Exceptional one-of-a-kind watches that contribute to a good cause
Once every two years, the world’s biggest watch companies are invited to flex their creativity at the Only Watch charity auction. Each brand will make just one watch, which will be auctioned by Christie’s, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to fund the research for therapeutic solutions for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
Only Watch 2023, which takes place on 5 November in Geneva, has announced 62 lots that will be going under the hammer. These are 62 of the year’s most unique and hard-to-get watches that the world’s most clued-in aficionados would want to get their hands on.
Now in its 10th edition, Only Watch 2023 is shaping up to be one of the most keenly anticipated watch events of the year, brimming with the promise of wild bids and record-breaking watches. Barring Patek Philippe (Lot 44), H. Moser x MN&F (Lot 28), and Rexhap Rexhapi (Lot 50), all participating watch brands have fired their salvos with design submissions. Here our favourites—for now.
MP15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon
Hublot’s limited edition watches made in collaboration with Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, have been huge hits. The MP15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon, though, takes things to a whole new level. Set with rainbow-coloured gemstones, the case is shaped in the likeness of Murakami’s famous flower motif, which in turn frames a sapphire dial bearing Hublot’s first-ever central flying tourbillon movement.
Estimate CHF 350,000 – 400,000
Marine Hora Mundi
Breguet’s most intelligent world time watch gets a stupendous makeover for Only Watch 2023. The piece-unique Marine Hora Mundi, driven by a sophisticated movement that lets the user change the time zone display with a single push of the button, now comes in a 43.9mm rose gold case and a stunning multi-layered dial awash in evocative wave-like guilloche engraving and shades of blue and gold.
Estimate CHF 70,000 – 80,000
The Rolling Stones Automaton
Rock and roll never looked so cheeky. Jaquet Droz trains its legendary mastery of animated dials on rock icons, The Rolling Stones, with this outlandishly colourful creation. Swirls of hippie-esuqe colours blanket the dial, which features a rotating miniature sculpture of a vinyl LP, affixed with diorama-style musical instruments played by The Stones.
Estimate: CHF 250,000 – 300,000
Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon
Of course, a one-of-a-kind Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is always going be keenly tracked at auctions. The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked is primed to be hotly contested and the winner granted with very visible bragging rights. This coveted reference is now even more recognisable with its much vaunted skeletonised tourbillon movement lavished in electric blue, and complemented by a pristine ceramic case and bracelet.
Estimate CHF 300,000 – 350,000
Prince Chronograph One
One can always count on Tudor to spring a surprise at Only Watch. This year, the brand goes retro and regal with the Prince Chronograph One, a modern take on the ‘Big Block’ chronograph, its automatic chronograph from 1976. Clad in full yellow gold, it also features Tudor’s first-ever in-house manufactured chronograph movement with column-wheel mechanism.
Estimate: CHF 25,000 – 35,000
Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Marble
Pushing the limits of both its jewellery and horological expertise, Bulgari takes our breath away with this emerald marble-cloaked tourbillon wristwatch. The watch’s titanium case and bracelet link, as well as dial, are set with slices of Verdi Alpi marble that are just 0.5 to 0.6mm thin. The tourbillon movement, too, is a super-svelte engineering marvel that is just 1.95mm in height, making this the slimmest tourbillon wristwatch on the market today.
Estimate: CHF 150,000 – 250,000
Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph
TAG Heuer couldn’t have picked a grander stage to debut a brand new engine. Housed within the iconic Monaco’s square shaped case is the TH81-00: the brand’s first-ever split-seconds automatic chronograph movement that is also the lightest ever it has ever made. Crafted in titanium, the epochal movement is accorded its due spotlight, sporting open-worked design and housed under a massive sapphire crystal case.
Estimate: CHF 150,000 – 300,000