Only Watch 2011 – Strange Days In Monaco

Patek Philippe Only Watch

Editor’s Note: One thing we really pride ourselves here on TWL is independence. We have worked hard to assemble a team of well-informed contributors from all around the globe and from all different backgrounds and sometimes this means that we don’t always agree on certain points. To ensure that our coveted independence is preserved however I will always publish the thoughts and opinions of my learned colleagues, even if they are contradictory to my own, to ensure that our readers can be as well-informed as possible to make their own decisions.

This is one such occasion and I really encourage anyone reading the following article to leave their thoughts about its contents in the comments section below. 

It would seem that the sun-beams of market recovery have not reached all shores just yet. On September 23rd, the 4th edition of the biennial charity auction ONLY WATCH closed with a result of EUR 4,563,000. This may sound like an outstanding result on the face of things, but a closer look at the details of the auction definitely shows that the market has not quite returned to the heady excess of pre-GFC times, at least not this year anyway.

An interesting exercise is to compare the final price of each watch with its initial estimate, known well before the commencement of the auction. Of course these estimates are simply just that; estimates and no one can truly say for certain what will happen on auction day. However, undoubtedly some of those “in the know” would have been predicting that more than a few of these exquisite pieces would far exceed their initial appraisals.

In the end though, the results were in my opinion somewhat disappointing. Admittedly it is hard to draw any solid market conclusions as the final outcome is dependent on a number of factors, including the line-up of watches and the performance of the auctioneers on the night. However, the figures speak for themselves. More than 60% of the watches were sold under their estimate. In the mean, all watches sold at 2.9% under and if we exclude the rather large outlier of the Patek Philippe ref. 3939 (pictured above), whose final price was a staggering +155% above its estimate, that number jumps up to 6.8 % under estimate.

Van Cleef & Arpels Only Watch 2011
The stunning Van Cleef & Arpel “From the Earth to the Moon” Piece Unique sold for EUR 215,000!

The second observation that can be made is that apart from the Patek Philippe, many of the other well-known brands came in well below their initial estimates: Audemars Piguet (-5%), MB&F (-15%), Zenith (-27%), Harry Winston (-29%), De Bethune (-36%).

On the contrary, some of the brands which are seldom seen in auctions performed well and truly above and beyond their expected potential: Bernhard Lederer (+20%), Frédérique Constant (+46%), Van Cleef & Arpels (+72%).

One thing is for sure though; there were definitely some interesting deals to be had by savvy collectors in Monaco this year.

For the full price list please click here.

The Entries And How They Performed Relative To Their Estimates:

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars : – 5%

Bell & Ross BR01 Casino : – 40%

Blancpain Villeret : – 24 %

Bernhard Lederer Gagarin Tourbillon : + 20%

Bovet Amadeo Dragon & Phoenix : – 65 %

Breguet Grande Comlication : + 20 %

Celcius X VI II : + 50%

Chanel J12 Marine : + 20%

Chaumet Dandy Arty : – 64 %

Chopard L.U.C. Engine One : – 42 %

Corum Golden Bridge : – 20%.

Cyrus Klepcys : – 22,5%

De Bethune DB25 08 01 1297 : – 36%

de La Cour Mourinho City Ego : – 62%

DeWitt Concept watch No. 3 XWatch : – 3%

Franck Muller Crazy Hours : +47%

Frederique Constant Family Set of Four : + 46%

Girard-Perregaux “WW.TC” Titanium Oxide : – 17%

Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer : – 7,5%

Harry Winston Midnight GMT Tourbillon : – 29%

Hermes Arceau Le Temps Suspendu : – 23%

Hublot Oceanographic 4000 :- 6%

Ikepod Hour Glass : + 15%

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Monaco : – 8,5%

Laurent Ferrier Prototype : + 17%

Louis Vuitton Tambour Diving II Chronograph : – 48%

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Roue Carée Seconde. + 10%

MB&F HM4 Thunderbolt Flying Panda : –  15%

Montblanc Coll. Villeret 1958 Vintage Pulsograph. : –  33%

Patek Philippe Ref. 3939 : + 155%

Piaget Altiplano Skeleton : + 80%

Richard Mille RM 027 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal : +  2%

Romain Jerome Rock the Rock DNA :  0% – sold for expected price

TAG Heuer Monaco Mikrograph 1/100th : – 27%

Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo. +43%

Urwerk UR103 Phoenix : + 31%

Vacheron Constantin Metiers d’Art : -10%

Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Complication : + 72% plus cher

Vulcain Skeleton Cricket : – 67%

Zenith Set of 2 Captain Chronograph : – 27%

Olivier Muller
Olivier Muller is half Swiss, half French, and has been raised in the world of haute horlogerie & luxury watches right from the cradle. He now works in Public Relations in Paris.


  1. Olivier Müller

    I don’t know where you took your figures from, but when the wish price for the LAURENT FERRIER was set EUR 25’000 – 35’000 and we get EUR 41’000 it is certainly above the estimate ! Thank you for updating your article.

  2. Tom Mulraney

    Thank you for your comment Olivier, and my deepest apologies for this oversight. I have updated the article accordingly.


  3. Olivier Muller

    Cher Olivier, cher homonyme,

    Le détail des chiffres n’a pas été indiqué, sauf erreur de ma part, sur le press release final officiel :

    Nous nous sommes sourcés sur nos confrères de Watchonista :

    Ces résultats nous semblaient officiels, mais il y avait probablement un faute de saisie.

    Nous vous remercions de votre vigilance et vous prions de nous excuser de cette malheureuse erreur – le résultat que vous annoncez est déjà nettement plus en rapport avec le prestige de votre marque.

    Meilleures salutations,

    Olivier Müller

  4. Gabriel

    Auctions like these always makes me wonder if the manufacturers bid on their own watches. It is an open secret that it happens.


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