The 8th edition of this biennial charity event gathers watch lovers and philanthropists in Monaco for one united cause
Every two years, the best and brightest of luxury watchmaking gather in the beautiful coastal city of Monaco for the Only Watch auction. One of the most anticipated events in the industry, this charity auction has raised 40 million Swiss Francs (S$54.96 million) to date, all in aid of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Watch lovers know it as the world’s largest gathering of new unique pieces and the place to do some good as you indulge in a love for horology.
If you remember, the Only Watch 2017 edition was an exceptional year where several records were broken. A Tudor Black Bay in bronze sold for almost S$500,000. FP Journe set a new record for most expensive timepiece made by an independent watchmaker. The watch in question was the F.P. Journe Monopusher Split-Seconds Chronograph, which sold for 1.15 million Swiss francs (S$1.58 million).
Only Watch 2017 raised a record CHF10,776,500 (S$14,809,104) and we can’t wait to see how this year’s edition will pan out.
As always, the pieces will be touring the world before the event, which takes place on 9 November 2019 at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. Participating brands include Patek Philippe, Breguet, Blancpain, F.P. Journe, Hermès, Jaquet Droz, Richard Mille, Piaget, Chanel, Tudor, MB&F, H Moser & Cie, URWERK, and many more.
These are Robb Report’s hot favourites of the year.
Breguet: Type 20 Only Watch 2019
A tribute to Breguet’s Type 20 Chronograph from the 1950s, this 38.3mm watch comes with a bronze coloured dial and a vintage 13-ligne Valjoux Calibre 235. So it’s not just aesthetically faithful but mechanically too. This movement is a direct descendent of the 14-ligne Valjoux 222 that Breguet used back then.
Patek Philippe: Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010
The first Patek Philippe grande sonnerie is now offered in stainless steel – always exciting for any Patek Philippe watch – and a gorgeous salmon dial on one side, plus a black ebony one on the other. Possibly the world’s only grande sonnerie in steel, its chimes would be just as unique.
Montblanc: 1858 Split Second Chronograph Only Watch 2019
This is the first time Montblanc is offering a 44mm satin-finished Grade 2 titanium case with the heritage Calibre MB M16.31, and a stunning degradé dial made of blue agate. More gorgeousness awaits on the case back. Check out all the intricate details of the split second chronograph movement.
Blancpain: Fifty Fathoms Barakuda Only Watch 2019
Completely new for 2019, the Fifty Fathoms Barakuda harkens back to the good ol’ days when Blancpain provided various naval units with dive watches. This special piece replaces the stand model’s bright red markings with light blue, a colour you don’t see very often at all in haute horlogerie.
Jaquet Droz: Grande Seconde Skelet-One Ceramic Only Watch 2019
It’s getting harder to say no to a sleek and modern skeletonised movement such as this one. Here, the rail track, hour minute and seconds hands (which are all made of gold, by the way) and handmade strap are all coloured red. Why? Because it’s the colour of love, and the Monaco flag.
Hermès: Arceau L’heure de la Lune Only Watch 2019
Apart from the beautiful meteorite dial with its natural textures and striations, Hermès cleverly distinguishes this unique model from the original with a special mother-of-pearl inlay. Look closely and you’ll see a galloping Pegasus. Designer Dimitri Rybaltchenko who created several Hermès carrés came up with the unique artwork.
Akrivia: Chronomètre Contemporain Only Watch 2019
Now this is one gent’s watch that anyone will swoon over. It’s got a classic, slim platinum case paired with a greyish-blue enamel dial that comes with a hammered finish also known as frosting. While the technique has been used by several watch manufactures, it has never been done on enamel.
F.P. Journe: Astronomic Blue Only Watch 2019
Offering two time zones as well as sidereal time and the equation of time, this very special piece is one helluva watch. There’s also a one-minute tourbillon, annual calendar, zodiac calendar, sunset/sunrise, and more. F.P. Journe typically debuts new complications at the Only Watch auction, so this is definitely one to watch.
Louis Vuitton: Escale Spin Time Only Watch 2019
Inspired by tattoo art, this dial is an Anita Porchet masterpiece that’s made with Grand Feu champlevé enamelling and painted by hand. We’re just loving the bright bold colours, and the way the artwork intertwines with the LV monogram. Hands down, the most stylish entry in the Only Watch 2019 line up.
H. Moser & Cie: Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept Only Watch
The dial on this model is made of a state-of-the-art material called Vantablack. This is a super-black coating that’s known as the darkest manmade substance in the world, capable of absorbing 99.965 per cent of light. Against those polished gold case, hands and moon providing contrast, it’s like we’re looking at the vast infinite universe.
MB&F x L’Epée: Tom & T-Rex
This table clock crafted by L’Epée 1839 for MB&F features a little figurine of a boy named Tom, who sits atop his formidable T-Rex friend – like a Bran-and-Hodor relationship. Crafted from more than 200 pieces of palladium-plated brass, bronze and stainless steel, as well as hand-blown Murano glass, this fascinating sculpture is a toy with a most beautiful message.
Audemars Piguet: Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked
This two-coloured timepiece combines white and pink gold in a highly complex case structure. Satin-brushed, bevelled and polished, the bezel, lugs and case are finished with techniques usually found only on calibres.
Zenith: El Primero A386 Only Watch 2019
This one-of-a-kind white gold El Primero A386 is the only model with a turquoise subdial – a nod to the Only Watch’s theme colour. More important, it comes with a lifetime warranty including service. Guys, this is not a drill. Zenith is absolutely serious. They’ll even invite you to the factory for a tour.
Jaeger-LeCoultre: Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel Chestnut
The sexy proportions of this Jaeger-LeCoultre high complication now comes dressed in a new colourway. The same hand-guilloche dial, the same Calibre 868A/2 with automatic winding, but a striking translucent brown enamel, also hand-applied, as is custom at the manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Tudor: Black Bay Ceramic One
The name says it all. It is Tudor’s first Black Bay model in ceramic. Entirely matte black, this is the kind of watch that looks good on paper (or screen) and even better IRL.