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Watches for a Cause

IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece Ref. IW500923
 

Sometimes, the luxury watch industry isn’t all the glamour and pizzazz as it appears to be. When manufacturers aren’t busy brainstorming on and creating the next best watch, they find the time to give to a cause that’s much bigger than themselves. There are, after all, real people behind these big watch houses. While making donations in the form of cash is the most common gesture, a lot of watch houses opt to take the route that they know best: creating unique or limited pieces and auctioning them offsatisfying collectors, philanthropists, and of course, beneficiaries alike. Here are a few watches for a cause from just this year.

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph luxury watches for a cause
 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. 26338PT.OO.1220PT.01

If you’re a big fan of Cirque du Soleil, then you’re sure to have heard of the “One Night for One Drop” event that happens every year, where they do a special performance for one night only in Las Vegas. Every cent spent goes to the One Drop Foundation that helps communities in grave need to have sustainable access to safe water. 

Audemars Piguet put this self-winding chronograph up for auction at the very same event, and just like the Cirque du Soleil performance, all its proceeds go straight to the foundation. Even alongside some other items like sought-after cars and special trips to dream destinations, this one-of-a-kind watch managed to stand out all the same, with its blue subdials against the purple Grande Tapisserie dial, visible through the solid sapphire crystal. It’s all encased in a platinum case, accompanied by either a platinum bracelet or a leather bracelet in the same shade of the subdials.

 

IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece Ref. IW500923 luxury watches for a cause IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece Ref. IW500923
 

IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece Ref. IW500923

If you pay attention to Hollywood news, you might remember that earlier this year, actor and IWC ambassador Bradley Cooper wore the unique Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece to the opulent Academy Awards ceremony—and it’s not just for show!

The very same watch was auctioned off and its proceeds were donated to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation. It goes to helping the Arrimage association in France whose mission is to help visually impaired children how to “read” or “see” drawings through touch, as well as create drawings themselves. It’s no coincidence that the first ever tactile art book is “The Little Prince” and that this watch’s 18-carat gold caseback has a quote from the book engraved on it, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.” It wasn’t hard at all to find an owner for this watch, what with it not only being connected to a famous watch house, but also a famous book and, of course, a famous actor.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chromomètre FB 1 - Night Star luxury watches for a cause

Ferdinand Berthoud Chromomètre FB 1 – Night Star

Only Watch is an event that’s held every two years, auctioning off unique watch models from several different watch brands whose 99% of profits go to the research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the more severe version of muscular dystrophy that cuts an individual’s life off as soon as their late teenage years.

Ferdinand Berthoud is one of those luxury watch brands that contributes to the cause, with the Night Star. Its case is not only titanium—it’s sandblasted anthracite-ceramised titanium. A mouthful, right? It means that this isn’t any regular titanium; it’s four times stronger than titanium. And with how anthracite is the densest form of coal, it’s also how the titanium got its nice shade of gray that matches nicely with the frosted black dial. The hands and numerals are stand out against the dark colors like stars in the night sky thanks to its Super-LumiNova coating, making the name of the watch quite apt.

 

Breguet Type 20 luxury watches for a cause

Breguet Type 20

Breguet brings back one of their beloved classics, the military-issued pilot’s watch “Type 20,” for the Only Watch event. If you know what the original Type 20 from the 50s looked like, then you’re sure to see the likeness. From the luminescent Arabic numerals and hands to the big onion crown right down to the historic Valjoux 235 movement, the watch house has honored the old flyback chronograph well, with a few aesthetic updates here and there. Like everything else in this list, there’s only one piece made available—to the dismay of watch enthusiasts everywhere—with even an engraving on the back that says, “Pièce Unique.”

 

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 luxury watches for a cause Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010
 

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010

For this year’s Only Watch event, Patek Philippe rendered their most complicated watch, the Grandmaster Chime, in stainless steel. Besides the unusual case material, the hand guilloched hobnail pattern on the rose gold dial as well as the text “THE ONLY ONE” on the second time zone subdial make this piece tastefully unique.

Apart from getting this absolute beast of a watch, which is already enough motivation for a lot of Patek Philippe fans, the owner and his chosen guest will also get to visit the Patek Philippe workshops and museums, as well as have lunch with the president of the watch house, Thierry Stern. We’re sure we’re not exaggerating when we say this will be one of the most sought after pieces in the auction house.

 

Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Sapphire Orlinski luxury watches for a cause   Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Sapphire Orlinski statue
 

Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Sapphire Orlinski

Hublot is no stranger to charity donations, and it’s certainly not the first collaboration with artist Richard Orlinski either. So it’s no surprise that they joined forces to create a unique timepiece for Only Watch.

In the transparent sapphire case that incorporated the signature design of the artist sits the movement, the tourbillon cage, and the power reserve. The bezel is made of white gold, and is set with 54 baguette-cut, light blue topazes. The smooth, rubber strap is in the same shade, keeping in theme with the Only Watch color scheme. It’s also the same color of the Wild Kong sculpture, also made by Orlinski, that holds the sapphire watch box wherein the luxury watch itself is displayed. And if the timepiece and sculpture weren’t enough, the owner of the piece also gets to meet the artist himself at his gallery in Paris.

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