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Editorial - Only Watch: time counts

Editorial Only Watch: time counts

The 8th edition of this charity auction, held every two years, brings together 52 brands in 2019.

If this is your first encounter with Only Watch, you should know that it’s the most amazing watch biennial festival. The lineup of the 2019 edition proves just how highly the watch brands value this event, and how strongly they support its values. Having been involved from the very beginning, it gives me great pleasure to introduce today on WorldTempus the 2019 event for one-of-a-kind watches, designed specifically to support and represent the Only Watch family.

This 8th edition brings together 52 brands, some of which have been working for two years on their unique watch. These one-of-a-kind pieces will be auctioned at a special sale, and all the proceeds will go to the Monégasque association for muscular dystrophy, and research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy At the two previous events, collectors were so smitten with the watches on offer that the sales raised over 10 million francs. Since its creation, Only Watch has contributed to research into the condition, which remains incurable today, donating a total of 40 million francs and funding around 15 programmes. The fact that understanding of this neuromuscular disease has increased, and clinical trials are advancing, is in part thanks to Only Watch, the participating brands and the collectors seeking the ultimate in exclusivity. It’s impossible to remain indifferent when you realise that those who develop the condition suffer throughout their childhood and adolescence, and many do not reach adulthood. Those that do have to cope with debilitating symptoms. Research is ongoing, but it has to be funded. Time matters. Only Watch strikes a note of hope.

The Only Watch phenomenon

For the watch brands that lend their generosity and creativity to this worthy cause, the recognition they gain in return is significant in a number of ways. Creation in the service of saving lives – what better way is there to give meaning to our daily lives? Only Watch also provides an excellent platform for increasing global recognition, by targeting connoisseurs of exceptional watchmaking. Merely to be accepted is a success in itself, and has a considerable influence on the price the watches fetch at auction. Patek Philippe is in a category of its own; its Only Watch models sold for over CHF 6 and 7 million respectively in 2017 and 2015, and the brand garners similar (or better) results at traditional auctions. However, few people expected to see the Black Bay Only Watches by Tudor go for CHF 350,000 and 375,000 at the two most recent sales, and the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar by Audemars Piguet fetch CHF 800,000. The F.P. Journe Only Watch was an even more spectacular hit at over one million francs. These results have tangibly changed the perception of these brands with collectors. Potential buyers will have the opportunity to admire and touch all the one-of-a-kind pieces for the first time at the Monaco Yacht Show from 25 to 28 September, then at the travelling auction hosted by Christie’s, The Hour Glass, and Seddiqi in Dubai, Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei, ahead of the sale in Geneva on 9 November. New records are expected.

Only Watch: time counts

Only Watch 2017 © Only Watch

A saga and an interesting coincidence

Among the few brands that have been involved in every edition since 2005, one in particular is this year combining its pure horological creative approach with a humanitarian effort connected with the charity supported by Only Watch. Because of its unfailing loyalty to Only Watch, and the more philosophical intrinsic value of its Only Watch 2019, I will be devoting my first article in our Only Watch series to Ulysse Nardin over the coming days. Our editorial team will be completing this fascinating saga over the summer, beginning with our new editor-in-chief, Susanne Wong, who symbolically takes up her post at WorldTempus on the day Only Watch unveils its 2019 lineup.

Feel free to browse through the creations from the three previous editions, in our Only Watch dossier. They’ll give you a taste for what is to come!

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