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Only Watch 2021 - Unbridled Creativity

Only Watch 2021 Unbridled Creativity

WorldTempus brings you six stunning timepieces that take the concept of the one-of-a-kind watch to extraordinary heights of invention

Everyone goes for something different; they might be attracted to a name, a complication, a colour, or simply the Only Watch mission. But some pieces stand out more than others, by the sheer fact that they are so very different from what we would normally expect from their creators. These singular timepieces, objects and atypical developments venture into uncharted aesthetic waters, spectacularly over-delivering on the brief of the famous watch auction.

Bell & Ross: death becomes you

Take Bell & Ross. The brand has produced plenty of skull watches, but an animated sapphire skull inside a sapphire case is not something we’ve seen before. The BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it wasn’t designed to be a crowd-pleaser. It’s a strongly individualistic creation, and a manifesto for what can be achieved with sapphire, ingenuity and provocation.

Une créativité débridée !

BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire © Bell & Ross

Patek Philippe: guardian of the temple

One reason many people love Only Watch is for the incredible diversity of unique pieces it produces. That’s why, alongside a Bell & Ross sapphire skull, you might also find a classic table clock by Patek Philippe. This piece is intended for the most discerning collector; probably a traditionalist, and an investor. The Patek Philippe Complicated Desk Clock for Only Watch 2021 is driven by a dedicated movement featuring a perpetual calendar movement with weekly calendar and a 31-day power reserve. This is not a strikingly original creation. Nevertheless, more than any other timepiece, it embodies the centuries-old values of Haute Horlogerie. For Patek Philippe, this is no mere stylistic exercise: it is a duty and a responsibility that the watchmaker assumes completely – one might even be tempted to say, perfectly.

Une créativité débridée !

Complicated Desk Clock for Only Watch 2021 © Patek Philippe

F.P. Journe: a helping hand?

Between the two we might perhaps insert the F.P. Journe x Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue, which combines a little of both. Like the former, it has a highly creative and disruptive dial but, like the latter, it is built on an exquisite manufacture movement. The watch is the product of a meeting between Journe and Coppola, who asked if it would be possible to tell the time with just one hand. The Geneva watchmaker spent 10 years making this concept a reality, creating a manual (in the most literal sense!) automaton – a hand whose fingers move apart to show the time. Ballouard: It’s only rock ’n’ roll (and we like it!)

Ballouard : It’s only rock’n’roll (and we like it !)

But let’s not forget the independent watchmakers. The Half Time “Vinyl 33 rpm” by Ludovic Ballouard is a spectacular and mysterious piece. All that is visible is the Roman numeral of the hour, at twelve o’clock. The other numbers are scrambled and unreadable, as if to remind the viewer to live in the present. The figures are arranged around a disc engraved with grooves like an LP record. Floating above it, the familiar mechanical arm points to the retrograde minutes at 6 o’clock. It’s clever, intelligent, witty, unique, 100% independent, and it looks great. What more could you want?

Trilobe: Only Watch’s only true work of art

Another unmissable piece is the wonderful collaboration between Trilobe and Daniel Buren. This clock is a work of art, not just in consideration of its watchmaking credentials, like the Patek Philippe clock, but also because its design was executed by hand by the famous artist and sculptor. This is a work of art in the strictest sense, and could prove to be one of Only Watch’s shrewdest investments, given how rarely Buren collaborations come up.

Une créativité débridée !

La Réciproque Trilobe par Daniel Buren © Trilobe

Montblanc: a major anniversary

And finally we bring you one more piece that, if you weren’t paying close attention, might slip under the radar: the Montblanc Star Legacy. This unique piece celebrates the 200th anniversary of the invention of the “chrono-graph” (a device that literally translated time into a graph, on paper) by Nicolas Rieussec. This fundamental, foundational piece, sumptuously executed in yellow gold, showcases the barleycorn guilloché motif that is a signature of the manufacture, now in the hands of Managing Director Laurent Lecamp, from whom we expect many more great things.

Une créativité débridée !

Star Legacy © Montblanc

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

23 September 2021
Ludovic Ballouard

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For Bell & Ross, each detail has a specific meaning and function: functionality is key, and minimalism – dispensing with superfluous ornamental details in favour of essential aspects – is vital.

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Synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and design, Montblanc has been pushing the boundaries of innovation ever since the Maison first revolutionized the culture of writing in 1906.

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Patek Philippe enjoys outstanding renown and rare prestige, due to the constancy with which the Manufacture has applied its philosophy of excellence ever since it was founded.

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An audacious idea born out of a desire to break from the traditional watchmaking codes. A new way of reading time. Poetry on the wrist, an intimate link to time. Trilobe is all of those things, and...

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