Only Watch Auction 2013 Preview: 5 Unique Timepieces

Breguet Classique Chronograph - Only Watch 2013The fifth edition of Only Watch, the charity timepiece auction held biannually in Monaco, takes place on September 28, and news and photos of several of the one-of-a-kind watches to be auctioned off have started to be released, including models from Breguet, Harry Winston, Girard-Perregaux, Laurent Ferrier, and Piaget.

Held at Monaco’s Heritage Hotel under the patronage of HRH Prince Albert II, the Antiquorum-sponsored Only Watch auction raises funds for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research, using the proceeds from the sale of unique or first-in-a-series watches made by prestigious brands. This year, 33 brands have contributed watches, including the five unique pieces below, whose images and details are among the first to be provided to WatchTime.

The Breguet Classique Chronograph Openworked 5284 has an 18k yellow gold case with fine fluting on the caseband that echoes the earliest timepieces made by brand namesake Abraham-Louis Breguet. The open-tipped hour and minute hands were first designed by Breguet in 1873. The movement is Breguet’s hand-wound Caliber 533.2 SQ, a skeletonized, column-wheel chronograph movement based on the original 1940s version designed by Albert Piguet at Lémania.  The watch has two symmetrically positioned subdials — small seconds at 9 o’clock and 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock — and a large, central chronograph seconds hand.

Breguet Classique Chronograph - Only Watch 2013

Girard-Perregaux’s contribution to this year’s Only Watch comes from its recently introduced Hawk collection of sports watches. The Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk Only Watch combines a black ceramic case with a palladium bezel. The dial balances black, silvery-white and red elements, with red used for the minutes scale of the main dial and for the scales around the two subdials (30-minute chronograph counter at 9 o’clock, small seconds at 3 o’clock) as well as for the center-mounted chronograph hand. The hands and applied hour markers are coated with luminous material, and the black dial bears a pattern inspired by Girard-Perregaux’s distinctive bridges. The movement, Caliber GP03300, is visible through the sapphire caseback. The 44-mm case is water-resistant to 100 meters, and the strap is made of rubber encased in black alligator leather with red contrast stitching.

Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk Only Watch 2013

Jeweler and watchmaker Harry Winston has donated the Harry Winston Only Watch 2013 Midnight Big Date, a watch with a 42-mm, polished rose-gold case and highlighted by a bezel whose design is inspired by the three arches on Harry Winston’s famed Fifth Avenue salon in New York City. The automatic movement has 297 parts, including a skeletonized rose-gold rotor that has been circular-grained and hand-chamfered. Visible through a sapphire caseback, the movement has a power reserve of 72 hours. The black, snail-finished dial features a baguette emerald-cut diamond at 12 o’clock, atop the chapter ring of the off-centered hours and minutes display, and a single brilliant-cut pink diamond perched above the large date display at 6 0’clock.

Harry Winston Midnight Big Date - Only Watch 2013

The Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Only Watch, from independent watchmaker Laurent Ferrier, contains the very first movement developed for use in its second series of Tourbillon Double Spiral watches. The movement, fittingly numbered “Calibre 000,” incorporates two head-to-tail mounted balance springs in the center of the balance, a system developed by Ferrier to maintain the center of the balance firmly on its axis while also compensating for the effect of gravity. The steel case is pebble-shaped (“galet” is French for “pebble”) and has a ball-shaped winding crown. The sand-toned grand feu enamel dial is mounted on an 18k gold plate and displays a subtle, tone-on-tone silhouette of a dove, its wing wrapping around the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, which bears a tone-on-tone depiction of the Monaco coat of arms.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Only Watch 2013

Piaget shatters another record for thinness in watches with its offering, the Piaget Altiplano 38mm Only Watch 2013 Skeleton 1200S. The watch contains in-house Caliber 1200S, the world’s thinnest automatic openworked movement (2.40 mm thick). In this unique piece, Piaget has treated both the movement and the 18k white gold case with a black PVD finish. The rim of the caseback is engraved with the words “Only Watch 2013 – Unique Piece.” The watch, with a case measuring only 5.34 mm thick, is the most slender in the world equipped with an automatic skeletonized movement.

Piaget Altiplano Only Watch Skeleton

The Only Watch auction will be preceded by a traveling exhibition of the full collection, which will make stops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, and Geneva before completing the journey in Monaco, with the auction taking place during the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show. The complete list of participating brands and information on the watches can be found at


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