Watches: the one and only

44 renowned brands will be participating in Only Watch 2015, a fundraising event to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
For collectors, this is a great opportunity to find the most exceptional watches that no one else will have. Such a hobby can certainly cost a lot of time and money, so the exclusive Only Watch exhibition allows you to win a little bit of the former and spend a little bit more of the latter.

Every two years, the world’s leading brands make and donate their exclusive watches for sale at the Only Watch auction. The event is organized by Luc Pettavino, former director of the Monaco Yacht Show. All the money raised from the sale of watches by such famous brands as Louis Vuitton, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Urwerk and many others goes to fund research into Duchenne dystrophy, a serious muscular tissue disease that affects Pettavino’s son and thousands more people around the world.

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And although each lot at Only Watch is created as a single copy, not every lot can be called truly unique. In some cases, only a small touch is added to well-known and popular models. For example, Chopard decorated its Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 with the autograph of the famous racer Mark Webber, and in the Épure Vague de Lumière watch by Boucheron the hematite glass of the 2014 model was replaced by aventurine.

In other cases, watchmakers create real exclusives. Christophe Claret, for example, has built a miracope into the Espoir & Paix watch, a small hologram-like device that doubles the size of the emerald underneath it. This gives the impression that the stone seems to be tearing out of the dial. Christophe Claret has already experimented with this technique, for example in the Aventicum series, but the emerald is still more interesting than the Marcus Aurelius miniature bust.

There are 44 luxury watch brands participating in the auction, which means a wide variety of styles and designs. For the first time in the event’s 10-year history, the Phillips auction house will also be involved in its organization. A unique collection of watches began its journey around the world in September and the auction will take place on November 7 in Monaco, at the Hotel La Réserve Genève.

The catalog is currently showing indicative prices, but don’t think it can get that cheap, as estimates are made based on standard watch models.

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“How much does uniqueness cost?” – asks Paul Maudsley, the new head of watchmaking at Philipps, adding that even employees and experts are at a loss to guess, and that the final blow of the hammer often brings surprises. “Anything can happen, but that’s the beauty of auctions,” says Maudsley.

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