by Kyle Stults on May 23, 2013
Christophe Claret’s unique piece for the Only Watch 2013 auction is definitely among the more eye-catching. The “Pinball” is an evolution on the X-TREM-1 which debuted last year; new of course is the gaming theme. We of course know that Christophe Claret likes his gambling — he has has turned a lot of heads with his casino-themed pieces (21-Blackjack, Baccara). The X-TREM-1 Pinball is along these lines.
On the new X-Trem-1 there are now two metal cages (pinball style!) which contain the magentically maneuvered balls that mark the hours and minutes. The rectangular “dial” of the watch also plays on the pinball theme with whimsically decorated gear wheels, and there is even a “Tilt” marker at the top of the case. Like the original X-TREM-1, the winding and setting of the watch is done from the back of the case.
The watch has a flying tourbillon inclined at a 30° angle, mounted on a three-dimensional curved mainplate. Check out my original article to see how it all works (including one of Claret’s dramatic though informative videos).
X for eXperimental
T for Time
R for Research
E for Engineering
M for Mechanism
Of the 24 or so unique pieces that I have seen thus far for Only Watch 2013, this piece from Christophe Claret is certainly among the more interesting and will fetch among the highest of prices, easily into the triple digits and I’d guess upwards of $500,000 (the Only Watch unique pieces go for a premium by virtue of them being unique pieces and also for a charitable cause). However I still believe that the titanium Patek Philippe Ref. 5004 that I showed you last week — also a very intriguing piece — is still likely to be the top seller.
The first watch we are previewing for the September 2013 Only Watch event is this Patek Philippe Ref 5004T. The Patek Philippe Ref 5004 is a split-seconds chronograph + perpetual calendar; it was produced for about six years, until being replaced by the Patek Ref 5204 in 2011. The piece you see here is the first and likely only time that the Patek Ref 5004 will be created in a titanium case. More broadly, however, is that this is the fourth Patek Philippe EVER to be cased in titanium, according to my research. I revealed two of them here on Perpetuelle a couple years ago — the Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref5180T and the Calatrava Ref 6000T (see Two Titanium Patek Philippe’s You Didn’t Know Existed); and my knowledgeable friends at Monochrome also pointed out that the Patek Nautilus, Ref 5712T, was also cased in titanium — made for Only Watch 2007, fittingly.
Patek trivia aside, let’s take a closer look at this 5004T.
Click through for more looks and discussion
“Only Watch” is a biennial charity auction of one-of-a-kind watches created by many of the most renowned watch brands in Switzerland. This exceptional event is held every two years in Monaco during the Monaco Yacht Show and is under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II. All the proceeds from Only Watch go to support Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research which is why many of these watches go extraordinarily high prices. This year’s event is September 28, 2013, and the auction will be conducted by Antiquorum.
Starting today Perpetuelle will begin its coverage of Only Watch 2013 — now the third year in which we have covered this noble event (review my Only Watch 2011 coverage here, and my limited coverage from the 2009 event here, or view my Only Watch stream ordered by date, here). For 2013, 38 of the world’s leading watch manufactures will each donate a timepiece specially created for the occasion. As is the tradition, each piece that is donate is one-of-a-kind.
Stay tuned in because over the next few months, you will get to see some superb “unique” watches from each of the participating brands for the 2013 event. The master list will be posted here and updated regularly.
You can also read more at http://www.onlywatch.com/
by Kyle Stults on September 21, 2011
Just days away, the 2011 ONLY WATCH charity auction should be a dandy. I’m probably going to fall a few previews short of showing you all of the one-of-a-kind watches that will be sold at the Geneva event, but I’ve certainly shown you more than any other blog out there and I hope you’ve enjoyed them (see my full list of previews HERE). Today I wanted to share a few looks at one of the only non-watch items that will be at the event, the Ikepod Hourglass by designer Marc Newson (the Celsius le dix mechanical mobile phone is the other non-watch item). Needless to say, the Ikepod Hourglass is one of those items that would be such a thrill to be able to display on one’s desk, coffee table etc. Particularly this piece, which is done in a beautiful ruby red glass. Oh, and by the way, if you want to see a closer look at how these Ikepod Hourglasses look and sound in action, check out my previous Ikepod Hourglass review HERE>>
Ikepod Hourglass by Marc Newson for ONLY WATCH 2011
above 2 photos: Hodinkee
by Kyle Stults on September 16, 2011
My ONLY Watch 2011 previews roll on with the one-of-a-kind Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph watch. I’ve written about various Pulsograph watches over the years, including the Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph watch (debuted at SIHH 2011) and my personal favorite the Eterna Heritage Pulsometer watch (pulsometer being a synonym for pulsograph). The aforementioned rose gold Montblanc Pulsographe has a black enamel dial – but this “piece unique” definitely looks better and more legible with its unique white enamel dial. Note also that the movement on this watch is a monopusher chronograph — what a beautifully sculpted movement!
Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph for ONLY WATCH 2011
39.5mm red gold case, white “Grand Feu” enamel dial, red gold hands,
Did You Know?
Eighty years ago, artillery officers and physicians numbered among the first users of wristwatch chronographs: the soldiers relied on their timepieces to perform ballistic calculations, while the doctors used theirs to measure patients’ pulse rates without having to continue feeling the pulse for a full minute. A physician wearing a wristwatch with a pulsograph’s scale could start his timepiece’s chronograph function the moment he began to palpate the patient’s pulse. If the scale was calibrated for thirty pulse beats, he would continue counting the throbs until he had felt the thirtieth pulsation, whereupon he would stop his chronograph: the tip of the designated hand would indicate the point along the pulsograph scale corresponding to the patient’s pulse rate per minute. This saved between thirty and forty seconds per patient and was a convincing reason to own such a watch, especially if the physician’s ward rounds required him to measure the pulse rates of fifty or more patients. Wristwatches with pulsograph scales soon earned fame as so-called “doctor’s watches.”
While their functionality has been seriously surpassed by modern technology (in fact couldn’t the same be said of most any modern mechanical watch?), I really like “pulosgraph” or “pulsometer” watches for the benefit they provided to Physician’s back in the day.
by Kyle Stults on September 14, 2011
Designed for the southpaw…
Just about a week to go until ONLY Watch 2011 and my previews continue. Today we look at Zenith and the two unique pieces that they have created for the event. Both these watches are what are known as “destro” style (Italian word), meaning that the crown and chronograph pushers are located on the left side of the case (usually they are on the right side) which makes the watches are suitable for a left-hander to wear on his right wrist. Zenith says that “Like Leonardo da Vinci, one in ten people are left-handed, and the proportion varies considerably between various countries, reaching as much as one-quarter of the population in some cases. It is for them that these two models are specifically designed.” Both models house the legendary El Primero calibre which was launched by Zenith in 1969 and is now one of the most famous movement families in horological history.
Zenith “Captain Chronograph”
42mm gold case, automatic mechanical El Primero 400B chronograph caliber,
Zenith “Pilot Chronograph”
42mm stainless steel case, inverted bezel, automatic mechanical El Primero 4002 chronograph caliber
Just 2 days and 2 weeks away, I am eagerly awaiting the ONLY Watch 2011 event. As readers know I have previewed the majority of the one-of-a-kind pieces to be offered for auction in Geneva — you can see them all here — but there are still more to be seen! Today we look at the Vacheron Constantin “Dove” watch. Inspired by famous graphic artist M.C. Escher, Vacheron Constantin’s “piece unique” for the ONLY Watch 2011 auction is a real beauty. The watch’s gold, enamelled and diamond-set dial depicts the flight of red and white doves, but of course it is not so simple. The dial adopts concepts such as geometry, symbolism and motion, subtly nesting and layering them in order to generate a beautiful dial that is sure to please anyone who might want to spend countless hours pondering the meaning of it all — a perfect homage to Escher!
Vacheron Constantin “Dove” for ONLY WATCH 2011
40mm white gold case, automatic mechanical movement (Vacheron Caliber 2460 SC)
This timepiece is inspired by a drawing by M.C. Escher – a Dutch engraver and graphic artist (1898-1972) whose work was based on a subtle play on architecture, perspective and space. The red and white doves – symbols of hope and love – are exquisitely interlocking like jigsaw puzzle parts, creating a truly stunning decorative motif.
Within the case beats high-precision mechanical self-winding Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2460, bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.
Getting back to my ONLY Watch 2011 previews (see all my watch previews here), today we look at the Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo “Only Watch 2011″ edition. This watch is another evolution of the iconic “Freak” that was first introduced by Ulysse Nardin in 2001. The originally Freak was revolutionary at the time in that it possessed no true dial, crown or hands, and was the first timepiece to successfully present escapement wheels constructed of silicium. The Freak Diavolo “Only Watch” pays tribute to — and advances upon — the original Freak’s pioneering spirit. Silicum is used throughout most of the escapement, and the watch also features a flying tourbillon that indicates the seconds, among other technical advancements. Note also the lack of a crown — the Freak Diavolo is wound by turning the lower bezel, and the time is adjusted by turning the upper bezel.
Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo for ONLY WATCH 2011
44.5mm stainless steel case, 60-second tourbillon
The two specially conceived ball bearing systems enable the “flying” function of the minute movement and of the seconds-indicator tourbillon without the need for a supporting bridge.
by Kyle Stults on August 17, 2011
Here’s a look at Franck Muller’s contribution for the 2011 ONLY Watch charity auction — named “Totally Switzerland”, this is a unique take on one of Muller’s most famous watches, the Crazy Hours. I’ve also included a 19-second video demonstrating how Muller’s hallmark “Crazy Hours” watch works — basically the watch keeps normal time, but the hour markers are randomly placed — it’s crazy! Click here to see all of my ONLY Watch 2011 previews.
Franck Muller Totally Switzerland for ONLY WATCH 2011
35.2mm x 59.2mm white gold case (13.3mm thick), automatic mechanical movement, translucent lacquered red dial, hand-sewn red alligator strap
Demonstration of how a Franck Muller Crazy Hour watch works:
After a bit of time off, it’s time to get back to my previews of the one-of-a-kind watches that will be auctioned at the ONLY WATCH 2011 charity event. Today let’s look at the Chanel J12 Marine watch for ONLY Watch 2011, featuring a 38mm sand-blasted ceramic case with rose gold accents. This watch is not as inspiring as some of the other ONLY Watch 2011 pieces (See my other watch previews HERE), but of course it is a unique take on Chanel’s standard J12 Marine, a watch that I discussed in detail in a previous article.
Chanel J12 Marine Watch for ONLY Watch 2011
38mm sand-blasted black ceramic case, pink gold crown, bezel and caseback, automatic mechanical movement (ETA), water resistant 300 meters, fitted on rubber strap
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