For Only Watch 2021, participating companies will create unique watches that satisfy a wide range of tastes among watch collectors. While I usually focus more on complications and horological advancements, one watchmaker really hit the ball out of the park this year when creating a high jewellery watch. Boucheron, a subsidiary of Kering that’s primarily known for its jewellery, created one of the best watches in this category that I’ve seen in a while. The “Caméléon” model they’re presenting for Only Watch looks incredible and is a great example of Boucheron’s design capabilities and gem-setting prowess.
The focus here is definitely on the jewellery side of things, which is further evidenced by the use of quartz which helps to achieve a smaller watch dial. What this watch lacks in internal mechanisms it makes up for in a chameleon rising up from the rest of the case, created out of multicoloured sapphires, tsavorites, and a ruby set in 18kt white gold. The 38mm, white gold case comes with a full diamond bezel, while the inner dial is made out of mother of pearl and has its own diamond bezel as well as a diamond marker set at every three hours. The watch comes on a silver-brushed satin strap with a matching 18kt white gold Boucheron buckle. As there is no crown, to set the watch, the back of the small dial has a button that can be pressed to set the time. It might not be the usual type of watch that piques my interest, but this one is undoubtedly cool and does a great job bringing the jewellery to life by setting the gemstones in the shape of an animal and making that figure then rise above the rest of the watch. Even if looking at the watch straight on, you can still see that it’s three dimensional as the tail covers some of the diamonds on the lower portion of the bezel. This is certainly a home run for Boucheron, and it’s a trend that I hope will continue through different companies and at multiple price points according to the materials used. Coming back to Boucheron though, for this specific Caméléon, as only one example of this watch will ever be made, this year’s upcoming Only Watch auction will be the only place to be able to bid on it.
Only Watch is a biennial watch auction whose proceeds go towards eliminating Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The event began in 2005 and has raised over 70,000,000 EUR over the course of eight editions. For the Only Watch event, watchmakers create unique pieces to represent their individual companies at the auction. Each unique watch is then bid on, with 99% of all proceeds going towards Duchenne muscular dystrophy research. This year, the auction will take place on November 6th at 2:00PM local time at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva, Switzerland. Christie’s, who is helping to put on this event’s auction, will have in-room bidding, but will make online bidding for the event available as well.
For a video of this specific watch, and to learn more about Only Watch, please click here.