Only Watch: An Auction of Altruism
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Only Watch: An Auction of Altruism

- By Lindsey Campbell (PA) 11/10/17

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For millions of young adults and children around the world Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a constant grueling battle. For decades researchers have worked tirelessly with limited funds to find a cure for this dreadful disease. Because his son was afflicted with DMD, one man has been working since 2001 to raise the funds necessary to sustain the research through several thematic auctions, known worldwide as Only Watch.

Luc Pettavino, president of the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy and founder of Only Watch, created this auction that has raised over 25 million Euros to finance fundamental and applied research in this field. This 7th edition of Only Watch is dedicated to his son, Paul Pettavino, “a beautiful soul that left us this year who gave us all the energy to make Only Watch the success it is today. The way Paul lived his life was exemplary and should reflect on all of us, as it already has through this project.”1 All proceeds from the Only Watch auction fund scientific and medical research on neuromuscular diseases in general and on DMD in particular.

Only Watch, the world’s foremost biennial charity auction entirely devoted to fund the research, has caught the attention of many people over the years. His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco is just one generous person that Only Watch inspired. For the 2017 event held on November 11 in Geneva through Christie’s, the Prince has offered his patronage in hopes of contributing to the overall goal of finding a cure.

The Monaco Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has been dedicating all its resources to international research since its creation in 2001. Pettavino expressed, “Today, we’re close to clinical tests. We wish we could go faster, but objectively, the progress done is beyond honorable. We keep on doing our best to go further to elaborate a treatment, and may hope continue to prevail.”2

The Association Monegasque contre les Myopathies (AMM), cofounded by Luc Pettavino, has had a mission to create and consolidate the strong relationships among the international research centers with expertise in the DMD field—to turn competitors into collaborators to pursue the same cause. The Monaco round tables and the International Collaborative Effort for DMD (ICE) program were created to evaluate the advances in preclinical research on DMD and support their transition into clinical trials.

The AMM finances all research through the Only Watch auction and supports the gene therapy research of Professor Robert Kotin, a world-renowned specialist in the field of gene vector production, and the International Associated Laboratory-Biotherapies applied to Neuromuscular Disabilities (LIA-BAHN), a partnership between the University of Versailles and the Monaco Scientific Centre.

Held by Christie’s, the 7th edition of the charity auction will display 50 pieces, each emphasizing applied creativity in high horology. Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries with 10 salesrooms around the world. The Only Watch tour will be held in Christie’s locations around the world, including Monaco, Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Taipei, New York, Los Angeles, and Geneva. Christie’s speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, and international glamour. Artists and people working the events work pro bono, such as Rahul Kadakia, the auctioneer. John Reardon, the international head of Christie’s Watch Department said, “Christie’s is honored to be part of the world of Only Watch and we look forward to welcoming you all to the various viewings around the globe and, lastly, the much anticipated auction in Geneva.”3

Bringing their well-renowned brands will be some of the most prestigious houses, including Piaget, De Bethune, Speake-Marin, Konstantin Chaykin, and Agenhor Carpe Diem. Independent timepiece makers will also show off their brands while supporting this great cause.

Here are a few of the watches that will be up for auction:

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F.P.Journe has developed an entirely new watch exclusively for Only Watch. The Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante Bleu is a unique watch that will never exist in the F.P.Journe collection. The watch, dial, and case are unique. This watch is considered to be one of the main show pieces of the auction.
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The Piaget watch is more traditional, with a yellow-gold black tie vintage inspiration and a hard stone dial in brown pietersite, known as the Tempest stone, which is used for its power of protection. Chabi Nouri, Piaget CEO explains, “For this creation, the maison has taken inspiration from an iconic era that powerfully expresses the Piaget look, a style that continues to exercise an inimitably bold appeal today through the beauty of its unconventional shapes and audacious colours.”4
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De Bethune’s creation is a chronometer style symbolizing the universality of time and the bond between people and their environment. It celebrates research and discovery with a unique mirror game in bronze, the same material used by Galileo in his nighttime observations. It is described as “An exceptional piece of contemporary design and a tremendous demonstration of craftsmanship.”5
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Speake-Marin’s watch expresses the roots of timekeeping with its least complex, more traditional watch. For its second participation in Only Watch, Speake-Marin offers a unique piece developed in collaboration with its ambassador Pierce Brosnan: the Resilience Love Life. From the J-Class collection, this 38 mm timepiece vividly reflects the brand with its clean, crisp lines and characteristic design elements in red gold. “Love Life” on its dial was originally written by Pierce Brosnan himself.
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Konstantin Chaykin presents a two-disk current time display module. Chaykin’s unconditional approach creates watches as kinetic pop art pieces. The Joker watch is emotionally faced and you never know what face will appear the next minute. Chaykin has created a new fine movement spirit that is protean, ever spectacular, and provocative.
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Agenhor presents its creation, Carpe Diem, powered by the very first production AgenGraphe® movement manufactured and delivered by Agenhor. Carpe Diem is a fully functioning desk clock and chronograph that can be orientated through 360 degrees; instead of hands, five rotating disks display time and elapsed time.

From the United States to Geneva, the 7th edition of Only Watch will take a tour of the world to promote awareness of the grim reality of neuromuscular disease to ultimately eradicate it. Through the overwhelming generosity, excellence, and uniqueness of all involved, Only Watch gets closer and closer to finding a cure for the thousands of children, teenagers, and young adults around the world, who suffer with DMD. “Only Watch is a fantastic project where true altruism prevails.”6


  1. Pettavino, Luc. Charity Auction of Unique Timepieces. Monaco: Only Watch Brochure. Edition 7, 2017, 7.
  2. Pettavino, Luc. Association Monegasque Contre Les Myopathies. October 2017.
  3. Reardon, John. Charity Auction of Unique Timepieces. Monaco: Only Watch Brochure. Edition 7, 2017, 11.
  4. Chabi Nouri. Piaget. October 2017.
  5. De Bethune. October 2017.
  6. Pettavino, Luc. Association Monegasque Contre Les Myopathies. October 2017.

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