This is the 10th year of the phenomenally successful Only Watch Charity Auction. Founded by businessman Luc Pettavino, under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the watches on auction go to the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy, funding research. To date, Only Watch has raised 15 million euros.
Here’s how it works: watch companies that participate in the Only Watch auction make one-of-a-kind watches that will then be auctioned off at the event on November 7. This year, a stunning 44 watch brands are involved and there is a slight change—the auction will be held in Geneva for the first time. Buyers will not need to be present to bid—it can be done through the Only Watch website (onlywatch.com).
“HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco has been by our side on this project since day one,” Mr. Pettavino told the Observer. “He is really involved, making himself available in Monaco or elsewhere, ready to write letters, offer words of welcome, facilitate processes. He is a discreet bidder, too.”
“This July, we reviewed presentations for the 44 creations for Only Watch 2015 together,” Mr. Pettavino continued. “He was amazed by the dedication of each watchmaker.”
Only Watch is held every two years. “Every edition of the auction is like a first time for me, as I never take anything for granted,” Mr. Pettavino added. “So, every ‘yes’ I receive from a brand is pure joy and nourishes a great feeling of humanity and recognition. I must say also, receiving those positive answers one after the other during the numerous watch show meetings is like planting extraordinary seeds and waiting for a fabulous blossoming. It’s a blessing.”
For the first time, Phillips auction house in association with Bacs & Russo is handling the auction. “When we were approached by Luc Pettavino, founder and president of Only Watch, we felt it was most appropriate, if not our duty, to give back to those who suffer from Duchenne muscular,” said Aurel Bacs, senior consultant for Phillips and co-founder of Bacs & Russo. “I believe that Only Watch 2015 is going to be one of the most important horological events for manufactures and collectors alike. This event allows manufacturers to shine by displaying their know-how, both on a technical and aesthetic level, paired with the freedom to create a truly unique watch. Besides raising funds for a fine cause, it allows manufacturers to satisfy the elite of watch collectors who are seeking to acquire a very unique piece.”
Mr. Pettavino is confident that this year’s auction will continue Only Watch’s history of record-breaking results. “I have no doubt there will be smiles, thrills and joy on November 7 in Geneva,” he says.
Auction Date: November 7, 2015, 3 p.m. Geneva Time (GMT+1)