For the second time since its first edition in 2005, the world renowned biennial charity auction Only Watch will be staging in Geneva.
On 11 November, this exceptional fundraising for research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy will be opening the autumn Geneva watch auction week, in presence of hundreds of connoisseurs, donators and collectors who will undoubtedly engage in strong bidding competition for the unique timepieces especially made by the finest watchmakers for Only Watch.
It is true that Zenith’s new Defy case feels a bit like that of the Hublot Big Bang. It isn’t a bad thing or an accident. Biver has long since found out that most new or younger watch lovers prefer something more bold, more edgy, more masculine, and certainly more visible than most vintage timepieces. For that reason, Zenith watches the experience Replica is smart to combine exciting technology with a spirited design. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a watch brand debut a new movement or technical concept into a timepiece that looks like a boring dress watch. Are those conservative watch buyers the first ones to jump on something new? Heavens no. Another interesting conversation piece about the Defy Lab is how much of a showcase it is of Biver’s policy of “sharing” among the brands. The Zenith Defy Lab might be assembled at Zenith, but the case is made at (and developed by) Hublot, and the movement is produced (and developed) at TAG Heuer.The first 10 pieces of the Zenith Defy Lab watch will come in a 44mm wide case produced from something else which is exotic known as “Aeronith.” Hublot invented it at part of their materials science division that came up with things such as red ceramic and magic gold. Aeronith (or “the Swiss cheese of aluminum” as you might call it) is actually produced at Hublot’s facility in Nyon. Aeronith is apparently similar to aluminum alloys used in the naval world because it is both strong and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum is rarely used in watches because it is relatively fragile – but in special forms can prove to be a useful material. In person, Aeronith certainly feels impressively light, and in a lot of ways has the visual appearance of concrete (in a cool way).
For the 2017 edition of Only Watch, it has been proposed, whenever possible and according to the brand’s culture and desire, to combine the timepiece with a unique experience with either a brand ambassador (athletics champion, car racing driver…) or an exceptional event (film festival, fashion show…).
Since 2005, the uniqueness of a project such as Only Watch underlines how great brands from luxury groups or independent craftsmen have achieved to unite in the pursuit of a common goal: financing research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
This synergy, under the patronage and support of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, driven by the enthusiasm shown by individuals within the brands and partners, shows a deep wish to help this noble cause. In six editions, Only Watch has raised more than 25 million euros for Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (Monaco Association against Duchenne muscular dystrophy) helping make significant advances in research over a decade.
The 49 one-off models of the 2017 Only Watch collection will tour around the globe during one and a half months, starting on 27 September in Monaco.
The Monaco Yacht Show will launch the journey by exhibiting the watches from 27 to 30 September within the show venue. The collection will then be flown to Bangkok (02-03 October/Christie’s), Singapore (05-06 October/The Hour Glass), Dubai (October 09-11/Christie’s & Seddiqi), Hong Kong (23-24 October/Christie’s), Taipei (26-27 October/Christie’s), New-York (October 29-30/Christie’s), Los Angeles (1-2 November/Westime), and finally Geneva (9-11 November/Christie’s).
Participating brands: Andersen Genève, Armin Strom, Arnold & Son, Audemars Piguet, Barbier Mueller, Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Boucheron, Bovet Fleurier, Breguet, Carl F. Bucherer, Chanel, Chopard, Christophe Claret, Chronoswiss, De Bethune, Dewitt, F.P. Journe, Fabergé, Frédérique Constant, Girard Perregaux, H.Moser & Cie, Harry Winston, Hautlence, Hermès, Hublot, Jacob & Co, Konstantin Chaykin, Laurent Ferrier, Jaquet Droz, Louis Moinet, Louis Vuitton, Maurice Lacroix, MB&F, MCT, Montblanc, Moritz Grossmann, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Rebellion, Ressence, Speake Marin, Tag Heuer, Tudor, Ulysse Nardin, Urwerk, Voutilainen, Zenith. Special Projects: (Agenhor x Head/Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design – Genève), Wostep (Ecole Horlogère – Neuchâtel).