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July 17, 2013updated Aug 27, 2013

Only Watch 2013: Chronoswiss

By Chris Boyle

chronoswiss_only watch auctionThis September 28, Monaco will play host to the fifth edition of the ‘Only Watch’ charity watch auction benefiting research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Recognized as the world’s first ever charity watch auction, Only Watch is conducted by the watch auctioneers, Antiquorum.

33 of the world’s leading watch manufacturers are donating a unique timepiece specially created for the occasion, one of which will feature on Elite’s website every day leading up to this not-to-be-missed auction.

The proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy, promoter of Only Watch with Antiquorum Auctioneers and the Monaco Yacht Show, to help finance research for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative neuromuscular disease affecting 1 in 3,500 boys and therefore 250,000 children, adolescents, and young adults around the world.

From September 6, an international exhibit of the Only Watch collection of timepieces for men and women will also travel the world – Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York – and will be concluded by a presentation during the Monaco Yacht Show (September 25 to 28).

The Only Watch auction itself takes place on September 28 at 11am (GMT+1) in the ‘Salle Belle Epoque’ of the Hôtel Hermitage.

ONLY WATCH 2013 SPOTLIGHT: Chronoswiss

The Three Apes by Chronoswiss

“The Three Apes” is a piece of art dedicated to the traditional crafts of guilloche main, skeletonization and fire enamel. The resuscitation of these historical, to a degree almost forgotten, handcrafts is something that is near and dear to Chronoswiss CEO Oliver Ebstein, who founded a special workshop at the brand’s headquarters in the Swiss town of Lucerne in spring 2013. 

The unique thing about this piece of art is the incorporation of various demanding techniques in one watch. The dial of Chronoswiss’ contribution to the Only Watch has first been lavishly decorated with guilloché main and then lent a fascinating depth and three-dimensionality thanks to transparent fire enamel on top. The three apes featured on the dial are a symbol of the typical human reaction to diseases (denial), and are meant to create awareness for the cause of muscular dystrophy.

While the dial as the “face” of the watch receives a lot of attention, the insides of the timepiece, which are visible through the transparent case back, also create a great amount of fascination. The manually wound movement is lavishly decorated: with goldsmiths’ saw and file, the skeletonizer goes to work; bridges and plates are later embellished with guilloché décor.

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The front and back of each wristwatch are so gorgeously embellished that it is difficult to say which perspective offers the more refined views. Regardless of the side that you begin with when admiring this model, you will always see a work of art entirely created by hand. 

Case: Solid 21-part case in red gold (18-karat), polished, Æ 44 mm, height 11.10 mm; sapphire crystal with antireflective coating; solid onion-shaped crown; fully threaded, screw-in back with sapphire crystal with antireflective coating; screwed strap-lugs with patented Autobloc system; water-resistant to three atmospheres

Movement: ETA 6498, manually wound; individualized modification: skeletonized by hand; Ø 16½’’’ (36.6mm), height 4.50mm; 17 jewels; Incabloc shock absorber; ca. 40-hour power reserve; 2.5Hz. 18,000 A/h (semi-oscillations); Glycydur screw-balance; Nivarox 1 flat balance-spring; polished lever, escape-wheel and screws; elaborately and manually skeletonized and engraved base plate, gear-train bridges and balance-cock; polished steel screws; crown wheel and ratchet wheel

Dial / hands: Solid 18-karat gold dial embellished with guilloche details performed  by hand and on top of the guilloche, enameled by hand (dial enameled in seven parts, “plique-à-jour”); gold-plated hands

Strap: Louisiana Alligator with pin buckle

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