A charity auction that takes place every two years, Only Watch raises funds to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Watchmakers contribute unique timepieces to the sale, which donates all proceeds to a charity in Monaco that funds research into the disease. Taking place on November 7 in Geneva, Only Watch 2015 counts 43 watches and clocks in its line-up. Here are five of the best.
F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Bleu
F.P. Journe has turned to its entry-level wristwatch for inspiration, with its contribution to Only Watch being the Tourbillon Souverain Bleu. This has a dial lacquered in a brilliant blue, as well as a tantalum case, the signature features of the Chronometre Bleu, the independent watchmaker’s most affordable timepiece. Though the case and dial are unique, the movement is the classic F.P. Journe tourbillon calibre with a constant force mechanism to ensure a consistent power supply, preserving its precision even as the movement winds down.
Patek Philippe reference 5016A
Without a doubt the most expensive wristwatch at the auction, the reference 5016A is possibly the only stainless steel minute repeater wristwatch Patek Philippe has made. Beyond the case material, the reference 5016A also features a dark blue dial in enamel that is unique to this watch. And it’s also equipped with one of the most complicated movements Patek Philippe has ever made, boasting a tourbillon, perpetual calendar and minute repeater.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay One
The Black Bay One is the first ever one of a kind timepiece from Tudor, created just for Only Watch. It’s a variation of the Heritage Black Bay, the dive watch inspired by Tudor dive watches of the 1950s. Similarly, the Black Bay One is modelled on a rare 1954 Tudor Submariner, with features found on no other Tudor wristwatch. They include pencil-shaped hands and a “lollipop” seconds, as well as a depth rating in red, something reminiscent of vintage Rolex dive watches.
A Finn who lives in Switzerland, Kari Voutilainen is best known for the artisanal quality of his timepieces, especially the exemplary decoration found on his movements. His contribution for Only Watch is a one-off GMT-6, a dual time zone wristwatch in stainless steel. It’s distinguished by a blue and gold enamel dial, one of the few examples of a Voutilainen wristwatch with an enamel dial. The dial is decorated with champlevé enamel, a technique that calls for the dial base to be first engraved, then covered with translucent enamel.
Richard Mille RM 27-02 Tourbillon
Conceived for Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal, the RM 27-02 is an ultra-light wristwatch, lightweight enough for Nadal to have it on while playing. A carbon composite case and movement ensure the watch weighs almost nothing. Richard Mille has donated the actual wristwatch worn by Nadal during the 2015 tennis season – the prototype of the series – to Only Watch 2015.