At the 10th edition of the Only Watch charity auction, scheduled to be held in Geneva's Palexpo at 2 pm (CET) on November 5, an impressive selection of 62 lots will come under the hammer. Organised by Christie's, Geneva, the watch auction aims to raise funds for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and other genetic diseases. Here are GMT India’s top picks from the lots — in other words, these are the timepieces to watch out for.
Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Rainbow
Fresh and futuristic, the BR 03 Cyber Rainbow is an inspired take on the brand’s iconic BR 03 design; its flair for the avant-garde shines through the visual appeal and the 3D skeleton movement. Bell & Ross’s commitment to high craftsmanship is reflected on the unique black DLC 42 mm titanium case, adorned with vibrantly coloured varnished pieces. The complementing rubber strap comes varnished with a soft, coloured material, sporting a mosaic pattern that instantly stands out. The caliber BR-CAL.383 — specially developed for the model — features a self-winding system with a power reserve of 48 hours. The appeal of the dial is further amplified by the coloured bridges while the micro-blasted metal hands are enhanced with white Super-Luminova for optimal readability.
JC Biver Catharsis
This stunning model was born of an idea shared by an artist friend of Jean-Claude Biver, who once famously said, “Make me a minute repeater with no hands, no indexes. I want time to be mine.” Crafted from titanium, the watch offers a unique interpretation of the minute repeater carillon tourbillon with no visible display of time. While the upper part of the dial features stars of opal and a moon of meteorite, the lower part has a stunning seascape, composed of 89 unique sapphires, randomly reflecting ‘natural’ waves. The time is shown only through the hour hand on the back of the watch. The piece can be both a stunning collector’s item and a covetable art object.
De Bethune DW5 Seeking Perfect for Only Watch 23
Cased in Damascus iron and steel from the Auberson iron ores — that are a stone’s throw away from the De Bethune manufacture — this one-of-a-kind piece cements De Bethune’s reputation as a groundbreaking independent brand. It was created by roasting iron and steel, crushing these into powder, and reducing it through the glowing charcoal of a low furnace to obtain a mass of metal, which was then forged into the final shape. The polished blue dial offers a striking contrast and the tourbillon movement, Calibre DB2149, can be admired on the back of the watch.
Montblanc 1858 Géosphère 0 Oxygen CARBO2 Only Watch Unique Piece
At 43.5 mm, this unique edition joins the brand’s series of ‘Zero Oxygen’; a new collection based on this piece will be revealed in April 2024. A new case material is created using a pioneering development that captures CO2 from biogas production and mineral waste from recycling factories. It’s powered by the MB 29.25 automatic movement with Montblanc’s Manufacture Worldtime complication, and there’s a luminous glacier blue outline of Mount Everest on the side of the case. The titanium caseback is adorned with a beautiful picture of Everest too, drawn with help of the brand’s 3D laser technique.
Gérald Genta Only Watch 2023
For its first ever participation in Only Watch, the Gérald Genta Maison of High Watchmaking presents a minute repeater watch with Mickey Mouse — the beloved cartoon character who has played a crucial role in the brand’s journey since the 1980s — playfully indicating the time. Mickey’s arm points to the retrograde minutes along an arch, marked 0 to 60, paired with a jumping hour complication, and the minute repeater chimes the precise hour. The white gold, octagonal case complements the champlevé enamel dial that showcases a smiling, enamelled Mickey Mouse, holding a birthday cake aloft with one hand — a reference to both the Disney’s 100th anniversary and the 10th edition of Only Watch.
Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Only Watch
Featuring Hublot’s first ever central tourbillon, this sapphire watch is inspired by Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami’s iconic smiling flower, enveloped by 12 petals, set with 444 gemstones. The watch is powered by the HUB9015 manual-winding caliber, and offers an impressive power reserve of 150 hours. This masterpiece showcases a unique central tourbillon, especially conceived for this watch, representing the fusion of art and horological design.
Chanel Mademoiselle J12 La Pausa Only Watch
Drawing inspiration from a photograph of Mademoiselle Chanel taken in her garden at La Pausa, her villa in the South of France, this interpretation of the J12 watch features her silhouette, dressed in a striped jersey and sailor’s pants. The Mademoiselle Chanel silhouette has been printed on a sapphire glass plate and affixed onto the dial, a technique of excellence mastered by the Chanel Manufacture. The highly resistant ceramic Mademoiselle J12 La Pausa watch comes in two colours, black and white. It is equipped with the self-winding Caliber 12.1, visible through a sapphire crystal caseback, with the engraving of ‘Pièce unique. Only Watch 2023. Mademoiselle J12’.
ZENITH Chronomaster Sport Only Watch Set
The Chronomaster Sport box set of four features yellow, green, blue, and red ceramic bezels, and coloured dials, in keeping with the official colours of Only Watch 2023. The watches are powered by the automatic El Primero chronograph with 1/10th of a second measurement. The 41 mm steel cases house the latest generation of the legendary automatic El Primero high-frequency column-wheel chronograph calibre, capable of measuring and displaying elapsed time to a precision of 1/10th of a second. The watches boast a power reserve of 60 hours and a date indication at 4:30 as well as a stop-second mechanism for precise setting.
Piaget Polo Skeleton Arty
The vibrant Piaget Polo Skeleton arty edition combines technical prowess with chic design, paying homage to the ‘Hexa Grace’ artwork by French artist Victor Vasarely, which is exhibited in Monaco. The watch beats to the rhythm of an ultra-thin Manufacture calibre 1200S1, with green, blue, and rose gold-coloured skeletonised bridges. The movement is housed within a rose gold case, measuring 42 mm in diameter and only 6.5 mm in thickness. The piece blends refined materials, craftsmanship, and design with a unique sense of style. The movement is visible through the skeleton blue flange dial as well as through the sapphire caseback.
TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds for Only Watch
TAG Heuer has introduced the first mechanical split seconds chronograph and debuted a brand new movement for Only Watch 2023. The piece is a stunning reinterpretation of the iconic Monace collection, with a completely new case design, updating the original 1969 model with a new avant-garde aesthetic. The texturised titanium — a new material specifically crafted at the TAG Heuer Institute for the project — and sapphire exterior houses the state-of-the-art TAG Heuer Calibre TH81-00 automatic split-seconds chronograph movement. The watch has been the brainchild of the Maison’s movement director, Carole Kasapi, who assembled an incredible team, consisting of the crème de la crème of the watchmaking industry.