Until now, the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction was Paul Newman’s $17 Million Rolex Daytona. However at $24 Million, the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Jr Supercomplication was the most expensive auctioned watch of all time. On the 9th of November 2019, in Geneva, yet another Patek took that crown. A unique Patek Philippe For ONLY WATCH 2019 selling for a record $31 Million.
What Exactly is ONLY WATCH?
ONLY WATCH is a fundraising auction founded by Luc Pettavinno in 2001. A fundraising whereby watch manufacturers create unique timepieces that are donated and auctioned off for a charitable cause. The proceeds from the auction (99%) funds research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The auction is held every two years and have so far raised around $77 million. The inspiration behind ONLY WATCH is Luc Pettavinno’s own son Paul who suffered from the disorder. Paul sadly passed away in November 2016 right before his 21st birthday.
Despite the loss of his son, Luc Pettavino continues his fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy till date. Watch manufacturers still create unique collections for ONLY WATCH. Other organisations such as Christie’s, Air France and Ferrari provide their unparalleled support to the success of the event for free.
The Grandmaster Chime Collection
The first Grandmaster Chime in rose gold, introduced by Patek Philippe in 2014, commemorated the 175 years of the Manufacture. It joined the current collection of Grand Complications in 2016 with a white gold version . The latter had less engraving to the case than the 2014 version which gave it a more modern appeal.
The Grandmaster Chime is one of the most complicated wristwatches in the world. It features a reversing double face case bearing 20 complications containing 1366 parts with 108 jewels.
The Uniqueness Of The Patek Philippe For Only Watch 2019
We know the Grandmaster chime is one of the most complicated wristwatches in the world. It is also a rare sight being barely seen on anyone’s wrist. The most common Pateks you are most likely to come across are Calatravas, Nautiluses and Aquanauts. The ONLY WATCH Patek Ref. 6300A-010 steps uniqueness up a notch.
Its complex movement does not sit in a case made out of white gold or any other precious metal. The movement of the most expensive wristwatch at auction in the world in fact sits in a stainless steel case. A metal used in just about any watch but rarely used in complicated Pateks. The use of this ‘cheap’ metal makes it stand out from most grand complications within the Patek family as well as amongst other complicated watch manuacturers.
History, Legacy And Cause
The previous crown holder, the Paul Newman Daytona also shares a trait with the ONLY WATCH 2019 topper. The vintage Rolex, as the Patek Philippe, is also a stainless steel case timepiece. Watches, besides their craftsmanship, often sell for huge amounts due to the use of precious materials. The two most expensive wristwatches sold at auction are examples whereby history, legacy and cause are the selling points in driving the desirability and hence prices of some timepieces up.
The Luc Pettavino Model
ONLY WATCH is the horological industry’s example of how people and organisations collaborate for a particular cause without focusing on financial losses or gains. The event surely gives brands a fair amount of publicity but the bigger picture remains its charitable cause. This model, the ‘Luc Pettavino’ model, can be an inspiration for other people or organisations to contribute positively to causes and social issues globally.
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