Only Watch 2024 Auction Raises Millions for Charity

Auction overcomes controversy by raising over $31 million for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research.


The Only Watch 2024 auction, held on May 10, 2024, at Geneva’s Palexpo, raised a remarkable CHF 28.3 million (approximately $31.1 million USD) for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Despite facing controversies and the withdrawal of 16 brands, including Audemars Piguet, the auction showcased 47 unique watches from various brands.

The auction’s highlight was the sale of the unique Patek Philippe 6301A Steel Sonnerie Minute Repeater for a staggering CHF 15.7 million ($17.3 million USD), contributing more than half of the total funds raised. This exquisite timepiece, with its hand-guilloché dial and Sonnerie minute repeater in steel, captivated bidders, ultimately going to collector Zach Lu.

Other notable sales included Rexhep Rexhepi’s Chronometre Antimagnétique, which fetched CHF 2.1 million ($2.3 million USD), Richard Mille’s “Talisman” necklace stunned with a sale of CHF 2.38 million and F.P. Journe’s Chronomètre Bleu Furtif garnered CHF 2 million ($2.2 million USD). These pieces, alongside other unique submissions from esteemed brands like Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Hublot and independent watchmakers, highlighted the auction’s diverse and exceptional offerings.

The event was not without its challenges. Christie’s website and app experienced an IT security issue, rendering online bidding impossible. However, the auction proceeded with bids placed via phone or in person. It is to be noted that the sale of Michael Schumacher’s watches was delayed until Tuesday.

Beyond the glitz and glamour, the auction’s primary purpose remained clear: supporting research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The auction’s success serves as a reminder that even in times of uncertainty, the collective passion for exceptional watchmaking can affect meaningful change.