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Our Take On The Timepieces To Be Sold At The Only Watch 2017 Charity Auction

Our Take On The Timepieces To Be Sold At The Only Watch 2017 Charity Auction Sales & Auctions

Auctions are best suited to the sale of unique items that aren’t otherwise available on the market. For that reason, I always look forward to the interesting watches that are donated to the Only Watch auction series which is currently being run by the auction house Christie’s. Only Watch is an event that we’ve covered a lot over the years on aBlogtoWatch, and the next installment of this biennial auction sale will happen in Geneva on November 11th, 2017.

The Only Watch auction series isn’t as strong an event as it used to be, but its main theme continues to be respected. The idea is that watch brands submit unique watches made especially to be donated and sold at the auction. These are unique prototypes or are the first in a limited-edition series. The proceeds (minus all sorts of fees, I am sure) are to be given to Association Monegasque Contre le Myopathies (AMM) whose goal is to fund medical research to help treat a form of muscular dystrophy.

Only Watch is only as strong as the watches which are donated by watch brands. These are tax write-offs as well as a way to get publicity and an ego boost. Brands love to see their products go under the gavel and get bought up by collectors. With that said, there is nothing to stop brands from bidding on their own watches either directly or via a proxy. So, in my opinion, the actual numerical value of what the watches end up going for at the auction should be taken with a grain of salt. That same philosophy should be applied to the results of any auction, as they merely represent what one buyer, who happened to be present, was willing to do on that day.

This year, Only Watch decided to debut all of the watch auction lots on the same day, which is a departure from their more traditional tactic of slowly releasing watches over a several-week or several-month period. Nevertheless, certain brands didn’t quite get their acts together and get stuff done on time. I will go into that a bit more below. Another semi-new element to the auction is that many of the auction lots include an experience such as a trip or special meeting – along with the watch, of course. These experiences (which are not attached to all the lots, should help liven up the bidding quite a bit when the experiences prove as interesting as the timepieces.

Our Take On The Timepieces To Be Sold At The Only Watch 2017 Charity Auction Sales & Auctions

A total of 49 lots will be auctioned off during the event in November that, unfortunately, won’t be able to benefit from the glitz of having an event in Monaco itself. With that said, the watches (well, the complete ones) will be traveling around the world “on tour” so that potential buyers can check them out. Click the link above to see if you are in one of the nine cities that will have the watches there for a few days at a time starting at the end of September 2017.

In the video that is embedded in this article, you can hear myself and David Bredan talk about all 49 of the watches/clocks. We spend just a few moments on each in order to bring you our take. This year’s lots aren’t bad as wearable items, but leave much to be desired when it comes to actually being interesting or unique. Allow me to go over some of the most interesting and important lots from Only Watch 2017. For a full list of the watches along with technical specifications and auction price estimates check out the watches at the Only Watch website.

Our Take On The Timepieces To Be Sold At The Only Watch 2017 Charity Auction Sales & Auctions

Patek Philippe always uses this occasion to release a one-of-a-kind version with a titanium or steel case of an existing watch they produce or have produced. This year’s model is a bit more on the conservative side, but is very high-end and will easily be the auction’s top lot with a price that is almost guaranteed to be over a million dollars. The watch is the Patek Philippe 5208T-010, which is a version in titanium on a blue cordura strap of their perpetual calendar chronograph minute repeater. At 42mm wide, this is among the larger timepieces that Patek Philippe makes – and of course, it is considered to be a “grand complication,” which means it is far more exclusive than more standard Patek Philippe products. The 5208 is a really nifty Patek Philippe, and this version – like all the titanium or steel models for Only Watch – will be coveted by collectors.

Our Take On The Timepieces To Be Sold At The Only Watch 2017 Charity Auction Sales & Auctions

Audemars Piguet offers a blue-dialed version of its all black ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar as the reference 26599CE.OO.1225CE.01. Audemars Piguet also points out that the caseback and the oscillating weight (rotor) on the movement are also ceramic – which I believe is a first for the ceramic Royal Oak models. It will go for a fair amount of money, but nothing mind-blowing, in my opinion. This is just another uncommon (in this instance, unique) watch for one of the world’s many Audemars Piguet fans.

Our Take On The Timepieces To Be Sold At The Only Watch 2017 Charity Auction Sales & Auctions

The last Only Watch auction was the first that Tudor participated in, and even though their watch was among the lowest when it came to the auction estimate, it went for a really high price. Once again, Tudor comes to Only Watch with a small change on an existing model which is a lefty version with an olive green bezel and dial of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze. They call it the Black Bay Bronze One, and it is the reference 7925/001. It isn’t the most amazing thing in the world, but it is pretty and it should attract a price likely several times what the stock Black Bay Bronze goes for. With the Tudor watch comes the experience of being invited to the Tudor headquarters in Geneva – a place that is normally not open to guests.

Our Take On The Timepieces To Be Sold At The Only Watch 2017 Charity Auction Sales & Auctions

Ulysse Nardin’s Only Watch 2017 entrant isn’t all that original either, but pleasant enough, with a steel-cased version of the Marine Tourbillon known as the Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Only Watch. It has the same type of engraved and then blue enamel painted dial as this Ulysse Nardin Classic watch – so it should be truly striking in person. I would love one of these if I had the money.

Our Take On The Timepieces To Be Sold At The Only Watch 2017 Charity Auction Sales & Auctions

I have a feeling that the second most valuable watch at Only Watch 2017 will be the piece submitted by F.P. Journe. Interestingly enough, there are two watches in the auction with movements produced by F.P. Journe’s Geneva factory. The F.P. Journe Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante (chronograph monopusher split second) is likely going to be very nice looking in person. It begins with a unique tantalum case that is 44mm wide (bigger than pretty much anything F.P. Journe makes) and has a dial that is “blue chrome” with orange and yellow accents. The watch’s movement is further extremely beautiful being the caliber 1517 and was apparently developed just for the Only Watch 2017 auction. That makes it one of the few unique movements for the event. This watch has “half a million bucks” written all over it.



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  • MEddie90

    Really not too bothered about many of the watches, Patek will undoubtedly get the top spot though I somehow doubt it’ll beat the world record it set last year. For me the real highlight is the Journe.

    The Rattrapante is the last high end complication he was left to tackle and what a way to do it. Tantalum case and blue dial with silver toned subs, great PR, slim dimensions, monopusher and easy on the eyes. It really is stunning in so many ways. I’m sure many will complain about the multicolored tachy and tele scales, i’m not the biggest fan (would have preferred a full size dial ) but for many collectors they are a desirable feature so i’m sure it’ll do well.

    Given his last entry was a Toubillon Souverain with unique dial that fetched $500,000 i think this will easily out do it given that it’s a completley one off watch (movement and all) built from the ground up (or at the least thats what the only watch website seems to imply).

  • Marius

    In my opinion, the watches are not important. What is essential is that this auction will generate as much money as possible to help the foundation.

    The really good news is that my good friend, comrade Vladimir Putin will bid. Of course, he won’t personally attend the auction. Instead, given that I live in Monte Carlo, Vladimir appointed me as his proxy, and told me to get the Patek at all costs. These were his exact words:

    “??????, ???????, ??? Patek ????? ?????. ??? ????? ?? ????????? «?????» ???????? ? ??????????? ?????????? ? ??????. ??? ??? ?????? ????? «??????????» ? ???! ???? ?? ??????????? ??????? ?????? ?? ?????? ????, ?? ?????? ?????????? ??????????!”

    • Raymond Wilkie

      For those among us who speak the queens English
      “Marius, understand that i want the Patek at any cost. Your refusal to receive the Patek will lead to immediate deportation to Siberia. There, my friends will “take care” of you! If you try to place a bet at all other times, you’ll be immediately shot ! “

      • IG

        Fuck the Queen! Alba gu bràth!

        • Mikita

          Fock ze Kvin!

        • I think was the Duke’s job.

    • Mikita

      ?? ????????? ??????!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    It must be fun for a bunch of millionaires to get together and throw about a bit of cash about. . Some lovely examples the PP ( of course ) the Ulysse Nardin and the Moritz Grossmann. The rest, well i hope they go for loads for a worthy cause. I suspect they will all be going back to where they came from.

  • Saddest Factory

    I’ve a few problems with that FPJ, but let’s start on the Harry Potterish numerals.

  • DanW94

    Entertaining video guys. Even though it’s a design that’s been used before, I think the Breguet vertically aligned perpetually calendar is a sweet looking watch and definitely in the top 5. Other favorites include the Journe, the Voutilainen and the A&S DLC Time Pyramid.

  • SuperStrapper

    There is a lot to like about that FPJ, but also a lot to smh at. Love the colourway and tantalum case material. The blue dial is also stunning. The pushers are atrocious. Really cheap looking and don’t match the case at all. The dial could also use some expanaion: bringing it in to get the outermost telemetre marking makes it all look do too small for the case, i think if there was a ring outsode the scale right against the inside of the bezel, and thehandaet were stretched out a bit it would be noticeably improved.
    I’m also surprisingly impressed by the AP. That model is usually not one I find all that appealing, but the blue dial in the dark case with that splashy moon interpretation really grabs my eye.

  • Word Merchant

    The more I look at the FPJ render, the more I see similarities with that awful Montblanc smart watch. Here’s hoping the actual watch looks better, if only so it looks good in the safe of whoever wins the auction.

  • Raymond Wilkie
    • Kuroji
    • Chaz

      This particular Bovet is utterly tasteless and done in such a cheap, talentless way. If ANYone drops ANY money on this shameless POS, they need to have their brain inspected. Bovet had better buy it themselves.

      It’s not even the subject matter or genre…it’s that this piece looks like utter shite! Did they hire some comic book/graphic novel “artist” that didn’t make the cut in art/design school??

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Done by someone who’s never seen a pair or tits before that left nipple’s all over the place.

        • Mikita

          Agreed. How could they draw the nipple in the wrong place.. Unbelievable.

          • I’ve seen worse placements (in adult films that is).

        • IG

          Maybe a botched boobjob on the model?

        • ConElPueblo

          You and anyone who agrees with you should have gone out a bit more.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            I’ve seen many tits in my time.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Please review the WOSTEP-Watch!

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    Enjoyed the pod/video/cast. |Thank you

  • Mikita

    Biver, what are you doing?? Heuer, Zenith, Hublot – now all look same, total garbage.

    • IG

      And they all smell like cheese.

      • I’d put a bid in for some Biver cheese.

        • JosephWelke

          I keep hearing about this cheese. It must be something else!

          • Something like a gruyere. He doesn’t sell it, but you are often treated to it at Hublot, TAG and Zenith booths at BaselWorld. I like it but then I like gruyere too.

  • Geez that Hublot is ugly.

    While the registers/sub-dial are sorta small, I like the FP Journe (a brand who has few offerings that I like).

    And Hot Lance forgot to enter a watch.

    The Louis Vuitton looks like it is a love child of a pumpkin and an unspeakable creature. Perfect for Halloween I guess.

    Love Konstantin Chaykin’s Joker watch. And I like that MB&F got into the spirit of the event with a thoughtful entry.

  • Rob D

    Not many here this year that if I had the money (laughable) I’d bid on, the FP Journe is quite pretty, and a couple of the others are nice without being outstanding.
    The hublot looks like they’ve tried to make a watch that looks like it’s going through an airport scanning machine, which if they went all in for would probably look a bit better than what they’ve actually produced. And really not a fan of the hublotised Zenith, I know they need to move with the times a bit, but that is definitely not the way I’d like to see them doing it.

  • Word Merchant

    I’d take the Audemars Piguet in a shot, and I rather like the Tudor as a beater, despite it making David giggle like a teenager in the video! I have reservations about the FPJ (see below), but hopefully in real life it’ll be as magnificent as others from them. The Patek leaves me cold, but then pretty much every Patek does, so I will leave that to Marius and Putin, and good luck to both. Please post wrist shots after your successful purchase.

    I have to agree with Ariel re the Hodinkee Ressence – the skeletal dial looks clumsy and broken; if I was to buy a Ressence, it would be a type 3 or 5 – oil filled and with the full magnetic complications, else why bother? The rest didn’t do anything hugely for me to be honest.

  • Rupert Muller

    I don’t think that the oscillating mass on the Audemars Piguet is made of ceramics. They just state that it is black and therefore it is most probably coated steel.
    In addition, a water resistance of 20 m (2 bar) for a sports watch is just pathetic.

    • Saddest Factory

      You’re right. The caseback is made of ceramic, not the oscillating mass. In the previous version it was made of titanium.

      • Ariel Adams

        Audemars Piguet reached out and told us that – so that is the latest information from them.

  • Mikita

    I’ll take the Bovet Twisted Tits

  • benjameshodges

    Ariel, thanks for the in depth look into Only Watch. This is the only place where I have seen real critique of certain brands and the organisation. It’s very difficult when it’s for a charitable cause but I just don’t see many references to the cause within the watches.

  • ted

    unusually amount of salt itt and in the article. They’re raising an insane amount of money every year/other year for medical research on a somewhat obscure disease that would otherwise go unfunded
    . So what if they only make subtle changes to their existing lineup(well most of them,some go above and beyond,esp smaller brands). It’s what collectors want,have you looked at some of the auction results of Patek Phillipe vintage watches? A steel Ref. 1526 from 1949 went for 4 mil$ a couple of years back simply because it was one of only 6 to be made in a steel case. By making small unique changes to popular watches manuf know they’re attracting collectors who look for just such unique pieces or investors.

  • Lars Schwurack

    I would like to point out that the Moritz Grossmann lot actually includes the 1875 pocket watch AND the ATUM Hommage. In case that was not quite clear from the article 😉

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