Geneva was extremely eventful last weekend having accommodated a number of highly prestigious watch auctions. Phillips Auctioneers oversaw the ‘Geneva Watch Auction: SIX’, Sotheby managed the ‘Important Watches’ auction; Antiquorum held their fourth auction of the year, and Christie’s supervised the biannual ‘Only Watch’ charity auction. It is therefore safe to say that over the weekend, there was an abundance of rare and attractive timepieces up for grabs in the world’s watch capital. However, it was Christie’s ‘Only Watch’ auction and its incredibly rare timepieces that attracted the world’s attention.

Only Watch is an extremely unique event to attend, not simply because it occurs only once every two years, but also because there is an array of the incredibly rare and one-of-a-kind timepieces up for sale. All of the participating watchmakers design and create an exceptional, unique wristwatch that is donated to the organisers, Association Monegasque Contre les Myopathies or AMM. The rare and luxury timepieces are then sold on to the highest bidder at auction, with all proceeds going towards funding the research of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Luc-Pettavino-fhh journalCredit: ONLY WATCH

The charity’s history

Luc Pettavino, former CEO of the Monaco Yacht show, established the AMM charity in 2001, and later founded the auction concept four years later. Pettavino’s motivation behind starting the charity is incredibly stimulating. Pettavino’s son Paul, who has since sadly passed away at the age of 21, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. But instead of accepting the diagnosis, Pettavino decided to help work towards the goal of finding a cure by raising money through auction sales to fund the research.

family Credit: Royal Monaco Journal

The watch brands

groupCredit: ONLY WATCH

The Only Watch class of 2017 was a superbly diverse selection of wristwatches, which all featured fascinating rare attributes and colourful dials. Some of the finest watch manufacturers who participated in this year’s Only Watch auction included:


Patek Philippe

Audemars Piguet

Louis Vuitton

Tag Heuer




Harry Winston

F. P. Journe


The results

The auction was a huge success, with some lots even selling for eight times their estimated value. Prior to the event, the overall estimation of the wristwatch collection was $4 million. However, following the excitement of the bidding, it was realised that the overall actual price was $10.7 million. Although all 50 lots sold for impressive prices, there were a couple that performed extremely well, exceeding all possible expectations.


Patek Philippe

The highlight of the evening was most certainly the bidding of lot 12, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5208T-010. The most striking feature of this record-breaking timepiece is the titanium casing; a metal rarely used for a Patek Philippe. The one-of-a-kind wristwatch features a blue dial with day, date, month and leap year indicators, and the iconic moon phase sub dial. The attractive looking timepiece was estimated to sell for around $900,000- $1,100,000, but instead stunned the auction room by selling for an astounding $6,200,000.


pp frontCredit: ONLY WATCH

F. P. Journe

A surprising result of the evening was the second highest grossing wristwatch, lot 32. The F. P. Journe Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante bleu is a beautiful timepiece, which makes a strikingly bold statement. The wristwatch exhibits a unique orange tachymeter scale, and a yellow telemeter scale, which both stand out against the distinctive blue chrome dial. The lot was estimated to sell for around $200,000-$400,000, but instead sold for an incredible $1.1 million. The unique Tantalum case, blue chrome dial and 18K rose gold movement, were clearly enticing features that attracted the bids of private watch collectors and connoisseurs.


fpjCredit: ONLY WATCH

Audemars Piguet

Another incredible performance of the night was the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak perpetual calendar. The popular watch brand created a modern lustrous black ceramic wristwatch with a “skylight” blue grand tapisserie dial. The contemporary timepiece features day, date and month indicators, and an orange-tinted photo of a realistic moon inside the sub dial located above the 6 o’clock marker. The Audemars Piguet’s Only Watch donation, is the first black ceramic perpetual calendar wristwatch with a black ceramic sapphire rear display. The estimated price of the exclusive timepiece was $80,000-$120,000, yet the wristwatch actually fetched a marvellous $800,000 at auction.


The result of this year’s Only Watch charity auction was truly remarkable. As the event came to an end, the international head of Christie’s watch department, John Reardon stated “as the auction partner for Only Watch 2017, it has been a pleasure and honour to be part of this important initiative. The final result has reached beyond our expectations and we congratulate Luc Pettavino and the entire Only Watch family for such a success.”

The Only Watch charity auction will forever be a unique and exceptional event for watch collectors and connoisseurs alike. It is a shame that the long awaited weekend has officially passed, however, this years event has kept us on our toes and made us curious to see what magical creations the participating watch brands will have to offer in another two years time!

For a closer look at some of the exquisite timepieces that were up for auction last weekend click here and you’ll be directed to Christie’s Only Watch auction page, where you can also view the final bidding prices.