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Only Watch 2024: Over CHF28.3 million raised

The winning bid at Only Watch 2024 for the Patek Philippe Ref. 6301A Grand Sonnerie and Minute Repeater.

The controversies over the charity’s management did not appear to put off buyers, but some brands did pull out of the event.

Last year, just as Only Watch was embarking on its promotional global tour to entice buyers to bid, controversy arose over the management of the CHF100 million raised over the last nine auctions. Past bidders and interested parties questioned the lack of transparency over the funds distributed to the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (AMM), which is also controlled by the founder of Only Watch, Luc Pettavino.

While some brands opted to stay away from the auction, other independents such as H. Moser and MB&F remain committed to the Only Project.
While some brands opted to stay away from the auction, other independents, such as H. Moser and MB&F, remain committed to the Only Project.

AMM later acknowledged that it had only disbursed half of the funds received from Only Watch. Additional information revealed the majority of spending went to SQY Therapeutics, with AMM being the biggest shareholder of the firm. The majority share is owned by individuals and representatives of Duchenne muscular dystrophy associations, which also include Pettavino. To resolve the concerns of buyers and participating brands, the Only Project released audit information for the past three years and promised to transform its governance and board to ensure funds are properly distributed.

Despite the controversies (or because of it), Only Watch 24 raised a staggering CHF 28.32 million for the Association Monegasque contre les Myopathies.
Despite the controversies (or because of it), Only Watch 24 raised a staggering CHF28.3 million for the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies.

At the end of last week, the auction finally took place. Even that seemed plagued with unfortunate circumstances: online bidding on the Christie’s site was disabled due to a “security issue” (read: cyberattack). Furthermore, 16 of the original 63 opted to stay out of the event. With 47 lots, including the behemoth that is Patek Philippe, the event still raised a healthy CHF28.3 million, showing that buyers were confident of the audit results (or they just wanted the watches anyway). Here are some highlights from the auction.

Patek Philippe Ref. 6301A, a unique Grand Sonnerie and Minute Repeater in stainless steel.
Patek Philippe Ref. 6301A, a unique Grand Sonnerie and Minute Repeater in stainless steel.

Patek Philippe Ref. 6301A Grand Sonnerie and Minute Repeater

The Ref. 6301 was the first-ever Patek Philippe wristwatch with a standalone Grand Sonnerie complication. There are standalone minute repeaters, however. The stainless steel reference for Only Watch is, of course, a unique watch since steel Patek Philippes are rare to begin with. Sold for CHF15.7 million to collector Zach Lu, who’s also the owner of the Tiffany & Co. Patek Philippe Ref. 5711 from 2021, it was by far the biggest hit of the auction.

Richard Mille's RM S14 Talisman Origine is a pendant watch with a self-winding tourbillon movement.
Richard Mille’s RM S14 Talisman Origine is a pendant watch with a self-winding tourbillon movement.

Richard Mille RM S14 Talisman Origine

According to the brand, Richard Mille’s RM S14 Talisman Origine is an homage to Switzerland, celebrating its culture, values and traditions. The pendant watch is styled as a necklace with decorative details inspired by indigenous designs. It does feel a little appropriative of a different culture, but nevertheless, this self-winding tourbillon watch with a gold movement and case, coupled with a necklace that has wood, gold, titanium, and rhodonite beads, was acquired for CHF2.38 million.

F. P. Journe's Chronometre Blue Furtive is a barely visible dial with a stunning movement visible through the caseback.
F. P. Journe’s Chronomètre Bleu Furtive has a barely visible dial with a stunning movement visible through the caseback.

F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu Furtif

Journe’s new Calibre 1522 made its debut at the Only Watch auction in a tantalum case and bracelet specially designed for the event. The movement’s plates and bridges are in 18K rose gold and include moonphase and power reserve indicators that are shown on the back of the movement via the exhibition caseback. The watch has a blue enamel dial with closely matched frosted indications (minute track, hour indexes, and brand logo) that are barely visible unless it’s framed against the light. The watch sold for CHF2 million.

Krayon's Anywhere with its patented sunrise and sunset function outdid expectations.
Krayon's Anywhere, with its patented sunrise and sunset function, outdid expectations.

Krayon Anywhere

The independent watchmaker with its own very loyal cult following did remarkably well at Only Watch, quickly hitting CHF400,000 via a phone bid and concluding at CHF440,000 shortly after. The watch, which continues on the Everywhere’s complication that indicates the sunrise and sunset anywhere in the world, highlights one specific place instead. It’s wonderful to see that the independents are doing well, even beyond expectations.

Gerald Genta's Mickey Mouse did not do as well as expected at the Only Watch auction.
Gerald Genta’s Mickey Mouse did not do as well as expected at the Only Watch auction.

Gerald Genta Mickey Mouse

The minute repeater model with jumping hours and retrograde minutes that celebrated the 50th anniversary of Genta’s first self-branded watch, as well as the 100th anniversary of Disney, did not fare well despite a lot of hyping from its parent company. At CHF170,000, it reached less than half of the lower end of its estimate. It may well have been an over-expectation on the organiser’s part, and it does say a lot about the potential challenges facing the Genta label when it resumes retail this year.

The Furlan Marri x Dominique Renaud x Tixier Secular Perpetual Calendar is a remarkable development for the young watch brand.
The Furlan Marri x Dominique Renaud x Tixier Secular Perpetual Calendar is a remarkable development for the young watch brand.

Furlan Marri x Dominique Renaud x Tixier Secular Perpetual Calendar

The independent, best known for its affordable mechaquartz chronos, introduced its collab with Dominique Renaud and Tixier, which exceeded expectations, selling for CHF130,000. The secular perpetual calendar is the expert-level perpetual calendar that most of us will never need but definitely want. Accurate to the year 9,999, it will be interesting to see how the accessible watchmaker intends to present this function to its audience.

For more details, check out the Only Watch website.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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