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Only Watch 2015 - Interview with Luc Pettavino

Only Watch 2015 Interview with Luc Pettavino

On the occasion of the Only Watch charity auction that took place last Saturday in Geneva, WorldTempus talked to Luc Pettavino, President of the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy and organiser of Only Watch.

Can you tell us a bit about Only Watch?
First of all, we are doing this for a large community of amazing people, as those affected by major diseases often are. They radiate something special and they have a complex path in life, but they are generally prepared to face up to it. For those of us who live with them, they are an incredible source of wisdom.
In addition, we are keenly aware that while we are obviously doing this for our children, it is also for subsequent generations. It’s a bit like people fighting for something without knowing if the fruits of their battle will be for them or not, but if they commit themselves to the struggle, it is because they have realised that it’s an entirely altruistic approach. These days there’s a lot of talk about the market economy where money reigns supreme. With Only Watch, money is not an end in itself, but instead a means.

The Only Watch 2015 comprises 44 watches, a record. How does the “registration” process take place?
There are brands we approach because they enjoy well-recognised market value in terms of their history, craftsmanship and quality; and there are others that contact us. In the latter case, the approach is very straightforward: since I’m not a watch expert, I seek advice from a variety of sources that express differing opinions. After this round of consultation, I feel there is a clear perception of whether it’s a go or no go. I am also transparent in my discussions with brands and I clearly explain how it works. Participating in Only Watch means that the watch manufacturers are exposing themselves to the inevitable element of risk involved in an auction with real prices.

Only Watch is celebrating its 10th year of existence this year. What do you think of its success?
It’s a fresh surprise for me every time people again agree to take part; I never take that as a given or a due. I know that people have understood that Only Watch is like life itself, meaning imperfect. Year after year, I draw conclusions from what went well, what didn’t and what I can improve. I am very proud and moved that people trust the message and the energy I try to convey. If I were to claim that they “trust me”, that would mean I was embarking on my own ego trip, whereas my role is in fact simply that of a conductor in making this particular music.

Which projects have been undertaken with the Only Watch fund?
We’ve accomplished a lot by being able to support both fundamental and applied research. We’ve opened a laboratory in the Scientific Centre of Monaco. As we are nearing the prospect of therapies, we have created biotechs and registered patents. We play the role of a not-for-profit company, while adopting a well-defined structure so as to protect skills and to drive these possible therapeutic projects as far as possible towards the medication itself. And all this in the hope that others – the major pharmaceutical companies – will subsequently pick it up from there.

How do you see the future?
My son Paul’s illness has led us to adopt a distinctly carpe diem approach, living one day at a time. We have plans, prospects and dreams, but the only thing that counts is the moment in hand.

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