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HomeLifestyleWill Only Watch Auction 2021 Set Another World Record November 6?

Will Only Watch Auction 2021 Set Another World Record November 6?

The fall auction season kicks off next week with a special sale in which every lot is one-of-a-kind, there is no reserve price, and proceeds are donated to a great cause. That’s as good as it gets where auctions are concerned. Money raised from the Only Watch Auction in Geneva November 6 goes toward muscular dystrophy research. This is the ninth edition of the biennial sale, which has to date raised more than $70-million for the Monagasque Association against Muscular dystrophy. It was founded by Luc Pettavino, the former manager of the Monaco Yacht Show, after his son, Paul, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2000.

There are 53 lots in the sale, to be held by Christie’s at the Palexpo in Geneva. At the last edition, in 2019, a record was set for the world’s most expensive watch, a stainless steel Grandmaster Chime, which sold for $31-million. Patek Philippe also donated the top lot in this year’s auction, a complicated desk clock inspired by one made in 1923 for America’s most famous watch collector, James Ward Packard. It contains the new caliber 86-135 PEND IRM Q SE, with a perpetual calendar, moon phase, week-number display and power reserve indication (31 days). It is adjusted to a precision rate of -1/+1 second per day, and is estimated at CHF 400,000-500,000 ($327,000-435,400)

Each edition of Only Watch has a color theme. This year’s colors are orange, yellow and red, and several of the watches are special editions from current collections that have been reimagined with those colors in mind. The colors appear on dials, straps and even on movement components. In some cases it’s very subtle: a special-edition Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar substitutes the month “Nov” on the month ring with “NOW” to represent “Only Watch” in orange lettering.

Many of the lots are accompanied by exclusive visits to the brands’ headquarters in Switzerland. The Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Bicompax Annual Calendar includes a three-day trip to Lucerne to meet the CFB team and tour the workshop. The H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Cylindrical Tourbillon includes a visit to the firm’s headquarters in Schaffhausen. The Richard Mille RM 67-02 Charles Leclerc includes two passes for the next F1 Monaco Grand Prix as VIP guests of Scuderia Ferrari, and a chance to hang out with driver Charles Leclerc.

The original versions of three of the watches in the sale are nominated for awards in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, also known as the Oscars of watchmaking, which also takes place in Geneva, two days before the Only Watch Auction. They include: a special edition of the Ulysse Nardin UFO table clock inspired by a marine chronometer on gimbals; a version of the new Hermès sports watch, H08; and the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual calendar mentioned above.

Watchmakers tend to let their creative juices flow for special editions in the sale. This year’s most striking example is the F.P. Journe x Francis Ford Coppola, FFC Blue, a wristwatch that tells time via an automaton in the shape of a blue hand. The watch was conceived in 2012 by François Paul Journe during a dinner at the Napa Valley home of Francis Ford Coppola. “He asked me if it would be possible to tell time with a hand on a watch dial. I replied that the idea was interesting, but required some thought,” says Journe. “It was not an easy matter, but this complex challenge inspired and motivated me. Francis sent sketches for the finger positions, and after more than two years, I was able to focus on the project. After seven years of development, I am proud to present the FFC prototype.”

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