A good time

The charity auction Only Watch is a mecca for lovers of exquisite timepieces.

There are people who do good – Luc Pettavino is one of them. The President of the Association Monegasque Contre les Myopathies is involved in the fight against the hereditary muscle disease DMD, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which appears in early childhood, quickly forcing those affected into a wheelchair. To confront this fate through research, Pettavino came up with a good idea for how he could raise a large sum of money to do this: the Only Watch charity auction. Here, unique and high-quality luxury watches are auctioned off; watches that delight the heart of every collector – and open their wallets. Because here: you can’t just look, you have to bid.

The ninth edition of Only Watch at Christie’s in Geneva will get underway on 6 November 2021, under the patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. Luc Pettavino has raised over seventy million euros since the first auction held in 2005 in aid of research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; 99 percent of the proceeds benefit the research projects. And this commitment has now resulted in significant success: In the coming year, the first highly promising clinical tests will have begun. There is reason to hope that the lives of thousands of young people will be improved. All this has only been possible thanks to the valuable support of numerous watchmakers, donors and supporters as well as the interest shown by the international press – and the buyers, of course. The estimated values of this year’s 58 brands start at 8,000 Swiss francs and range all the way up to 500,000 Swiss francs. It will be interesting to see how much they actually fetch once the lot numbers are called and how generous the bidders’ hearts are. 'Only Watch is one concrete example that we can achieve incredibly beautiful things, raise considerable amounts of money, and make friends, making it a way of life,' says Luc Pettavino, expressing the core thoughts of his initiative. The motto is therefore: Create beauty to do good. And the offers to bid on are very good: For example the Ajourée, Massy Le Caméléon (left) from the Boucheron manufactory, founded 1858 in Paris, is a cheerful, playful masterpiece of watchmaking art in white gold with diamonds and sapphire crystals. The Defy Double Tourbillon Felipe Pantone – Unique Piece For Only Watch (right) by the Swiss company of 1865 Zenith x Felipe Pantone stands out with its innovative energy. Poetic and elegant, this charming Miss Audrey Sweet Fairy Only Watch (previous page) by Bovet 1822 can be worn both on the wrist and around the neck.

Only Watch is a biennial event for collectors and fans of beautiful things, who simultaneously live out their philanthropic streak, because all watches are individual pieces made by renowned manufacturers and only available here. Before the auction starts and the tension mounts as to how much money will be raised this year, there is the opportunity to admire the watches on offer. They go around the world as part of a roadshow – it kicks off with the Yacht Show in Monaco, further locations include Dubai, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and finally the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva, before the actual auction takes place. Thus the public, the media and anyone interested in the watches can examine all the original auction lots and find out more about them. There are numerous luxury watch brands from Switzerland and other European watch-manufacturing centres in a wide variety of different designs and with striking motifs, sophisticated technology and clever features. Examples include the Royal Oak 'Jumbo' Extra Thin Only Watch by Audemars Piguet, the Grande Seconde Skelet-One Tourbillon 'Only Watch' by Jaquet Droz and the Highlife Monolithic Manufacture Only Watch 2021 by Frédérique Constant (illustrations clockwise from top left). Krayon designed his Anywhere and F.P.Journe designed the FFC Blue with Francis Ford Coppola. Other highlights include the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021, the Gravity Equal Force Only Watch Unique Piece by Armin Strom and the Big Bang Tourbillon Only Watch by Hublot. Anyone who cannot be on the premises can visit the Only Watch website where they’ll find all the photos, information and details on the timepieces offered. The founder Luc Pettavino describes the charity auction Only Watch as 'a unique momentum in the watch industry', inviting people to 'have a look at the pieces and you will agree with me.'

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