Chopard 'Engine One' for Only Watch charity auction
Chopard watch boss Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, well known for his support of the Mille Miglia both as a main sponsor and a competitor, last year took his passion for classic cars to a whole new level by introducing a wristwatch designed to look like an engine block.
The Engine One tourbillon is an imposing 35.4mm by 44.4mm beast with an oval-shaped case made from ultra-light titanium. The reamed dial has the appearance of a pair of rocker covers seen from above, while other car-like features include a power reserve indicator based on the look of a fuel gauge and a set of tiny, lever-arm dampers that support and protect the hand-wound tourbillon movement.
Even the underside of the watch features motoring inspiration - a peek through the crystal case back reveals that the movement base plates have been designed in the shape of miniature race circuits, while the curved case lugs were allegedly inspired by the flowing lines of a car wing and the black, alligator leather strap has reinforced inserts reminiscent of the padded back of an old-fashioned driving seat.
'Standard' versions of the Engine One are limited to 150 examples costing around £45,000 apiece - but Chopard has now created a one-off in which the case is treated to a black DLC finish. The watch has been made especially for this year's Only Watch auction and has the side of its case engraved with the name of the biennial charity event, which is held during the Monaco yacht show and staged by specialist auction house Antiquorum.
Close to 40 other leading brands will take part in the invitation-only gala dinner, including Richard Mille, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer, Hublot and Bell and Ross, with each one donating a watch for the occasion. All the watches on offer will be either unique pieces (like the Chopard) or number one of a very limited run.
This will be the fourth edition of the charity event, which has so far raised more than 5m euros to help fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a neuromuscular illness that currently affects 250,000 young people around the world. The watches will go on an international tour in advance of the sale, which is scheduled to take place on September 22.
And, if you're not among the elite to receive an invitation to the actual event, you can still bid online in real time. See www.antiquorum.com for further details.
Text: Simon de Burton
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