On September 22nd, 2011 an intriguing watch auction is set to take place. This Auction is held once very two years by Antiquorum at the Monaco Yacht Show to raise charity for medical research of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
This year 34 major watch brands are participating in this worthy cause. In order for a watch to partake in this auction, the watch must either be the first watch of a limited edition, or a completely unique model. Watch brands go to great lengths to stand out, and the result are breathtaking watches.
Two of my personal favorites have used the imagination of a child as inspiration for creation of their only watch timepiece.
Van Cleef & Arpels Only Watch “From the Earth to the Moon”. Bright primary colors bring a child’s rendition of space to life with the aid of champlevé enameling. A miniature rocket travels from 0 to 60 indicating the minutes, whilst a shooting star moves from 1 to 12 indicating the hours. At the end points, both rocket ship and star shoot back to the 0 or 1 respectively. Both hours and minutes are indicated via a retrograde time display. The earth is depicted at the bottom of the watch in vivid blues and greens. The watch is powered by a JLC Caliber 846 manual-wind mechanical movement equipped with a unique retrograde mechanism found exclusively in Van Cleef & Arpels Timepieces.
MB & F HM4, places a solid gold Panda on a Thunderbolt. With inspiration from a drawing by Paris-based Chinese artist, Huang Hankang, creator Maximilian Büsser created a Horological Machine representing the freedom of a child’s imagination. Huang Hankang signature is crafted on the case back. Two miniature turbines straddle a central platform,which houses most of the complication. 311 in-house specialized components power the Mechanical Timekeeping Machine. Two mainspring barrels enabling a 72 hour power reserve ensure the rocket “Thunderbolt” does not lose power. The power reserve is displayed in the opening of one jet turbine – fashioned like a fuel gauge – and the hours and minutes are displayed in the other.
The straps and panda are removal, enabling one to display the timepiece as a time keeping sculpture or worn as a Horological Timekeeping Machine.