Top 10 Watches at Monaco's Only Watch Auction 2013

(From left) Richard Mille Tourbillon prototype Yohan Blake; Patek Philippe Reference 5004T; Harry Winston Midnight Big Date
(Courtesy Richard Mille/Patek Philippe/Harry Winston)

Can Patek Philippe again take the top lot at 2013 Only Watch auction in Monaco? And how eager is the world to see the prototype tourbillon watch by Richard Mille? These are questions to be answered in three months’ time, when the charity event takes place on September 28. But this much we are certain now: The already impressive list of unique timepieces donated by watch manufactures is getting longer and more exciting by the day, with the latest additional being a diamond-studded 19th century brooch-inspired women’s watch by Backes & Strauss.

A total of 38 watchmakers have each agreed to donate a unique watch and take part in the biennale charity event this year to benefit research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and 33 have already unveiled their special designs, down from 40 in the previous 2011 auction. The 2011 auction raised over €4.5 million (US$5.87m.)

In both the 2009 and 2011 auctions, Patek Philippe took top lots with its timepieces, which were sold for €535,000 ($698,000) and €1.4m ($1.83m,) respectively. This year, the family-owned watch manufacturer has created special Ref. 5004T, the first and only titanium version ever produced for the reference. The last Patek Philippe Ref. 5004 was sold for around $308,000 in 2011, when production discontinued.

Other highlights of this year’s auction include the one-of-a-kind Breguet Classique Chronograph in 18k yellow gold with a movement entirely engraved by hand, the Richard Mille Tourbillon Prototype worn by Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake during the London Olympics, and the Van Cleef & Arpel Lady Arpels Une journée à Monaco crafted with a mother-of-pearl top dial, inspired by the sky and sea of the French Riviera.

Click on the slideshow to see our top 10 picks.

Note: We have yet to see the models from brands like Franck Muller, MB&F and TAG Heuer, all of which had donated to the Only Watch auction in 2011.

“Only Watch Charity Auction 2013.” September 28th in Hôtel Hermitage, Monaco. It will be conducted by watch auctioneers, Antiquorum. Previews will held from September 6 to 28 in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, Geneva and Monaco.