The biennial Only Watch charity auction is gearing up for the 2019 edition, slated to take place in November. For those who are not familiar with this event, Only Watch auctions off one-of-a-kind models created by some of the best watch brands in the business with proceeds going to fund research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The event takes place every two years under the patronage of HSH The Prince of Monaco and the past seven editions have seen over 50 brands participate and over CHF 40 million raised. Just prior to the unveiling of the Only Watch 2019 collection, we thought it would be fun to recap the five biggest money makers of Only Watch 2017.
MB&F HM8 Only Watch
While MB&F’s offering for the 2017 Only Watch event was based on the Horological Machine N°8, this edition was unique thanks to its special sapphire crystal pane, which featured an engraving of a drawing done by 15-year old Cassandra. What’s more, the white gold and titanium watch also included a sculpted elephant positioned in between the hour and minute windows based on the young artist’s sketch. Finally, the customary MB&F logo was replaced with a happy face to elicit even more joy.
The pre-sale estimate for the MB&F HM8 Only Watch was CHF 80,000 – CHF 103,000 but it ultimately sold well beyond that at CHF 210,000.
Tudor Black Bay Bronze One
Tudor’s collaboration with the 2017 Only One was also based on a existing model but with a few twists to make the watch unique. The Tudor Black Bay Bronze One included a left-hand winding crown rather than the traditional right side positioning. Furthermore, Tudor used a khaki green colorway for the watch’s dial, bezel, and fabric strap, which complements the bronze components nicely. Plus, there’s also the engraving on the back of the watch with the inscriptions “BRONZE ONE” and “PIECE UNIQUE.”
Although the Tudor Black Bay Bronze One was not the most expensive watch to sell at Only Watch 2017, it surprised everyone by blowing its pre-sale estimate of CHF 4,500 – CHF 5,500 out of the water with a final price of CHF 350,000!
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
Audemars Piguet brought a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in full black brushed ceramic to the Only Watch 2017 auction block. What differentiates this piece from the standard black ceramic RO Perpetual Calendar is a special dark blue color called “Skylight,” complete with a moon in a rich orange color to mimic the last few moments before sunset. There’s also the ceramic caseback—a first for AP—engraved with “UNIQUE PIECE.”
The buyer of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Only Watch paid CHF 800,000 to own the one-off Audemars Piguet, well exceeding its pre-sale estimate of CHF 80,000 – CHF 120,000.
F.P. Journe Monopusher Split-Seconds Chronograph
Rather than just fitting an already existing model with a new dial or using a different material, F.P. Journe created something completely new for Only Watch 2017. The F.P. Journe Monopusher Split-Seconds Chronograph is truly a unique piece with a 44mm tantalum case housing a blue dial with colorful details. Additionally, the movement powering the split seconds chronograph watch is also entirely new and craft from rose gold with steel accents.
Given that not only is this an F.P. Journe watch but also a limited edition of one piece, it comes as no surprise that the watch sold much higher than its modest pre-sale estimate of CHF 200,000 to CHF 400,000 for a final hammer price of CHF 1,150,000.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5208T
For 2017 Only Watch, Patek Philippe took their triple complication Ref. 5208—featuring a minute repeater, monopusher chronograph, and a perpetual calendar—and fashioned it in titanium. If you are familiar with Patek Philippe, you will know that the manufacture hardly ever uses titanium to make its watches. Contrasting with the white metal are the rich blue dial and blue strap.
It’s no secret that the sale price of Patek Philippe’s offerings have made up the bulk of Only Watch’s proceeds over the years and the 2017 edition was no different. The unique Patek Philippe Ref. 5208T sold for a whopping CHF 6,200,000—about six times its pre-sale estimate of CHF 900,000 – CHF 1,100,000.