This year more than sixty watchmakers have created timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction, which begins Sunday, November 5, in Geneva. Christie’s will auction these incredible one-of-a-kind watches to raise funds that benefit research in the battle against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
While you may have seen a few of the watches set for auction earlier this year when Only Watch announced them, we thought you’d enjoy seeing many of these impressive designs again just ahead of the event.
The watches are currently touring the globe. After concluding their U.S. visit at Christie’s in New York on September 17, the tour will visit Monaco next, followed by stops in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai and back in Geneva. See the Only Watch website for tour dates and details.
In this post we highlight the Louis Vuitton Tambour Einstein Automata, one of premier pieces in the auction this year.
The watch displays time only on demand with a movement Manufactured by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, the calibre 525. Einstein’s famous mop of hair crafted in steel and extends beyond the 46.8mm steel case, with one particular lock being a disguised automata push-piece. When this push-piece is actuated, four animations spring to life on the dial.
Once the lock of hair is pushed, the forehead aperture display changes to show the hour. Then the atom model rotates, with one of its valence orbitals (a lacquered, pointed end) moves to the appropriate position on a 0–60 scale to provide the minutes.
Other automata includes the Monogram Flower eye that narrows its petals and the tongue that extends fully. Even the power reserve is playful.
When the 100-hour power reserve dips low, the indicator transitions from LV to OW. E no longer equals LV². Instead, the letters are replaced with the initials of the Only Watch, a visual cue that prompts the wearer to wind the watch.
The Tambour Einstein Automata Only Watch 2023 marks the first time that grisaille enamel has been used in a Louis Vuitton timepiece. More than 50 hours of enameling went into Einstein’s face alone, with an additional 80 hours dedicated to the base dial in translucent black enamel with overlay of white enamel “chalk” scribbles.
Estimate: CHF 340,000 – 440,000.