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Lot watch: The timepieces to bid for at Only Watch 2017

The annual Only Watch charity auction takes place on November 11, 2017 in Geneva and offers the chance to bid for one-off, limited edition and specially created timepieces with all money raised donated to support research into Ducheme Muscular Dystrophy. Before the auction the watches will go on a world tour to allow collectors across the globe to view the pieces and select their top lots. After kicking off at the Monaco Yacht Show in late September, the watches will travel to Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Taipei, New York and LA before finally arriving in Geneva.

50 brands are taking part in this year’s edition with many offering money-can’t-buy experiences along with their timepieces – so how to choose? Scroll down to see our pick of the watches worth investing in.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Only Watch

In honour of the Only Watch auction Audemars Piguet has created a one-off version of its popular Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic with a ‘skylight’ blue Grande Tapisserie dial. Unusually, the watch features no numbers with the dial being dedicated to subdials for weekdays, dates, months and day/night indicators while the inside of the bezel displays the week number.

Case: Black ceramic, 41mm
Strap: Black ceramic
Movement: Calibre 5134
Waterproof: 20 metres
Limited edition: 1
Estimate: $83,000 – 124,000

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

Created to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the water-resistance indicator on Blancpain’s original 1953 Fifty Fathoms timepiece, for Only Watch the brand is reinterpreting this iconic design with modern watchmaking techniques. A unique piece only available through the Only Watch auction, the lucky winner (and four friends) will also be offered the chance to take a free diving lesson from world champion Gianluca Genoni – whose world record stands at 160 metres and 18 minutes 3 seconds – along with a visit to Blancpain’s workshops.

Case: Steel, 40mm
Strap: NATO
Movement: Calibre 1151 self-winding
Waterproof: 300 metres
Limited edition: 1
Estimate: $11,000 – 18,000

Harry Winston Ocean Big Date Only Watch

Another piece created exclusively for the Only Watch auction, Harry Winston’s Ocean Big Date Only Watch comes from the Project Z collection and combines a masterful mechanical movement with an openwork dial perfect for those who like to admire the inner workings of their timepiece. As the name suggests, the off-centre time-telling dial is complemented by a large date window and housed in a white gold case.

Case: 18 karat white gold, 44mm
Strap: Alligator
Movement: Calibre HW3206 automatic winding
Limited edition: 1
Estimate: $40,000 - 51,000

Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire Usain Bolt for Only Watch

A long-time supporter of the Only Watch auction, Hublot are once again participating by offering a one-off version of its stunning sapphire case watches. Based on the brand’s collaboration with Olympic athlete Usain Bolt, the watch features a green and gold design inspired by Bolt’s Jamaican heritage along with a depiction of his famous ‘Lightening Bolt’ victory pose at nine o’clock. In addition to the watch the successful bidder will also be offered the opportunity to meet Usain Bolt and receive a signed Puma T-shirt.

Case: Sapphire, 45mm
Strap: Sapphire (plus additional calf leather strap)
Movement: Calibre HUB1242 self-winding chronograph
Limited edition: 1
Estimate: $52,000 – 83,000

Moritz Grossman Atum ‘Homage’

Glashütte-based brand Mortiz Grossman will be offering not one, but two, watches as part of its Only Watch auction lot. The first is an original pocket watch from the brand's private collection created circa 1875, which features Maltese Cross stopwork on the mainspring barrel making it a true collector’s item. This will be accompanied by its modern twin in the form of a rose gold Atum wristwatch with a classically-styled Grand Feu dial taken directly from the pocket watch. The winner will also be invited to visit Glashütte and tour the museum at the former German School of Watchmaking founded by Moritz Grossman in 1878.

Case: Rose gold (wristwatch), 41mm; yellow gold (pocket watch)
Strap: Alligator
Movement: Calibre 100.1
Limited edition: 1
Estimate: $41,000 – 62,000

Patek Philippe Ref. 5208T-010

A special edition of Patek’s popular Ref. 5208 Triple Complication timepiece launched in 2011, this is the first and only version of the watch created in titanium. The deep blue dial features a hand-guilloched carbon fibre pattern along with subdials for small seconds, day/night indication, day, date and month and monopusher chronograph and minute repeater complications. The winning bidder and a guest will also be invited to visit the Patek Phillipe workshops and museum and enjoy a private lunch with president Thierry Stern.

Case: Titanium, 42mm
Strap: Blue Cordura
Movement: Calibre R CH 27 PS QI self-winding mechanical
Limited edition: 1
Estimate: $932,000 – 1,139,000

Tudor Black Bay Bronze One

An unusual piece specially configures for Only Watch to suit the needs of left-handed watch wearers, Tudor’s Black Bay Bronze One features a chic khaki green dial and a winding crown placed to the left. The case is also unusual in its aluminium bronze alloy material. Often used in naval engineering the alloy develops over time with the colour deepening to a rich patina. The winning bidder will also be offered a one-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the Tudor headquarters in Geneva – a first for the brand, which runs no public visitation programme.

Case: Bronze, 43mm
Strap: Fabric (plus additional leather)
Movement: Calibre MT5601-LHD self-winding mechanical
Waterproof: 300 metres
Limited edition: 1
Estimate: $4,600 – 5,700

Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Only Watch

To celebrate the seventh edition of the Only Watch auction, Ulysse Nardin is presenting a specially designed version of its Marine Tourbillon timepiece with a yellow tint highlighting the hour index at seven o’clock. Featuring a hand-crafted Grand Feu enamel dial and a mesmerising flying tourbillon, the timepiece also boasts a 60-hour power reserve and accompanying indicator.

Case: Steel, 43mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre UN-128 self-winding chronometer
Waterproof: 100 metres
Limited edition: 1
Estimate: $22,000 – 33,000

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