By Corina Tan
Only Watch is a biennial charity auction showcasing one-off luxury timepieces created by the finest watchmakers around the world. Proceeds from the auction go into research for a rare genetic illness that affects one in 3500 births of baby boys, called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Since 2005, Only Watch has raised EUR 70 million to finance scientific and medical research programs for the same. Although research has progressed significantly over the last ten years, there remains a lot to do to find a cure for these children. Bvlgari is participating with 54 other brands in this years’ Only Watch Auction held on November 6, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland. The 9th Edition of this iconic charity auction is under the patronage of H.S.H Prince Albert II.
Bvlgari’s first participation in Only Watch will be with the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar Tantalum. A one-of-a-kind creation using an extremely rare metal with a bluish-grey colour called tantalum is highly resistant to corrosion and completely biocompatible. In other industries, tantalum is used in medical engineering, nuclear industry and electronics. Its density is 16.6g/cm2, making it twice as heavy as steel with absolute purity, verging on 100%. Tantalum which was first discovered in 1802 by Swedish chemist Anders Gustaf Ekeberg, draws its name from Greek mythology. Twice as hard as titanium, a tantalum case takes four times longer to produce than gold, owing to the fact that the machining requires very specific instruments to be used as well as the rotation speed of the milling tools.
Bvlgari offers the most magical compilation of the Perpetual Calendar, embodying mastery of all calendar related facets of time until February 2100. The 2.75mm calibre drives the hour and minute hands, as well as the Perpetual Calendar functions which are the retrograde date display, retrograde day, month and leap-year indication. The watch also features a deep blue dial echoing the colour of the tantalum metal. Wanting to acknowledge the uniqueness of this one-off creation, the graphic design for the month of November recalls the Only Watch (OW) abbreviation in a symbolic shade of colour used for the cause. With a self-winding mechanical movement, the watch also has a 60-hour power reserve. The tantalum case is 40mm in diameter, 5.80mm thick, has a tantalum crown, transparent back and is water-resistant up to 30m. The alligator leather strap also has a tantalum pin fastener clasp.
Tantalum watches are extremely rare and highly sort after and Bvlgari is proud to offer its uniquely made creation to serve a noble cause. The Only Watch auction collection will be presented to the public, media and horological enthusiast during a promotional tour beginning in the Monaco Yacht Show, followed by Christie’s in Dubai, Christie’s in Tokyo, Malmaison by The Hour Glass in Singapore, Christie’s in Hongkong, and finally at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. The lots will be auctioned in collaboration with Christie’s on November 6, 2021, at 2pm in Geneva.