To make a long, tedious story short, I ran panting to the shop, along with the sales man that approached me probably thought I was having a coronary event or wanted a men’s room poorly. In a minute, I was holding it. Fondling it. Then she strapped it on my wrist. Perhaps I had been hearing things, but I could have sworn she said, “Can you take this watch to be………. .” Seeing it was a Chronoswiss, and knowing that they specialized in luxury mechanicals, I figured the price would be a deal breaker. But it was surprisingly reasonable, all things considered. So out came my wallet, off came my Submariner, and I started a relationship that has blossomed within the years.During the 23 years I’ve owned this watch, I’ve acquired many more, but none, except my Tourby, have given me much pleasure. And none have drawn almost as much attention. I can not tell you exactly how many observe freaks my Chronoswiss Kairos* has introduced me to. However, the odd thing is, almost nobody I show it to has ever heard or seen of it before. It is just like the damn thing has never existed. Oh well…….Now, take a close look at the accompanying photograph. Obviously, what grabs your attention is that the unique layout of this sterling silver dial. The larger time and seconds registers are in excellent harmony with the 30 minute and 12 hour registers. All are quite easy to read because of the total absence of confusion. This is truly a serious chronograph that only happens to also tell time. Happily, they did not include the date since that element would have destroyed the symmetry.Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the two beautiful guilloche patterns which occupy each register and the overall dial.
Yesterday in Monaco, the Only Watch 2013 auction was held and the results are in. The event is meant to raise money for a medical charity, to which 100% of the proceeds go. Each of the watches submitted are totally unique and donated by the participating brands. People get very interested in the results, as it is not only a sign of the economy when it comes to Monaco’s wealthy elite (and others), but also the interest people have in specific brands and models. The total yield of Only Watch 2013 was 5,066,000 Euros (most of which is thanks to a single watch).
For 2013 there were some major winners and losers. All the lots sold of course, with some going over estimate, and some under estimate. Most of the lots however sold within the estimated price, and those aren’t covered in this article. So let’s take a look at the major winners and losers of the 2013 Only Watch auction. This article will only cover select lots, and for a full list of all the watches that were up for auction you can see our original Only Watch 2013 article here.
1. Patek Philippe 5004T
I’d like to say “wow, wow, wow,” but the super price fetched for this unique titanium Patek Philippe watch isn’t completely surprising. We first covered the Patek Philippe 5004T watch here in more detail. The no-longer-being-made 5004 series was always a winner at auction, but this version is perhaps the last of its kind and the only one ever produced in titanium. Sure to be an auction favorite (again) sometime in the future, the yield for this watch accounted for over 3/5ths of the total auction yield for the entire event. Getting almost $4,000,000 alone. Estimated price: 400,000 – 600,000 Euros. 2013 actual auction price: 2,950,000 Euros
2. Chronoswiss Ch 3535 Replica The Three Apes
The uniquely engraved dial and design made this Chronoswiss extra-special. I think at first glance many people felt it was something from Vacheron Constantin with a hand-made dial such as that which uses monkeys to portray the concept of “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” Estimate price: 22,000 – 32,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 42,000 Euros
3. Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk
New for 2013, it looks like Girard-Perregaux’s updated Hawk (Chrono) watches are going to do well. This unique black and red model beat estimates by an impressive margin. Estimated price: 14,000 – 18,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 32,000 Euros
4. Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral
A purist favorite, the still new Laurent Ferrier brand has classic watch lovers perpetually enthused with their Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral. This unique model narrowly beat estimates, but that is impressive for a small brand. Estimated price: 100,000 – 120,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 130,000 Euros
5. Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Seconde Mysterieuse
A quirky modern watch with a cool seconds hand, this unique all-black Masterpiece Seconde Mysterieuse watch shows that Maurice Lacroix is hot right now. Estimated price: 15,000 – 20,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 30,000 Euros
6. Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Manufacture
Aside from a few small differences such as “Only Watch” on the dial, this version of the new for 2013 Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Manufacture with an in-house made chronograph movement is very similar to the retail version. Nevertheless, the strength of the brand shows as it beat price estimates. Estimated price: 30,000 – 40,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 45,000 Euros