Only Watch 2011 proved to be a highly successful evening. The event was held in Monaco at the Heritage Hotel in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II on the evening of September 23rd.
All 40 watches sold, 22 watches reached their wish price, while18 failed to reach their minimum. But the auction still managed to raise well over €4.563 million (US6.1m) for its muscular dystrophy charity – easily improving on 2009's Only Watch which brought in just over €2m.
The auction room was full and the sale generated intense internet and telephone bidding from around the world. Among several celebrities Ronnie Woods from the Rolling Stones was present throughout the proceedings to support the auction.
Julien Schaerer, Managing Director and Auctioneer at Antiquorum Geneva commented:
“The amazing outcome achieved today is the result of a perfect combination of the involvement of 40 of the world’s greatest watchmakers that have come together to offer a collection of exceptional and unique timepieces, an impressive and intense world tour with previews in the right locations to reach out to watch aficionados and connoisseurs, as well as our continuous and considerable efforts in raising awareness among the collectors.”
The top 5 watches
Lot 30: Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Ref 3939
Even the high expectations of Maison Patek Philippe, well seasoned to astronomical sums being attained for their auctions, must have been stunned at the sum reached for their Ref 3939 Minute Repeater.
The wish price was a relatively modest €450k to €650k. By the time the hammer fell for the final time the price was 1.4m euros ($1.9m) – three times the wish price. It makes this elegant black dial minute repeater one of the world’s most expensive watches.
Lot 32: Richard Mille RM 027 Tourbillon
There was plenty of interest attached to this lot because it’s the very same RM 027 Tourbillon worn by Rafael Nadal when he won the 2011 Monte Carlo championships for the seventh year running.
Fine and unique, very light, tonneau shaped and curved, prototype carbon, titanium and Lital wristwatch with visible one-minute tourbillon regulator. Wish price was €400k to €600k. It sold for €510k. ($685k).
Lot 15: DeWitt Concept Watch No. 3 – X-Watch
DeWitt Concept Watch No. 3 – X-Watch. A unique reversible, titanium and steel automatic wristwatch with double bi-retrograde hours and minutes, visible one-minute tourbillon and power reserve on the front side, chronograph on the reverse. This timepiece brought in €410k ($550k).
Lot 4: BLU Gagarin Platinum Flying Tourbillon
BLU Gagarin Platinum Flying Tourbillon. A unique platinum wristwatch celebrating the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight in space with 108-minute orbiting one-minute flying tourbillon, integral rotating magnifying glass, and 18K gold hand-engraved map of the world dial. This watch fetched €300k ($402k).
Lot 38: Van Cleef & Arpels, Poetic Complication “From the Earth to the Moon”
A stunning one of its kind 18K white gold retrograde wristwatch with champlevé enamel dial. The timepiece raised €215k ($288k)
The auction proceeds will hopefully work wonders for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.