Since 2005, Only Watch is a watch auction that has taken place every other year with all proceeds going towards research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. All participating companies design a unique 1/1 watch to auction off for the event. This year the auction will begin at 2 P.M. local time on Saturday, November 9th, 2019, at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva, Switzerland. Christie’s will be auctioning off all of the watches with showings of the collection in major cities across the globe prior to the November auction. Please view the Only Watch website for a full list of cities and dates to view the collection in person.
Here are what I feel are some of the highlights of the collection:
Andersen Geneve “Montre à Tact” Only Watch 2019 “Pièce Unique” tribute to Craftsmanship
Beautiful dial wrapped in a white gold case. The time is viewed at a glance from an aperture at the bottom of the case with the back of the watch acting as a crown.
Arnold & Son DSTB Only Watch
Arnold & Son’s dead-beat complication meets lots of dark materials with a little bit of Only Watch’s signature blue. I was hoping for a version of the HM Perpetual Moon, but this will do just fine.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda for Only Watch
Blancpain’s iconic diver paired with the event’s signature light blue rockets this watch to instantly become my favorite Fifty Fathoms ever produced.
Boucheron AJOURÉE Amvara
Forgetting the fact that it’s quartz, this watch is one of the best jewelry watch designs I’ve seen in a while. The lines give it an increased three-dimensional effect, and the balance of white and yellow metals makes this watch an easy one to enjoy.
Bovet Récital 23 “Hope”
Beautiful craftsmanship paired with a glass aventurine miniature dial and a luminescent moon phase. A small painted fairy is encircled by diamond markers on the aventurine dial. A great showing by Bovet for this year’s charity auction.
Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Only Watch 2019
A white gold ScubaTec with a stunning blue bezel and matching dial. On the dial is a faint depiction of manta rays, whereas the DLC-coated titanium caseback features a very visible, very beautiful engraving of a number of manta rays. Another great showing as this becomes my favorite ScubaTec model ever produced.
Christophe Claret Maestro Corail
This blue and orange version of Christophe Claret’s lovable, quirky snake looks great set alongside a black and blue colour scheme. This watch from the Maestro line features the notable “MEMO” function which in this rendition uses a blue sapphire and an orange sapphire to indicate task status.
Cyrus Klepcys Alarm Only Watch
Very strange, but in a good way. The chime of a minute repeater is used as an alarm in this watch, with the striking being visible in the lower-left corner of the dial.
Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Only Watch 2019 – Courage Every Second
Featuring an onyx and chalcedony dial, this watch becomes one of Czapek’s most beautiful dials among a competitive lineup that features stunning handmade bombé “Guilloche Main” dials. In the top write outer ring is written “COURAGE EVERY SECOND”. Well done watch by Czapek.
Highly whimsical watch paying tribute to Fabergé’s Winter Egg of 1913. Peacock feathers fan out on a mother-of-pearl backing to act as an indicator for the retrograde minutes complication while the hour is displayed on an outer rotating ring. Blued screws adorn the movement helping to fit with the sky blue colour that Only Watch uses. Diamonds and a few sapphires comprise the bezel for the watch. Very high marks for this one.
F.P. Journe Astronomic Blue/AST
The pictures say it all. Astronomic prototype calibre 1619 movement housed in a 44mm tantalum case. Dual barrels, minute repeater, 60-seconds tourbillon, dead-beat seconds, the whole enchilada.
Frederique Constant Meteorite Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture
Frederique Constant did a really good job with this one. Combining a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon in a very well-balanced dial, the blue tint meteorite subdials and outer ring look great alongside the rose gold case.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph for Only Watch
Much like the Blancpain and Bucherer models shown above, this is what an Only Watch 1/1 sports watch should look like. Sleek, but with somewhat of a reserved intimidation factor. Home run for Girard-Perregaux.
Hermes Arceau L’heure de la Lune Only Watch
Hermes’ smart moon phase complication with moving subdials gets the Only Watch treatment in the form of light blue font on both of the subdials.
Jacob & Co. Epic X Chrono Messi “Only Watch” Special Edition
This white gold and titanium Epic X Chrono forgoes the standard ceramic bezel to instead opt for 36 baguette-cut blue sapphires. Looks great compared to the white ceramic bezel version.
Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel Chestnut
Nothing too “out there”, but just a very cool chestnut guilloché enamel dial.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One Ceramic
This skeletonized Grande Seconde is offered in black ceramic with red accents. Red was chosen to represent the flag of Monaco (where Only Watch is based).
Konstantin Chaykin Joker Selfie
Konstantin Chaykin’s Joker looks better than ever in this unique edition for Only Watch 2019. The face, modeled after Chaykin’s own face, features a watchmaker’s loupe on the right eye. When the watch is turned horizontally, the eye will close and instead show joker emoji symbols indicating the day of the week in the aperture at 12 o’clock. When the watch is returned to its vertical position the day indicator will close and the eye will reopen. 10/10 for uniqueness and whimsicality.
Louis Moinet Memoris Only Watch
Beautiful watch with an exposed chronograph movement for the wearer to view. The entire front of the watch is set against an aventurine background. The blue clou de Paris decorated oscillating weight looks great as well.
MB&F X L’Epée Tom & T-Rex
“Tom” rides the back of his partner, T-Rex, to go where he wants in life. The T-Rex is “a metaphor for the factors that sustain the daily existence of a sick child: the flights of imagination that nourish the spirit, and the scientific advancements that will one day effect a long-awaited cure.” Cool clock design that serves as a lasting symbol of what Only Watch is about and what the ultimate goal is: curing sick children.
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Only Watch 2019
Although a bit large at 44mm, this titanium-cased beauty may be the best watch Montblanc has ever released.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic
A nice blue take on the svelte, 4.3mm thick Altiplano. The oscillating weight is crafted in 22k gold with blue PVD which will move around the circumference of the dial to provide power for this blue and rose gold version of a modern marvel.
Rebellion Re-Volt Only Watch
This one is weird, but fun. Designed to resemble a car chassis, its blue and sky blue colour combination is what propels this watch higher.
Richard Mille RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph McLaren
This very cool watch features a case made from Carbon TPT® interlaced with Orange Quartz TPT®. This will undoubtedly be one of the big sellers for the auction. In addition to the watch, the winning bidder will receive “a tailor-made official driver’s racing overall, a ‘Pure McLaren Experience’ driving day with test pilot Bruno Senna, as well as a private tour of the McLaren Technology Centre… in Woking, England”. This will be the ultimate bundle for car and auto enthusiasts.
Romain Jerome ARRAW 6919 Only Watch
Lots of love for the Apollo 11 mission with this watch. If you’re interested, it’s worth reading the official writeup from Only Watch for a full list of its space-related features.
Speake-Marin London Chronograph Only Watch Edition
The Peter Speake-Marin-less Speak-Marin arrives at the auction with a really great showing. The London Chronograph looks great in sky blue… wish it could be incorporated into the standard lineup, but this model will be a 1/1.
Trilobe “Les Matinaux” Only Watch Edition 2019
It’s always nice to see a small company make something interesting. Trilobe releases this 40.5mm watch in bronze with a silver “sunray” dial. Time is told using three rotating discs, with indicators, which remind me of butterflies, pointing to the correct numbers. A floral design is used as a window to view a section of the movement. I’m not a fan of bronze, but this watch does a good job making me look past it.
Tudor Black Bay Ceramic One
Tudor’s first ever ceramic-cased Black Bay comes out swinging. Current Only Watch estimates have it being auctioned for about 5,000 USD on average, but in all likelihood this one will have a significantly higher selling price. The past two Only Watch auctions have featured Black Bay entries from Tudor, and despite their public estimates, have had final selling prices of about $350,000 or more. Aside from the the piece of the bezel which holds the bezel insert, the caseback, and the screw-down crown, the rest of the case of this watch is crafted in black ceramic. There will definitely be a number of bidders heavily motivated to try and win the first ever ceramic Black Bay. It’ll be interesting to see how much this one will raise for research.