The biggest watch brands in the world gathered at the 27th Monaco Yacht Show to each unveil their unique time-keeping pieces which will be later auctioned off for charity. The Principality was the first stop on a world tour for the watches, which will finish on the 11th of November in Geneva, where the watches will be sold with proceeds going towards neuromuscular disease research and the Monaco Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
According to Luc Pettavino, founder of Only Watch, this project is known in the watchmaking world as the only occasion when companies who are usually in direct competition let down their guard and agree to come together for an altruistic motive. He called it “the Oscars of watches,” with big-name brands like Richemont, LVMH, Swatch, Kering, as well as independent companies.
Formula 1 fans might want to bid on a watch crafted as an homage to the legendary racing event. It was created in association with the Renault Formula 1 team and includes particular details found in Formula 1 racing. For example: forged carbon, high-tech ceramics, rubber, skeletal motorisation, and a particular form of power inspired by the Tiptronic transmission box, with toggle push-pieces which facilitate the manipulation of the watch. Carlos Rosillo, from Bell & Ross said that when you have an object like this, the experience must be pushed to the edge. Which is why the auction of their watch also includes the opportunity to meet the drivers during the final Formula 1 race in Abu Dhabi and a chance to chat with driver Nico Hulkenberg in particular, with access to the pit lane, “where the race truly takes place.”
The 50 watches were on display in Monaco before travelling to 10 locations in Asia, the middle-east, the USA and, finally, Geneva for an auction managed by celebrity house Christie’s. Aline Sylla-Walbaum, general directer of luxury goods at Christie’s, said that what interests them about Only Watch is, above all, their passion and dedication to helping research in a domain which isn’t necessarily the focus of public research.
Only Watch was created by Luc Pettavino in 2005. It’s a biennial event, and over its 7 editions, 26 million euros have been collected to finance fundamental, academic, and applied research as well as create start-ups and biotech. Progress has been spectacular, according to Luis Garcia, Director of L’Unite Inserm U1179, who helped facilitate concrete results in the field through genetic therapy and other approaches within a few short years.
For more information about the auction, visit: www.onlywatch.com