This Saturday’s luxury timepiece auction event is called Only Watch for good reason.
The annual auction is a showcase for unique timepieces created by upscale brands (IWC, Zenith, et al) specifically for this event. Proceeds go to fund research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The sale — which begins Saturday, November 7, at 3:00 p.m. sharp, Geneva time — will this year be hosted by Phillips in their new association with the husband-and-wife team of vintage watch experts Aurel Bacs and Livia Russo.
Forty-four unique timepieces are going under the gavel. Fortunately, if you want to place a bid, you don’t need to book a red-eye to Switzerland. You can register online at Phillips’ website or get their iPhone app here.
But don’t dally: You’ll need to be set up at least 24 hours before the auction starts. Good thing you’re getting a new watch, right?
Five timepieces you should keep an eye on:
Tudor Black Bay One
If you like cool, it doesn’t get much cooler than James Bond. And Rolex’s little brother, Tudor (who’s all grown up now), is putting the Black Bay One on the block. This watch is eerily similar to the Rolex Submariner Commander Bond wore in Dr. No. Strap it on at a deserted beach in the Caribbean and see if a latter-day Honey Ryder doesn’t emerge from the surf.
Thomas Mercer Britannica
Do you like adventure? Like sailing 800 miles in the freezing and windy South Atlantic with five other guys in a boat about the size of your dad’s Whaler? (No motor, either. That’s cheating.) All Sir Ernest Shackleton had when he made the voyage from Elephant Island to the island of South Georgia in 1916 was a sextant and a ship’s chronometer. Said chronometer was the granddaddy of, a table chronometer suitable for ensuring you’re on time for happy hour with the boys.
Breuget Type XXI 3813
If you’re a creature of the air rather than the sea, set your sights on the vintage style of the Breguet Type XXI 3813 self-winding flyback chronograph. The flyback function lets you instantly reset the chronograph to zero on the fly at the push of a button without losing so much as a fraction of a second. This one’s ancestor, the Breguet Type XX, was supplied to pilots of the French military as standard issue from 1954 right on up to the 1970s. A heritage worthy of the name.
For those with a more unusual taste, there’s MB&F’s Melchior robot table clock. This 1950s sci-fi escapee features jumping hours, sweeping minutes and double retrograde seconds. For good measure, you have to wind it only every 40 days. And it’ll blink at you when you least expect it.
If you need to impress your partner’s parents with discerning wrist wear, there’s Frédérique Constant’s Horological Smartwatch. This piece is where classic styling meets modern tech. There’s a smart counter at six o’clock that keeps track of your activity and sleep patterns and an internal module that uploads them to your handheld device via Bluetooth. It even comes complete with an iPhone 6.
Bell & Ross BR 01 Skull Bronze Tourbillon
Bonus: If you like an edge to your accessories, check out Bell & Ross’s BR 01 Skull Bronze Tourbillon. This weathered CuSn8 bronze piece is built on B & R’s trademark square-cased aircraft instrument vibe. But it looks more like it was inspired by a tattoo seen at Sturgis.