe Monopoussoir
It's safe to say this F.P. Journe timepiece is more eccentric than anything in his current collection, though it's not without its charm. The Monopoussoir Rattrapante draws inspiration from the vintage era, and looking at its dial configuration and case size, we cannot help but see hints of the ultra rare Rolex 4113 in its design (viewed through a kaleidoscope perhaps).
The movement of this monopusher split-seconds chronograph is crafted of 18-karat rose gold, boasting a power reserve of 80 hours in order to ensure two days of running stability of the chronograph and split functions.
Jacob & Co. Epic X Chrono
Though just a new colour variation of the Epic X Chrono is being offered at Only Watch, it's the additional perks of the sale that make this offering noteworthy. The winning bidder of the unique piece will accompany Jacob & Co. CEO Jacob Arabo to Saint Tropez, France, and attend the yearly Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala in July 2018. The star-studded gala dinner is a key event for the foundation dedicated to protecting the planet and vulnerable wildlife from extinction.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5208T-010
Patek's one-off creations for Only Watch consistently put the auction floor into a froth, including their Ref. 5016 which became the world's most expensive wristwatch when it sold at Only Watch 2015 (since surpassed by the Patek Ref. 1518 that sold last November). This year's offering is a unique titanium-cased variation of their 5208 grand complication— a self-winding minute repeater, monopusher chronograph, and perpetual calendar — a piece we don't doubt will lead the sales results at the auction's close.
Laurent Ferrier x Urwerk
Details of this collaboration are nearly non-existent at press time of publishing, but the thought of these two horological masterminds working together is the stuff dreams are made of. On one hand, Laurent Ferrier is an industry leader when it comes to reinterpreting the DNA of classical watchmaking.
On the other, Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei are incessantly pushing the boundaries of modern timekeeping. What happens when these worlds collide? Rest assured we will keep you apprised once more details surface.
Chopard Superfast 8Hz Power Control
Chopard turned to Jacky Ickx for input on designing their Only Watch offering, adding to its desirability in the automotive sect. The high-frequency, chronometer-certified calibre runs at a fervent 8 hertz and features a matte-blue dial inspired by Ickx's racing helmet. The winning bidder will have the opportunity to meet Ickx in 2018 as Chopard's guest at the Monaco Historique GP.
MB&F Horological Machine No°8
Rather than starting from scratch, MB&F opted for an artistic interpretation of their HM8 as their Only Watch 2017 entrant. The sapphire pane above its movement has been engraved and metallised with a pattern by 15-year-old artist Cassandra Legendre, and a miniature, white-gold elephant — made by Olivier Kuhn, who worked on the HM6 Alien Nation— rests between the digital hour-and-minute indications.
Louis Moinet Metropolis
A master of all facets of horology, Louis Moinet kept their entry simple in terms of complication, focusing instead on an ingenious dial design that speaks to the brand's astronomical DNA. We've covered their complex dial executions before, though this is the first time we've seen a watch face that is gilded and then hand-punched to create three small craters before being filled with meteorite fragments. It sounds peculiar on paper, but it's hard to argue with this piece's visual appeal.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered
On the topic of dials, this Jaquet Droz will be one to watch for similar reasons. Cut from cuprite — a copper-oxide-based mineral known for its vibrant red colour and fragile nature — this elegant dress watch is a possibility because of Droz's centuries of expertise in fine dial-making.
Armin Strom Manual Hunt Slonem Edition
Armin Strom's owner, Serge Michel, has long been a fan of Hunter Slonem's works, making the creation of this Manual Hunt Slonem Edition watch an easy collaboration to embark upon. Not only does the unique piece feature an original artwork from Slonem's "bunny paintings" series, but the winning bidder will also receive an original signed canvas from the series.
MCT S200 Vantablack
When MCT unveiled the Sequential One S110 EVO Vantablack in a limited edition of 10, collectors worldwide were eager to get their hands on a timepiece whose dial used "the world's blackest black." Thankfully, MCT has brought back Anish Kapoor's perplexing material for Only Watch, and we expect it to be in high demand.
Louis Vuitton Escale Spin Time Black & Fire
Though a good number of pieces coming up for sale at Only Watch are a mere change of dial colour, the Escale Spin Time from Louis Vuitton caught our eye as having the best colour variation we've ever seen. As an added bonus, its acquisition will include a customised watch trunk from LV, as well as a workshop tour and visit to the Louis Vuitton family home.
Carl F. Bucherer Manero Peripheral
Coming from one of our favourite underrated brands in the watch industry, this white-gold beauty will likely get lost in the shadow of some of our other selections. That said, it's an excellent score for those seriously obsessed with watchmaking, as it includes two nights at the Château Gütsch hotel in Lucerne as well as an extensive tour of the family-owned watchmaker's factory.