By Julien Schaerer
On September 28, the fifth installment of the world’s most famous charity watch auction will take place in Monaco.
In 2005, Luc Pettavino, whose son was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), asked the world’s most illustrious watch brands to create a unique timepiece for a unique auction—100 percent of whose proceeds would go to fund DMD research.
Of 33 watchmakers participating in this year’s Only Watch auction, the following creations really stand out.
Zenith, El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner, Prototype I/I
On October 14, 2012, the world witnessed a new milestone when Felix Baumgartner jumped from his capsule at a height of 24 miles and became the first man to break the sound barrier. On his wrist was a Zenith watch.
At this year’s Only Watch auction is the prototype tested by Zenith before the big day.
The movement was isolated from the case to prevent the cold from affecting the timekeeping, and the whole watch was cryogenized to -78 degrees Celsius to make sure it would endure extreme conditions.
Its polycarbonate crystal withstands cold 200 times better than a sapphire crystal. This is an exceptional opportunity to own a true piece of history (estimated sale price: about $212,762).
Richard Mille “RM 038 Tourbillon Prototype Yohan Blake”
This is the very watch worn by Yohan Blake at the 2012 London Olympic Games, where he won three medals, and at the Diamond League in Lausanne, where he won the 100 meter and became the third fastest sprinter of all time over distance, beating his personal best.
The brand has already been made famous by Rafael Nadal, who wears a Richard Mille in each of his tennis matches, but controversy was not too far behind when Blake chose—at games sponsored by another watchmaker—to sport the new RM 038 prototype.
This tourbillon prototype was especially developed with a focus on weight and resistance. Another piece of, this time Olympic, history (estimated sale price: from about $579,000).
Patek Philippe Ref. 5004 Titanium
Look out for the star of the auction. Historically, Patek Philippe has always delivered amazing results, and this year will be no exception.
For those unfamiliar with the reference, it is a true icon: A split-second perpetual calendar chronograph, a beautiful design.
The timepiece comes in yellow, pink, and white gold, as well as platinum, but Patek Philippe also did a very small run in stainless steel for the brand’s best clients.
This unique titanium version, with its checkerboard dial pattern and distinctive red hand, will ignite passions among collectors, and the buzz suggests that the striking timepiece might even bring in over a million dollars (estimated sale price: about $643,169).