Held every two years, the Only Watch charity is a horologist’s dream and a formidable contributor to research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy – a genetic disorder affecting the strength of one’s muscles.
For its 10th anniversary, 73 watchmakers joined the auction, each armed with prized innovation, timeless designs and a few quirks which make each of these limited-edition timepieces worth bidding for. From revitalised models to original concepts, the lineup has something for everyone and local fans will have the chance to see the watches up close and personal in October when the world tour makes a pit stop in Singapore at The Hour Glass. Come 5 November, the watches will be auctioned off in Geneva to the highest bidders, but for now, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites to break down what makes each of them oh so special. Check ‘em out below.
First up in alphabetical order, we have AP’s submission. This model was first unveiled in 2022 for the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary, but the Only Watch edition comes in a 41mm white ceramic case with vivid blue bridges along with a matching bracelet. The flying tourbillon cage draws our attention thanks to the skeleton design, which showcases the rhodium gear-train and adds greater depth.
This edition of the Joy De Lumière receives an art-deco, starry-night treatment, set with 260 diamonds on white gold across the watch and bracelet, which boasts five cascading rows of black spinels. The bracelet is also flexible and can be twisted around the wrist one to three times.
Inspired by ancient Roman architecture and the heavy use of marble, this stunning piece features green marble sourced from a natural passage linking Switzerland and Italy, better known as “Verde di Alpi,” along with one of the slimmest flying tourbillons on the market.
These twins are a clear homage to the woman who started it all for the famed fashion house – Coco Chanel. The silhouette printed onto sapphire glass plates and affixed to the dial strikes an uncanny resemblance to the mademoiselle who was photographed at her villa in the south of France, dressed in a striped jersey and sailor pants – looking très chic as always.
For Only Watch, “E” equates to “LV²”. Using micro-sculpture and grisaille enamel techniques by the craftsmen at Louis Vuitton’s watchmaking workshop in Geneva, the famous photograph of Einstein sticking his tongue out has now been immortalised in this dial. While telling time may not be easy at first glance, it sure is fun to look at due to the LV 525 calibre’s movement, which showcases four animations.
With Monaco in mind, Piaget pays tribute to the “Hexa Grace” artwork by Victor Vasarely, which is exhibited in the city-state, with a colourful rendition of the Polo Skeleton. The green, blue and rose-gold bridges, along with the case and the interchangeable straps, were all specially designed for this occasion.
One of two necklaces introduced this year belongs to Richard Mille, which has a longstanding history of creating iconic timepieces that shine for their peculiarity, and the Talisman Origine is no different. Reinventing the ancient wooden shamanic relic found in the mountains of Switzerland, this timepieces comes with a case made of rhodonite, titanium and gold in the signature tonneau shape.
Enter Tag Heuer’s first mechanical split-seconds chronograph, which has been in the works since the conclusion of the previous Only Watch auction two years ago. The case of this heritage-inspired piece received a full redesign with texturised titanium and sapphire exterior to give it a never-before-seen avant-garde flair.
The house’s iconic “bird on a rock” brooch sees new life in the form of a mechanical pendant watch, but not without some re-imagination, of course. The bird now adopts a front-facing stance atop the case – a 34-carat faceted aquamarine crystal sitting on a dial with 461 snow-set diamonds. The accompanying 18k yellow-gold chain is also paved with diamonds that total up to 0.65 carats.