Top 5 'Only Watch' Models 2023: Biver, Laurent Ferrier, and More

Chopard L.U.C 1860, Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto, Biver Catharsis ONLY WATCH MODELS

Only Watch – a charity project 18 years in the running – raises money for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD): a severe genetic disease with no known cure. Every other year, luxury watchmakers create one-off pieces to be auctioned for this cause. The auctions, usually sanctioned by the likes of Christie’s or Phillips, raise tens of millions of dollars each go-around. Only Watch is responsible for a network of new laboratories dedicated to gene therapy and various other treatment approaches to DMD. In celebration of this year’s Only Watch auction – set to take place on November 5th, 2023 – I’d like to highlight five of my favorite pieces created for the event. 

Piaget Polo Skeleton Arty

Piaget polo Skeleton Arty front and back Only Watch 2023

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If you look at the entire Only Watch collection, you’ll notice an immense amount of color. This is a central theme of the project, pushing many brands beyond their traditional subdued palettes. Piaget – a brand that’s never been afraid to use some color – did so very tastefully with their Polo Skeleton Arty. The openworked design features blue and green coloring on its plates and bridges, as well as a blue minutes track hugging the rose gold case. Rose gold continues throughout the watch, appearing on a few bridges, the hour indices, and the hand set. The cool tones of blue and green are interrupted by tiny splashes of ruby: the caliber 1200S1’s jewels are on full display from both sides of the watch. This is a beautiful piece from Piaget; it’s easily one of my favorites from this year’s collection.

Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto “On Track”

Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto "On Track" Only Watch 2023

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If you’re familiar with Laurent Ferrier and/or the Sport Auto, you’ll notice that not much has changed here. This is the same titanium luxury sport watch we know and love. However, the color of the dial, minutes track, and surrounding transfer are incredibly meaningful to those in the know. During his 37-year career at Patek Philippe, Mr. Ferrier pursued his dream of professional racing. In 1979, he finished third at the 24 hours of Le Mans, right behind another familiar name in the watch world: Paul Newman. To this day, the 24 Hours of Le Mans track (Circuit de la Sarthe) features alternating blue and yellow curbs in honor of the L’Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). Many sections of the track also include a green outline, similar to what we see surrounding the pavement-like gray dial of this Sport Auto. While adhering to Only Watch’s colorful theme, Laurent Ferrier incorporated a bit of his own history with this piece.

Andersen Geneve Jumping Hours Only Watch 2023

Andersen Geneve Jumping Hours front and back Only Watch 2023

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I’m a sucker for a jump hour watch. Andersen Geneve – a brand that’s participated in Only Watch since their first auction in 2005 – knocked it out of the park with this one. In a sea of black-lacquered jade you’ll see three simple elements: ‘Andersen Geneve’ text in rose gold, a matching rose gold minutes subdial, and a striking white jump hour window. The case is PT950 platinum adorned with a rose gold crown. This watch embodies simplicity while commanding attention with its details. 

Chopard L.U.C 1860 Only Watch Edition

Chopard L.U.C 1860 Only Watch 2023 front and back

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Chopard’s L.U.C collection began in 1997 with the L.U.C 1860: a stunning watch containing one of the finest automatic movements ever made in the Chopard caliber 1.96. This year, Chopard created an “Ice-Green” (looks more like a pistachio green) L.U.C 1860 equipped with the modern caliber 96.40-L. The white gold guilloche dial, beautifully engraved micro-rotor, and perfectly proportioned construction make this one of my favorite offerings in this year’s Only Watch collection.

Biver Catharsis

Biver Catharsis front and back Only Watch 2023

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Out of the 62 watches in this year’s collection, one stands out not only as my personal favorite, but the most unconventional, unique, and beautiful. Jean-Claude Biver – one of the most important names in watchmaking for over 40 years – recently created a hyper-exclusive brand with his son Pierre. For this year’s Only Watch auction, they’ve created something truly special. With no hands, digital readouts, or visual timekeeping elements of any kind, Catharsis is a museum-quality piece of haute joaillerie containing a highly-complex chiming minute repeater carillon (with a tourbillon, of course). In other words, it chimes to tell the time and has very pretty stonework on the dial. Using sapphires, meteorite, silver obsidian, and opal, Catharsis’ dial is a wearable sunset: a beautifully framed piece of art hiding a frankly ridiculous tourbillon movement. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I may well never again.

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