Seems Audemars Piguet is keen to make its presence felt in pop culture as well. The luxury watch brand has now officially partnered with fashion designer Matthew Willliams, known for his utilitarian streetwear brand, 1017 ALYX 9SM. The result: four new self-winding Royal Oaks and Royal Oak Offshores, and a ‘unique piece’. The collab timepieces were launched in Tokyo this week.
1017 ALYX 9SM is built on the concept of weaving high-quality materials into subversive culture and modern craftsmanship. The brand was founded in California; it relocated to Italy where Matthew, who is also the creative director at Givenchy, continues to bring a touch of California and New York. The brand is named after one of Williams’s daughters and the number, 1017, refers to his birthday, October 17. ‘9SM’ is an abbreviation for the brand's founding studio address at Saint Mark's Place, New York City.
The latest offerings from Audemars Piguet follow Williams’s minimalist and utilitarian design ethos. The first in line is the Royal Oak Selfwinding collection, comprising three references, namely Ref. (15550BA.OO.1356BA.02), a 37 mm time-only variant, Ref. (26240BA.OO.1320BA.01), a 41 mm variant, and Ref. (26238BA.OO.2000BA.01), a 42 mm timepiece. The 41 mm and 42 mm versions are chronographs. The collection is entirely made of 18 ct yellow gold. This material can be found on the bezels, the cases, the dials, the chronograph pushers, the crowns, the hands (hour, minute, and second hands), and the bracelets.
The 37 mm variant gets self-winding Calibre 5909 with 60 hours of power reserve; the 41 mm is run by self-winding Calibre 4409 with a 70-hour power reserve; and the bolder 42 mm reference gets self-winding calibre 4404, delivering 70 hours of power reserve. All three models sport a monochromatic look with clean lines/silhouettes. The 41 mm model gets hands, instead of counters, to rotate at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.
The 42 mm model gets chronograph hands at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock — a first for a chronograph — and a date window at 3 o’clock. Turning the watches over showcases the yellow gold oscillating weights and the engraving of ‘Limited Edition’.
The fourth timepiece in the line-up, Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. (26238BC.OO.2000BC.01), is a 42 mm reference that is crafted from 18 ct white gold. This watch is very similar to the 42 mm yellow gold version in terms of design aesthetics; this reference also comes with hands at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. Like the yellow gold novelties, the white gold version is powered by self-winding Calibre 4404, boasting 70 hours of power reserve. The case, the bezel, the dial, the hands, the chronograph pushers, the crown, and the bracelet of each iteration are made of white gold. Turning the watch over showcases the white gold oscillating weight and the engraving of ‘Limited Edition’.
Last but not least, the 41 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Ref.(26240SA.OO.1320SA.01) is a ‘unique piece’, which means it is one of a kind. The flyback chronograph gets a stainless steel case and 18 ct yellow gold bezel, crown, and chronograph pushers.
The dial of this variant is crafted from 18 ct yellow gold with black PVD treatment and vertical satin finishing. The yellow gold Royal Oak hands have luminescent coating. On the dial, there are hands for 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. The watch is powered by self-winding Calibre 4409 with 70 hours of power reserve. Turning the watch over showcases the 18 ct yellow gold oscillating weight and the engraving of ‘Unique Piece’. Insofar as this creative collaboration is concerned, less is certainly more.