In the world of high horology, 2023 is a particularly good year as the famed, biennial Only Watch auction will take place in Geneva again this November. Initiated by Luc Pettavino to benefit the Monegasque Association Against Muscular Dystrophy in 2005 and held under the patronage Prince Albert II of Monaco, this auction brings together some of the most respected manufactures of the industry as well as some of the most sought-after independent watchmakers that donate spectacular pieces to reach a high outcome.
This year, a whopping 62 brands will participate, each having donated piece unique watches for the sale. Their statement pieces will be presented by Christie’s, each serving as a showcase for avantgarde horological savoir-faire and meticulous craftsmanship.
Among the participants are Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Bulgari, Breguet, Hublot, Chopard, Carl F. Bucherer, Montblanc, TAG Heuer, Tudor and Zenith.
That group is joined by an elite circle of independent watchmakers, such as F. P. Journe, Grönefeld, Moritz Grossmann, Speake Marin, Sylvain Pinaud, and Kari Voutilainen, to name just a few.
Andersen Genève Jumping Hours
One standout from many in the upcoming sale is in the Andersen Genève Jumping Hours. The complication of the jumping hour makes reading the time an exciting experience, because exactly after 59 minutes and 59 seconds, the digital display advances on step. The challenge for the watchmaker lies not only in accelerating the relatively heavy disc mechanism, but also in slowing it down precisely.
One of the finest realizations of this popular complication is offered by Svend Andersen’s unique piece for this year’s Only Watch auction. The Jumping Hours by the independent Danish watchmaker, a founding member of the prestigious Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI), is presented in a platinum case with a rose gold crown and fitted with a unique dial crafted from pure jade. It is cut to a thickness of just 0.4 millimeters and finished to a perfectly flat, flawless finish.
At the thinnest point, above the hour wheel at 12 o’clock, the watch face is only 0.15 millimeters thick. The impression is mesmerizing. While the dial appears jet black from a distance, closer inspection reveals the tiny inclusions of this gemstone, which is considered very difficult to work with. In order to not distract from its natural beauty, the watch displays only the hours and the minutes. The independent, Geneva based watchmaker of the first hour has a special relationship with Only Watch, because he was already involved in the first edition in 2005. His unique piece then was the first to be ever auctioned for Only Watch.
To learn more and see all 62 lots, visit Only Watch, here.