Only Watch: Our 4 Favorite Collaboration Lots
Only Watch

Only Watch: Our 4 Favorite Collaboration Lots

Better together, these duos have joined forces to create some of the most exciting timepieces up for grabs at the Only Watch charity auction on Friday, May 10th.

By Cait Bazemore

It’s official: The Only Watch charity auction (in partnership with Christie’s) is back up and running for its tenth edition and set to take place in Geneva on Friday, May 10th.

This year, the selection is a bit smaller, with fewer than 50 watches up for grabs, so we expect the competition to be fierce at the auction block. However, while certain lots have been buzzing among collectors, we can’t help but have a particular affinity for the brands who have joined forces for the ultimate horological mashups.

These are our four favorite Only Watch collabs.

Frederique Constant x Christiaan van der Klaauw

When you think of countries with strong watchmaking lineages, the Netherlands is unlikely to come to mind. However, that would be a mistake. For you see, Frederique Constant has been making a name for Dutch watchmaking for over three decades. But the brand’s roots go much deeper, tracing back to the founder’s great-grandparents, who established a dial factory in 1904.

The brand Christiaan van der Klaauw, the namesake of the Dutch clockmaker, also hails from the land of tulips. More importantly than their shared heritage, synergy arose between the brands when Pim Koeslag, the former technical director of Frederique Constant, purchased Christiaan van der Klaauw last year.

Therefore, if Dutch pride could be embodied in a timepiece, it would be the Frederique Constant x Christiaan van der Klaauw Tourbillon Planetarium watch. The celestial-inspired model debuts a number of firsts:

• It’s the first Frederique Constant Manufacture Tourbillon to have a planetarium;

• It marks the first time that a Manufacture Frederique Constant timepiece has had an aventurine dial or a platinum case;

• Finally, it’s the first time since the firm’s inception that a Frederique Constant has included a combined month and date display using hands on a single counter.

The result is the world’s smallest planetarium, showing six planets orbiting the Sun in real-time.

If operating this mechanical marvel sounds challenging, don’t worry. The winning bidder will have the opportunity to learn every detail about the timepiece during a meeting with Niels Eggerding, CEO of Frederique Constant, and Pim Koeslag, Master watchmaker and CEO of Christian van der Klaauw at the Frederique Constant Manufacture in Geneva.

Angelus x Château Angelus

This year, Angelus makes its Only Watch debut with an incredibly unique collab with a winery of the same name.

However, the shared name isn’t the only synergy between the two brands. The arts of watchmaking and winemaking share a number of similarities, from the patience required to create exceptional wares to the passion for the craft and its collectors. Together, this shared spirit results in the Chronodate Gold x Château Angelus.

The foundation of the model puts Angelus’ watchmaking prowess on full display. You’ll find a modern 42.5mm case composed of 18-karat rose gold and carbon composite.

Fitting with the watchmaker’s roots, the Chronodate Gold x Château Angelus is powered by a chronograph movement offering a two-register layout with small seconds at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock. Also, a hand-based date display sweeps around the dial as a nod to the brand’s first Chronodate from 1942.

Speaking of the dial, this is the standout feature of this one-of-a-kind timepiece because it’s crafted from freeze-dried wine lees from Château Angelus’ 2022 vintage, named “Le Majestueux” (the majestic). Here, the powdered wine has been delicately deposited on the dial, creating its own distinct texture and color.

As a bonus, the lot includes a bottle of “Impériale” from the 2012 vintage featuring an embossed 21.7-karat gold print showcasing the bell (Angelus’ emblem) along with three bottles of Grand Vin Blanc, which has never been released for sale, as well as an invitation to the Château in Saint-Émilion.

Singer Reimagined x Genus

Since it is an extension of the Californian-based luxury brand Singer Vehicle Design, which is renowned for its bespoke restorations of the iconic Porsche 911, when you think of its watchmaking arm, Singer Reimagined, it should naturally conjure images of the famed sports car.

That is why, for Only Watch, Singer Reimagined enlisted the expertise of independent watchmaker Genus to create a thoroughly playful automotive-inspired watch coupled with an incredible experience in one of the brand’s restored 911s. The winning bidder will have the option to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed or Monterey Car Week.

The vision for the watch – aptly named the 8-Track – comes from a memory deeply engrained in many of our childhoods: the classic figure eight racetrack. This snapshot of nostalgia is translated to the wrist in a cushion-shaped case inspired by the iconic watches of the 1960s and ‘70s, an era marked by a deep connection between timepieces and motorsports.

Thus, the piece de resistance resides under the hood (pun intended) thanks to a new calibre conceived, developed, and assembled by Genus that results in the only watch in the world with a racecar moving around a track while telling the time.

The patented mechanism in the GxS-23-Ru calibre allows for the passing of the racer from one indicator disc to the other, recreating laps around a figure-eight racetrack. So, as the racer progresses around the track, it indicates the tens of minutes, whereas the hours are displayed on a black ceramic peripheric disk that moves past the orange hour index at six o’clock.

Reservoir x Télôs

Reservoir and Télôs are a powerhouse duo combining the watchmaker’s (Reservoir’s) panache for design and the movement maker’s (Télôs’) technical know-how to create exceptional timepieces. Their piece unique for Only Watch, the Reservoir x Télôs Tiefenmesser Tourbillon, is no exception since it’s debuting Reservoir’s first in-house tourbillon.

The model stays true to Reservoir’s roots with nautical influences in its display of hours, minutes, and power reserves. Here, you get a 43mm case rendered in bronze, a material inextricably linked to ships from the previous century.

Moreover, the display is quintessential to the brand, bringing to mind the manometers and gauges on submarines, including the depth gauge from which the watch takes its name: Tiefenmesser Tourbillon.

As you would expect, the tourbillon takes center stage at six o’clock. With a rate of 4Hz and powered by a double barrel, it offers a power reserve of 60 hours. Fitted with a fixed balance-spring support, balancing is achieved in a traditional manner, with the inertia adjusted by flyweights screwed directly onto the balance wheel.

Plus, the tourbillon completes one revolution every 60 seconds, so it can double as a second indicator. However, rather than being fitted with a hand, the tourbillon features a large upper bridge in the shape of the Reservoir logo.

To fully appreciate the splendor of this creation, the new owner will have the opportunity to tour the Télôs atelier with Reservoir’s founder.

Auction Info

The 10th edition of the Only Watch auction will be held at 2pm (14:00) on Friday, May 10, 2024, at the Palexpo convention center in Geneva, under the hammer of Christie’s.

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