The biennial Only Watch auction will take place at the Hôtel des Berges, Geneva, hosted by Christie’s and involving 50 lots made up of one-of-a-kind watches donated by some of the finest watchmaking names in the world.

“The eighth Only Watch is on November 9 in Geneva, with fifty watches crossing the block. The sale has grown beyond its original purpose as a fundraiser to become a worldwide reference for collectors,” said.

Luc Pettavino’s son Paul was diagnosed with the progressive muscle weakening Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2000, and Luc decided that “I needed to be a part of the solution”. Then head of the Monaco Yacht Show, he founded the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy.

He first approached the late Nicolas Hayek Snr, Swatch Group’s co-founder and chairman, who threw his support behind the project, and since then the charity has grown organically.

The first sale was held by specialist auction house Antiquorum in 2005, raising just short of €2 million.

“Only Watch is all about donating,” Pettavino says. “Whether this is the watches, or the time of the people running the event. Our total costs are less than one per cent of the money raised. It is just a very selfless endeavour and when it comes to the brands, everyone is on a level playing field.

There are no contracts and there is no judgement if a brand chooses not to participate. Never has anyone made any demands on us to have higher billing than anyone else. It is a group effort.”

Paul Pettavino died in November 2016 shortly before his 21st birthday but the charity he inspired continues. Only Watch has so far raised £31 million for muscular dystrophy research. This year 50 brands are taking part and looks set to break all previous records.

ORIGINAL SOURCES:, Daily Telegraph, local reports PHOTO: Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime in steel, expected to reach in excess of 2 million euros