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Only Watch 2015 - Aurel Bacs sells CHF 11.160 million worth of unique pieces for charity!

Only Watch 2015 Aurel Bacs sells CHF 11.160 million worth of unique pieces for charity!

The stand-out piece among the 44 unique pieces created for Only Watch 2015 was a Patek Philippe grand complication. It sold for 7.3 million Swiss francs.

Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, Harry Winston, Hublot, Laurent Ferrier, Leroy, Louis Vuitton, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Speake Marin and Vacheron Constantin were the WorldTempus partner brands whose watches sold for more than the upper estimate in the catalogue. The prototype Richard Mille Nadal watch came second at CHF 650,000.
It was a success for Luc Pettavino (the founder of Only Watch) and Aurel Bacs (the auctioneer for Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo) who decided to move the biennial charity watch auction from the Monaco Yacht Show in September to Geneva in November. Collectors from around the world were already there for the traditional autumn sales in Geneva : on the phone and on-line from Asia and the United States, as well as in the room with a number of visitors from the Middle East, GPHG jury member Claude Sfeir bidding particularly actively. On Saturday 7th November at La Réserve in Geneva a number of records were broken. The sale was twice as long as previous editions and the charity auction in aid of the Monaco Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy raised over 11 million Swiss francs, more than double the 2013 edition, which already broke all previous records since the launch of Only Watch in 2005.

At the start of the sale, Aurel Bacs reminded everyone that they were bidding not just on unique watches but also in favour of a cause to help children who suffer from muscular dystrophy. Two days previously, his Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco travelled to Geneva to thank personally the brands and friends of Only Watch who have helped to build up this feeling of solidarity. In tears at the end of this extraordinary auction, Luc Pettavino, whose son suffers from this conditions, shouted “I will never be able to thank you enough”.

A huge appetite for Patek
At the intimate cocktail reception on Thursday 5th November in the presence of the prince, Thierry Stern (CEO of Patek Philippe) had said that he expected a friendly combat for the brand’s perpetual calendar tourbillon with minute repeater and retrograde date in steel. But he didn’t expect it to exceed five million Swiss francs. Starting from an estimate of half a million, it jumped from 700,000 to 1.7 million in just a few seconds! From five million four collectors tried to outbid each other. Above six million time slowed down, bids became much more spaced out, the audience were on tenterhooks and Aurel Bacs leaned out with all his being for the next bid. “Can I offer just 50,000 extra?” one collector asked. “Do you know how much research we could do with 50,000 francs?” the most renowned of WorldTempus’s contributors replied, encouraging him to take the step. And this is how lot number 16 in steel reached the incredible price of 7.3 million Swiss francs.

100 times the estimate!
Out of the 44 watches produced specifically for this good cause, almost half (19) exceeded their upper estimates, 15 sold within their estimates and 10 below. Besides the RM 27-02 Nadal, watches from Bell&Ross, Hublot, Louis Vuitton, Vacheron Constantin, Ulysse Nardin and Voutilainen all exceeded the CHF 100,0000 barrier, while F.P Journe joined the very exclusive club of Only Watch pieces that have sold for more than half a million Swiss francs (CHF 550,000), to which only Richard Mille and Patek Philippe had belonged since the creation of Only Watch. The biggest surprise came from Tudor, which was taking part for the first time, whose Heritage Black Bay One caused a bidding war among collectors: estimated at CHF 3,500 to 4,500, it was sold for 375,000!!! The magic of Only Watch had struck again.

See the full results from the Only Watch sale.
Read all our Only Watch coverage

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