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We continue to highlight a few of our favorite watches from among the more than fifty watchmakers that have created timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction, which commences Saturday, November 6, in Geneva. Christie’s will auction these incredible 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 inspired designed again just ahead of the event.

The watches will tour the globe starting September 22 in Monaco, and can then be seen in exhibitions in Dubai (September 30 to October 3), Tokyo (October 8 to 10), Singapore (October 15 to 20), Hong Kong (October 25 to 27), Macau (October 28) and finally back in Geneva on November 4-6. Click here for details about the Only Watch world tour.

Today, we highlight the offering from Blancpain, which created an Only Watch version of its highly collectible Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad watch. The mid-1960s series is characterized with a stamp on the dial with a “no radiations” logo indicating that Blancpain did not use luminescent radium.

Here, the logo remains the dial’s highlight, but the logo’s original yellow and red colors have been replaced by Only Watch orange and yellow. Blancpain fits the watch’s unidirectional rotating bezel with a sapphire insert, direct from the current collection.

And while it may not always come across in images, the domed glassbox-type sapphire crystal Blancpain attaches here is outstanding. It quite effectively contributes to the multi-level effect of the dial. From the back, you’ll see a black rotor in solid gold bearing a special “Only Watch” inscription.

Only Watch auction estimate: CHF 12,000 to CHF 18,000.

By Laurent Martinez

Between the COVID pandemic, wildfires on the West Coast, hurricanes in the South, and other turmoil, we are living through exceptionally difficult times. Our daily lives, whether professional or personal, have changed in fundamental ways—particularly when it comes to in-person events. With all the current restrictions in place, companies have had to be creative to not only promote their brands but the causes they believe in too.

I received an email from Blancpain recently inviting me to attend a virtual event organized by Oceana. With the tagline “Protecting The World’s Oceans,” Oceana, based in Washington, D.C., is the largest international organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation.

Although it was only possible to attend the event online, it was clear that Oceana put in the extra effort. I then received from Andrew Handschin, general manager of Blancpain USA, a lovely package with bread, patés, specialty butter, a festive bottle of champagne, and an invitation to enjoy the live event from home.

 

Then, a link to attend the online “Oceana Virtual New York Gala” and silent auction was sent via email.

While the spirit, excitement, and inspiration of an online occasion cannot compare to an in-person event with hundreds of people sharing the same space, the message of “Protecting our oceans and future” was still conveyed passionately.

The Oceans & Hayek

Blancpain is famously involved with causes focused on saving the ocean, its eco-systems, and its species. At the helm of this involvement is Blancpain CEO, Marc A. Hayek, who is an enthusiastic scuba diver and a vocal advocate of ocean conservation. He has even received several accolades for his efforts.

Blancpain’s connection to marine conservation is further emphasized by having marine scientist, deep diver, and underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta as an ambassador of the brand. Blancpain’s Lettres du Brassus magazine frequently publishes Ballesta’s incredible photography and stories as he travels the globe. 

 

The fascination with the ocean is not new to Blancpain. It was the first watchmaker to develop a professional diving watch in the form of the Fifty Fathoms in 1953—beating out the Rolex Submariner as “the first” by a few months. Since then, Blancpain has always had a spiritual affinity with the oceans of the world.

Blancpain developed the Fifty Fathoms professional diving watch in 1953.

As a result, it was only natural for Blancpain to partner with Oceana, assisting with the organization and publicity of the “Oceana Virtual New York Gala” event. The night’s hosts were Susan and David Rockefeller Jr. while speakers included Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, and Sam Waterston. The evening also featured performances by Sting, Nile Rodgers, and Chic.

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment.

Among all the powerful words that were said that night, the ones that struck me the hardest were “Save the oceans, feed the world. Restoring the ocean could feed one billion people with a healthy seafood meal every day.” Followed up by “Do something.”

Learn More

These are strong statements, and I invite you to visit www.oceana.org to discover more about the organization’s projects and how you can help.

“Do something” rings true here, no matter the size of the effort—every bit helps, whether spreading awareness or making small contributions.

Once a year in my town, you can go on a Saturday morning help clean up the beach.

 

Once a year in my town, you can go for three hours on a Saturday morning to help clean up the beach by picking up plastic bags, bottles, and other garbage. It’s a fantastic community event where you not only learn about ocean conservation but where you can also meet other like-minded people.

Oceana and Blancpain are big organizations that strive to remind us that preserving the health of our oceans is critical and there is a need to change our habits and attitudes before it’s too late. One person at a time can make a big difference.

I am thankful that I attended this beautiful night, which served to highlight that awareness, creativity, unity and commitment can make a big difference in our lives, our children’s lives, and future generations.

Laurent Martinez is the proprietor of Laurent Fine Watches, Greenwich, Connecticut. Read more by him at blog.laurentfinewatches.com or visit his store’s site at www.laurentfinewatches.com

Among the many watches for women we’ve seen released in the early weeks of 2020, here are a seven that would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift. 

Zenith
Defy Midnight
As we’ve shown you in multiple posts since the event, the LVMH Watch Week in Dubai was a big one for women’s watch debuts, with both Zenith and Bulgari in particular focusing on feminine styles. Impressed as we are with Zenith’s reworked Elite Classic and Elite Moonphase models, those models will appeal to men and women. However, Zenith’s entirely new Defy Midnight is designed from scratch to be the Le Locle-based watchmaker’s collection for women. Its 36mm size and star-centric diamond dial convey Zenith’s ‘time to reach your star’ tag line with glittering aplomb while the trio of additional straps seals the deal. Prices start at $8,600 (without diamond bezel).  


   

Bulgari
Serpenti Seduttori (103361) Steel and Diamonds
While the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon highlights Bulgari’s 2020 offerings for ladies, the ongoing Serpenti Seduttori collection includes five new models, many of which mix diamonds and rose gold with steel. This 33mm steel and diamond watch features an opaline silver-toned dial and a very Valentine cabochon pink rubelite crown. These hexagonal bracelets lay particularly well on any wrist. Price: $6,850


 

 

 


Frederique Constant
Classics Art Déco Round
This Geneva-based watchmaker always offers an enviable collection of nicely priced watches for women, and its newest Classics Art Deco models nicely underscore that focus. Three of the five new 30mm models combine a guilloché sunray center with a mother-of-pearl outer dial within a first-ever (for this collection) round case. This steel-cased version pops with its guilloché center and blue mother-of-pearl dial, with a perfectly polished steel case and bracelet reflecting the light. Price: $850 euros, or about $930. 

 


Alpina
Alpinar Comtesse Sport Quartz 
Frederique Constant’s sister brand adds three new models to its Alpiner Comtesse Sport Quartz, a set of 36.5mm quartz-powered models we first saw in 2015. In black, blue and white, each watch offers matching bezel and a steel bracelet, with the black-dialed model set with a blackened steel case and bracelet.  As with previous models, the markings on the dials are studded with eight diamonds and include large luminescent hands and the date at 6 o’clock. Pricing starts at 695 euros, or about $760.

 

 

 


Blancpain
Valentine’s Day Marilyn Monroe 
Blancpain is debuting an evening watch based on a Blancpain watch once owned by Marilyn Monroe. The small rectangular white gold watch features an Art Deco style case set with 84 diamonds, sometimes in superposed rows, including two marquise-cut gems. The mother-of-pearl dial, inlaid with two hearts, is adorned with two brilliant-cut diamonds and two butterflies made of diamond and ruby hearts. Inside is an all-new rectangular caliber 510, a major new addition to the Blancpain collection. Issued in a 14-piece limited edition, the Blancpain Valentine’s Day 2020 watch is available with a calf leather strap secured by a pin buckle set with a brilliant-cut diamond.  Price: $37,400.

 

 


Breguet
Classique 9065

As we first showed you earlier this year, the newest Breguet Classique 9065 takes on a new, darker look with a stunning Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial. Also new is the rich red heart on the seconds hand, possibly employed by Breguet to remind the wearer of the passing time.  The new 33.5mm rose gold watch stands apart from earlier examples not only due to the new dial and rotating heart, but also for its red ruby crown, a garnet-colored date window (framed in rose gold) and an iridescent red satin strap. For enhanced glamour, Breguet also sets eighty-eight brilliant-cut diamonds along the bezel and on the lugs. Inside you will find Breguet’s automatic 591A caliber. Breguet is offering the watch as part of a series of twenty-eight numbered timepieces to be sold at certain Breguet boutiques.
Price: $28,600.


G-Shock
Transparent Rose Gold

An finally, take your pick from this all-new trio of G-SHOCK 1990s-inspired women’s watches, just in time for Valentine’s day. This clear-cased series includes a range of timepieces from G-SHOCK’s popular GMAS110, GMAS120 and GMDS6900 models that also add clear resin bands and rose-gold-colored metallic accents. Two models feature circular cases with large side buttons, while the third boasts the classic three-eye G-Shock digital LCD display.

The GMAS110SR-7A and GMAS120SR-7A sell for $140 each, while the GMDS6900SR-7 is priced at $110.