One of the timepieces under the hammer at the biennial Only Watch charity auction this year is a one-of-a-kind MB&F HM8 watch that features illustrations created by a young ballerina
When those with a penchant for charity attend the Only Watch auction run by Christie’s on 11 November in Monaco, one of the watches on offer will attract a lot of attention. From Geneva-based timepiece manufacturers MB&F, the HM8 Only Watch features a drawing by Cassandra Legendre, whose parents are friends of the watch firm’s founder, Max Büsser. Her doodles were the inspiration for the creation of this spectacular timepiece, which, along with a number of others created by famous watchmakers the world over, are on auction to collect funds for research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that affects mainly young boys and creates progressive muscle degeneration.
The HM8 Only Watch is similar to the brand’s HM 8 timepieces, which were inspired by the vehicles that used to participate in the Can Am motor races of yore. Cassandra Legendre’s detailed design, which was a gift to Max Büsser, has been engraved and metallized on the sapphire crystal cover of the watch. The 15-year-old’s drawings of a robot, jet plane, toy car, jelly fish, football, sunglasses and ice cream cone all feature on the timepiece. Instead of the MB&F logo, the watch features a smiley face on the double screwed plate.
Another notable feature is a miniature white gold elephant that is situated between the hour and minute prism. This creation, by master engraver Oliver Kuhn, took 120 hours to complete. He was apparently inspired by the animals that are often featured in children’s stories. The watch’s pre-sale value is estimated between $83,000 and $103,000.
For the Only Watch auction, a number of watchmakers donate a once-off timepiece specially made to be sold on auction, or, if they prefer, a once-off limited edition version of an iconic or best-selling model in their collection. Often, as was the case with the Only Watch from MB&F, the watch manufacturer collaborates with someone else, usually an ambassador of the brand, be it an artist, an athletics champ, racing driver, etc. The highest bidder does not get to keep the watch, but attends a special event such as a Grand Prix race, film festival or fashion show.
The Only Watch from MB&F is based on its horologic Machine Number 8. It is a unique timepiece created in white gold with Grade 5 Titanium and boasts a rare sapphire crystal pane with engravings by the 15-year-old ballerina on it. The automatic HM8 engine features a unique purple winding rotor.
Cassandra Legendre is a student currently residing in Madrid. Her passion is ballet, but she also produces drawings like those featured on the timepiece. The message that MB&F has given through this unique watch is of a child helping other children who have been denied many childhood dreams and opportunities through their illness.