Only Watch is back, with the biannual event showcasing the very best unique pieces that watchmaking can create, design and execute in time for the November auction, set to be held at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergue. The auction’s accumulated funds go to supporting the research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and it’s an event that draws the eyes from around the world.
What is Only Watch?
With over €70 million raised since 2005, Only Watch is the world’s most influential international charity watch auction. A key date on the global horology calendar, Only Watch sees the world’s most important watch brands unveil a series of unique pieces that take iconic designs and reimagine them for a completely new age. Since things kicked off, fans have seen watchmakers like F.P. Journe and TAG Heuer unveil innovative takes on some of the most popular and exclusive releases. Only Watch 2021 is all about the bold, brazen and entirely new.
Best Watches of Only Watch 2021
With releases from Audemars Piguet, TAG Heuer, Bell & Ross and a host of other huge names in the space, Only Watch 2021 represented the best of the best. Here are our top picks from Only Watch 2021.
1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Only Watch
Featuring a sandblasted titanium case and polished Bulk Metallic Glass, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Only Watch is sure to exceed its estimated selling price of 320,000CHF and is up there as one of my favourite offerings. The 39mm x 8.1mm case is identical to all other 15202 models, at least in shape, however, in this model, the central case and the bracelet are here made of sandblasted titanium, with the typical dark grey colour resulting from this finishing, contrasting with the polished chamfers.
Brand: Audemars Piguet
Movement: Calibre 2121
2. Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire
Poppy and vivid, the audacious looking Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire is quite a polarising lot but in the age of extravagance it surely fits right in. Interestingly enough, the visual impact of the form movement is heightened with the all-sapphire case, which amplifies the airy construction and orange skull.
Brand: Bell & Ross
3. Zenith x Felipe Pantone Defy Double Tourbillon
Zenith’s offering for Only Watch 2021 was one of the most jaw-dropping. The Defy Double Tourbillon divvied up once again by renowned artist Felipe Pantone showed pops of colour, mind-blowing complexity and an aesthetic that is supremely modern make for one of the more exciting lots of Only Watch 2021. It also features an open-worked dial with splashes of metallic rainbow tones and 3D PVD silicon particles as a surface treatment on the watch hands.
Movement: El Primero 9020
4. H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Cylindrical Tourbillon Only Watch
H. Moser & Cie continues to ride the wave of success by bringing its Streamliner to Only Watch 2021. For the first time, the model brings together a spherical tourbillon coupled with the brand’s distinct Vantablack dial. And to top things off, we’ve got the angled dial configuration, the same found in the brand’s recent collaborative pieces with MB&F. This is going to blow its 80,000CHF estimation out of the water, easily.
Brand: H. Moser & Cie
Movement: Calibre HMC 810
5. Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Only Watch
With a sapphire crystal case and distinct orange additions, the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Only Watch carries with it an air of superfluous quality and presence that only a Hublot has. The dial is made from sapphire and reveals the mechanics of the new self-winding manufacture tourbillon movement—MHUB6035—launched in January. It also features a raised section, Superluminova on the hour and minute hands, and the numerals are also orange coloured with the watch engraved with “Pièce Unique” and the Only Watch logo on the sapphire back cover.
Movement: Caliber MHUB6035
6. Konstantin Chaykin Martian Tourbillon
Featuring a tourbillon that rotates every 61.65 seconds, the same duration as a Martian minute, the Konstantin Chaykin Martian Tourbillon truly lives up to its name. In a crazy move, the watch is equipped with a tourbillon regulator that makes one revolution every Martian minute – or 61.65 seconds. The modestly sized watch is 40mm in diameter and features a case made of bulat, a steel alloy with a high carbon content that is comparable to ancient Damascus Steel.
Brand: Konstantin Chaykin
Movement: Cal. K.22-0
7. Krayon Anywhere
Complexity for the sake of complexity is often akin to overkill, but in the case of the Krayon Anywhere it is definitely appreciated. The Krayon Anywhere is inexplicably complex and features the ability to mechanically indicate the sunrise and sunset times anywhere in the world. The crowning jewel here is the beautiful metiers d’art dial, a direct interpretation of Monet’s Impression, Sunrise.
Movement: Cal. C030
8. MB&F HM10 Panda
With only several sketches to go off of, MB&F’s HM10 Panda is nonetheless one of the most exciting lots at Only Watch 2021. Can’t wait to see the completed piece which will surely blow right past its 150,000CHF estimation. The base of this new unique piece for Only Watch is Horological Machine N°10 with its rounded, compact body that lends itself to the shape of the panda. The top section of the case is coated in black and white lacquer to mimic the animal’s colouring, with MB&F revealing that to accommodate the lacquer, the top section of the standard HM10 titanium case had to be specially crafted for this Pièce Unique in stainless steel.
Movement: Manual-winding in-house
9. Patek Philippe Complicated Desk Clock
Patek Philippe might have outdone itself at the last Only Watch auction, where it sold a $31m USD stainless steel Grandmaster Chime. This year’s offering is inspired by a Patek piece delivered to James Ward Packard, the infamous car magnated, in 1923, and features a perpetual calendar, moon phase indication, week indicator and power reserve.
Brand: Patek Philippe
Dimensions: 16.46 cm x 12.5 cm x 7.63 cm
Movement: 86-135 PEND IRM Q SE
10. Richard Mille RM 67-02 Charles Leclerc Prototype
Created for the current Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc, Richard Mille’s RM 67-02 Charles Leclerc Prototype embodies the fast-paced racing culture to a tee. Comprised of red and white TPT composite material and hand-painted treatment on the skeletonised titanium movement, the new RM 67-02 Charles Leclerc Prototype is another lot that will surely scoff at its 330,000CHF estimate.
Brand: Richard Mille
Movement: Extra flat calibre CRMA7
11. TAG Heuer Only Watch Carbon Monaco
A hardcore contemporary take on the legendary “Dark Lord” reference, the new TAG Heuer Only Watch Carbon Monaco is one badass looking watch. Featuring a forged carbon case and skeletonised dial, what we have here is a watch that the crowds are begging TAG Heuer to release as a production model. While this is not the first carbon Monaco, it does use a different 39mm case to the carbon Bamford Monaco, with the most notable difference being the caseback, which is redesigned to accommodate a much larger sapphire caseback.
Brand: TAG Heuer
Movement: Heuer 02 calibre
12. Tudor Black Bay GMT One
Implementing aged steel that has been barrel-tumbled and black-coated, the Tudor Black Bay GMT One is easily one of the more beautiful lots for Only Watch 2021. It’s 8,000CHF estimate is actually laughable. Add a couple more zeros to that number. Design-wise, the matte black dial has matte grey markings, almost blending into the background and on the bottom half, you can see “GMT Master Chronometer” written. This means the standard MT5652 movement has been upgraded and now comes with the Master Chronometer certification as defined by METAS.
Movement: Master Chronometer-certified MT5652 Manufacture Calibre
13. F. P. Journe x Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue
F. P. Journe partnered with Francis Ford Coppola to create this automaton masterpiece. Conceived over dinner at Coppola’s way back in 2012, the F. P. Journe x Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue’s distinct hand centred on the dial depicts the time by pointing to the hour numerals with the blue fingers. So cool.
Brand: F. P. Journe
Movement: Automatic FFC 1300.3
What is Only Watch?
Only Watch is an internationally recognized charity auction, as well as a momentous event on the international horological calendar.
Which brands unveiled pieces at Only Watch 2021?
A number of the world's leading watch brands unveiled pieces at Only Watch 2021, with Audemars Piguet, Tudor, Zenith, MB&F, F.P. Journe, TAG Heuer, Richard Mille and Patek Philippe among them.