Only Watch 2019 Auction

Saturday 9th November was the apex of a journey on which the watch industry has embarked on with Only Watch over the past 12 months. A journey which started on July 1st by unveiling the names of the participating watch brands.

This was followed by the world tour exhibition starting at the Monaco Yacht Show in September and lasted seven weeks travelling around major cities including Dubai, Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei. An extraordinary program which underlined the ever-growing interest for the one-of-a-kind pieces donated by the brands.

Under the High Patronage and in presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Only Watch held its eagerly-awaited 8th auction of unique timepieces today at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues Geneva.

The 50 one-of-a-kind timepieces were auctioned by the prestigious auction house CHRISTIE’S in a packed and dynamic saleroom, attended by international supporters, collectors, philanthropists, watchmaking manufacturer representatives and press. The sale took over two hours as interest in each lot was overwhelmingly high and concluded with a record-breaking result.

After an introductional speech given by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Luc Pettavino, founder of Only Watch, President of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies and 2019 recipient of the “Prix Spécial du Jury du Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève” reminded the audience about the good cause that would benefit from the proceeds of the auction. The auction started in a breathtaking atmosphere and lasted two hours cadenced by intense bidding sessions. The auction included a Patek Philippe lot (28) that was auctioned for the historic amount of CHF 31 000 000.

The auction raised a total of CHF 38’593’000 / €42,452,300

The record-breaking amount is a strong signal of hope for researchers, patients and families touched by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (genetic disease that affects 1 in 3,000 male births) around the world. Thanks to very significant investments made by Only Watch (among others) over the past decades, the research is reaching clinical trials, a critical and cost-demanding stage.


“I want to state how proud I am of the progress we’ve achieved thanks to our collective effort on Only Watch. Monaco has been the epicenter of this beautiful initiative, pioneering in innovative ways to fund research and have it move faster, further, in a more collective way too. And today, thanks to you, we are on the verge of clinical trials for a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, with researchers working in symbiosis in Monaco, in France, in Switzerland, giving hope to thousands of boys and men around the world. (…) To all supporters of the cause…you have my gratitude.” – His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco

“Breaking records is obviously a source of pride and happiness. What a beautiful moment and emotion shared together! And what matters most today is the difference we are going to be able to make in research against muscular dystrophies and for hundreds of thousands of patients and families around the world for their lives to get better.” – Luc Pettavino, founder of ONLY WATCH and president of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies

“A triumph for ONLY WATCH and we like to express our sincere thank you to all participants, buyers, collectors
and supporters. It has been a fantastic 12 month-long project, 10 cities and thousands of catalogues, it is amazing to see such an enthusiastic response across the globe. We are thankful and thrilled to have contributed to raise CHF38.6 million that researchers will put to immediate use. Furthermore, Christie’s would like to congratulate Luc Pettavino, for receiving the “Prix Spécial du Jury du Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève 2019”, last Thursday, a very well-deserved distinction”, commented Earl of Snowdon, Honorable Chairman Christie’s.



(Two duos, MB&F + L’EPÉE and DE BETHUNE + URWERK, respectively presented one watch that is the fruit of their respective collaboration.)


99% of donations go directly to medical and scientific research projects with administration costs running at under 1%. Thanks to these donations, the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy contributes to the development of new therapeutic avenues, some of which are on the verge of clinical trials.

A word from Aurélie Goyenvalle, Chair of Excellence HandiMedEx, researcher at the Researcher at the UVSQINSERM: “Thanks to Only Watch’s support we achieved two objectives: the first was to assemble a large field of experts on Duchenne’s disease to work together. The second was to acquire operational means to develop a new class of drugs for this disease. What did we develop? An intravenous drug that can penetrate into all muscles, heart and other tissues.”


This year, Only Watch is climate neutral! Only Watch has calculated its environmental footprint, reduced emissions as much as possible and is compensating the unavoidable emissions. A challenging endeavor in collaboration with South Pole; a leading provider of global sustainability financing solutions and services.

Zenith El Primero

The highlight of this year’s must-attend auction for watch aficionados and collectors from around the world was when the gavel fell for the highest bid on the one-off El Primero chronograph. The first and only Zenith A386 reference to be made of platinum, this unique El Primero was designed by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Zenith’s history-making timepiece.

The exceptional moment was all the more noteworthy as the proceeds went to benefit Zoe4Life, a Swiss non-profit that is part of the Childhood Cancer International network. The event crowns the Zenith El Primero 50th Anniversary celebrations throughout 2019, which included a World Tour across 5 continents – culminating in a gala show on the eve of the auction – to celebrate the first automatic integrated chronograph in watchmaking history introduced by Zenith in 1969.

The gala event held on the eve of the auction at Geneva’s fabled La Réserve resort on 8 November presented the perfect occasion for setting the stage. The select circle of around 300 guests, great collectors, friends and journalists were invited on a fascinating tour of the year 1969 moderated by none other than Nick Foulkes, author and horological connoisseur of taste extraordinaire.

Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith, peppered his account of the extraordinary journey behind the making of the El Primero legend with memorable anecdotes. If the show performed by Romain the Illusionist had everybody spellbound in their seats, the standing ovation for the makers of the El Primero made for a truly magical experience as well.

An especially touching moment: Charles Vermot, the man without whose engineering genius and determination there would be no El Primero, was represented by his son Michel who graciously accepted the applause. It was the perfect lead-in for the pièce de resistance: the unveiling of the one-off 50th Anniversary El Primero in platinum by Zenith CEO Julien Tornare and Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant of Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo, auctioned at The Geneva Watch Auction X. Met with the same applause moments later was this announcement by Julien Tornare: the proceeds of the winning bid at the auction would go to Zoe4Life, a Swiss non-profit that is part of the Childhood Cancer International network.

Amid the cheers came the encore: Aurel Bacs took center stage to present two Zenith El Primero limited editions designed by Phillips, one in yellow gold limited to 20 pieces, the other in stainless steel kept at 49 pieces. Together, the production runs of these two exclusive watches created for the renowned auction house rarities in creations add up to 69 pieces, in reference to 1969, the year the legend was born.

Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith said: “All of us at Zenith are so proud to be part of the still unfolding legend that began 50 years ago with the first (El Primero!) automatic integrated chronograph in watchmaking history. As we set out at the beginning of 2019 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of an icon, we never imagined the interest and goodwill that would come our way.

Working with the passionate team at Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo, and seeing the vision of an El Primero worthy of this historic moment become reality was a uniquely rewarding experience for all of us at Zenith. Just as the simple and wonderful fact that the star of Zenith could also shine for a cause as important as helping kids battle cancer through Zoé4life,”

Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant Bacs & Russo and Alex Ghotbi, Head of Watches, Continental Europe and Middle East jointly declared: “It was an absolute honor to have been contacted by Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith Watches who announced that he wanted to entrust Phillips with the sale of a unique El Primero in celebration of the iconic movement’s 50th anniversary and whose proceeds would be given to Zoé4Life, a charitable organization dedicated to the well-being of children with cancer.

The cherry on the cake was when we were invited to Le Locle to participate in the creative and design of the piece, an eye opening endeavor that enabled us to experience the talent and passion of the Zenith management and design teams and learn about the complexity and challenges that watch manufactures come by day to day. We are incredibly proud to have been associated with this incredible project for a worthy cause.”

F. P. Journe Astronomic Blue

After the success of Only Watch in 2017, F.P.Journe is proud to announce a new world record for the most expensive F.P. Journe watch ever sold at auction. The Astronomic Blue, developed specifically for Only Watch, sold for the amount of 1’807’815. – USD, in front of a packed room in which the most important collectors from all over the world have mobilized for this charity event.

The unique prototype movement, with its unique blue chrome dial and its unique case in Tantalum makes the F.P. Journe Astronomic Blue a Haute Horology major work of Art.

This grand complication watch with tourbillon and minute repeater, equation of time, sidereal time, sunrise and sunset, moon phases, 2nd timezone and annual calendar, is dedicated to recall a long forgotten gesture. That of losing oneself in the stars to better find one’s way on Earth. There was a time when that poetic idea was not a paradox, but rather an obvious truth. And like the instruments that were once used for observing the stars, the Astronomic Blue is above all a tool. But instead of opening a window onto the celestial vault, it sets the stage for all types of time.

François-Paul Journe declares: “I am happy our watch has reached such an astounding price for a charitable cause. We have all committed to allow this unique timepiece to gather such an important amount of money for the Monegasque Association against Muscular dystrophy (AMM) to support scientific and medical research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy.”

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime set a new world record as the most expensive watch ever sold!

The Grandmaster Chime in steel became the world’s most expensive watch after being sold at the Only Watch 2019 auction for a staggering price of 31’200’000. – USD.

The Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010 was created specially for Only Watch 2019. It stands out as the first and only version of this timepiece ever produced in stainless steel. The one and only Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime made in stainless steel.

It is the first Patek Philippe grande-sonnerie wristwatch ever added to the company’s current collection. The grand complication Ref. 6300A-010 unites accomplishment and elegance in this new and unique stainless steel version boasting two dials in rose gold and black ebony. The reversible case, adorned with a guilloched hobnail pattern, is notable for its patented reversing mechanism.

This exceptional grand complication features 20 complications in its stainless steel case, including no fewer than five chiming modes, two of which are patented world firsts: an acoustic alarm that strikes the preselected time and a date repeater sounding the date on demand.

The shine of this metal, rarely used with a Patek Philippe Grand Complication, is particularly striking when combined with the hand-guilloched hobnail pattern which perpetuates the tradition of rare handcrafts.

The special words “The Only One”, which appear at 12 o’clock on the auxiliary dial, further enhance the exclusive value of this unique timepiece.

Complicated watchmaking is the supreme test of the designer’s expertise and watchmakers’ skill. Patek Philippe masters all horological complications and has twice this century built the world’s most complicated portable timepiece.

Luc Pettavino

The Interview

Today, the team at “WATCHESPEDIA” was invited by none other than Luc Pettavino, the founder of Only Watch, for an exclusive interview.

Luc Pettavino

We met up with Mr Pettavino at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr Pettavino took the time out of his busy schedule to discuss the upcoming Christies Auction, the Only Watch world tour and what Only Watch represents.

Click play below to watch the exclusive interview of Luc Pettavino.

Interviewed by Pascal Grenacher

Produced by Alberic Virchaux

Copyright ©2019 WATCHESPEDIA. All Rights Reserved.

Luc Pettavino


The Special jury prize is awarded to Luc Pettavino, founder and Organiser of Only Watch, winner of the Special Jury Prize 2019…

Launching the ONLY WATCH 2019 50 unique watches on world tour in Dubai


On ONLY WATCH, doing good means participating in the effort, one way or another, that leads to the elaboration of a cure for neuromuscular diseases and Duchenne muscular dystrophy in particular. Thanks to ONLY WATCH and the 35 million Euros (40 million Swiss Francs) we have raised over the last years, tens of scientific researchers around the world are currently actively working and accelerating every day, to enter the decisive phase of clinical trials on human patients.

Doing good also means being coherent on all fronts and having no negative impact whilst doing so; this is why ONLY WATCH entirely compensates its carbon footprint that has been estimated at about 670 tons of CO².


One month and a half away from the 2019 ONLY WATCH charity auction, one of the most looked for events of the watchmaking year, the 50 unique lots that compose the collection have left for a world tour on 25th of September taking them to 4 different continents around the globe. The 10 stop-over cities are having the privilege of welcoming the most beautiful selection of unique watches ever gathered to finance research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

From Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 September, in Monaco: official launch of the 2019 ONLY WATCH world tour on the world’s leading superyacht event, the Monaco Yacht Show.

From Tuesday 1 to Thursday 3 October in Dubai, at Christie’s, in association with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

On Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 October in Paris at Christie’s.

From Friday 11 to Sunday 13 October in London, at Christie’s.

On Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 October in New York, at Christie’s.

On Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 October in Tokyo, at Christie’s.

On Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October in Singapore, at The Hour Glass.

On Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 in Hong Kong, at Christie’s.

From Wednesday 30 October to Friday 1 November in Taipei, at Christie’s.

From Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 November in Geneva, at the Four Seasons’ Hôtel des Bergues (, before being auctioned on 9 November at 2pm (GMT+1) during the 8th edition of the ONLY WATCH auction, in presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, under the hammer of the prestigious auction house CHRISTIE’S and in front of hundreds of supporters of the project and the cause.


« THANK YOU to all of those who have said YES to ONLY WATCH since its creation in 2005. It has been a fantastic human adventure. Simple and powerful. It’s a very beautiful demonstration of empathy, trust, generosity… it’s also a lot of hard work from all the participants and a desire to « do their bit » thanks to a project that does good while creating beauty.

With the launch of the world tour starts the last phase of this edition, the one where the people who are interested in this generous project can see the unique pieces with their own eyes, give and receive a lot of positive energy on each stopover exhibition. It’s a privilege for me to be part of them, alongside the Christie’s team.

To me, ONLY WATCH is also a success in the fact that it portrays a world where diversity doesn’t create opposition but instead works in harmony, in a common effort to do good, and where altruism, cooperation and the public interest take over selfishness and the « every man/woman for him/herself » approach.
We have to acknowledge that our societies are currently expressing a need for more of these humanist values. The media that follow ONLY WATCH are willingly giving visibility to the exemplary behavior of all the participants in this project (of which they are also part of). As a result, we boast a 400 million readership (online and offline combined) all over the world for a 6-month media plan.

Science, financed amongst others by projects like ONLY WATCH, will soon bring us solutions to the agonizing problem that are incurable diseases.

Lastly, leading a project like ONLY WATCH also means being coherent on all fronts. This is why we entirely compensate our carbon footprint that has been estimated at about 670 tons of CO². To me, this is both normal and an act of responsibility. Mother Nature gives us everything and we shall respect her.

See you on the world tour or at the auction on 9 November, in Geneva.

Let’s keep in mind that the Other, is also a part of us. So, long live altruism and fraternity! »