Collaborations, particularly with celebrities and celebrity designers, feel so extremely 2023. But luxury watch brand Audemars Piguet has actually been in the celeb collab game for decades, having first launched a limited-edition watch with Arnold Schwarzenegger for his action-horror film End of Days in 1999. Since then, the brand has worked with Jay-Z in 2006 and LeBron James in 2015—and most recently, Matthew Williams of Givenchy and 1017 Alyx 9SM.
Audemars Piguet’s newest collection—officially a collaboration with Williams’s own brand Alyx—is made up of two Royal Oaks, two Royal Oak Offshores, and a one-of-one unique piece, with prices ranging from $73,500 to $111,500.
Notably missing on these classic timepieces are the subdial markings; instead, small hands tick clockwise. This minimalistic bent is especially on display with the 18k yellow gold Royal Oak, with only the two brands’ names on display on the dial. The entire collection has a similar sleek subtlety that feels minimalist without compromising luxury.
In a statement, Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias said, “This is the first time we have dressed the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore simultaneously, and it was a natural fit thanks to Matthew’s clean, contemporary design! That is the beauty of this collaboration: the synergies are such that we have taken each other to the next level.”
The one-of-one Royal Oak was also made specifically for a charity auction for learning initiatives for disadvantaged children. On his Instagram, Williams wrote, “The design features a two-tone case and bracelet, combining 18-carat yellow gold and stainless steel with a black PVD-coated gold dial. The funds raised will be donated to projects supporting play-based learning initiatives in favour of disadvantaged children, notably through the actions of the NGOs Kids in Motion and Right to Play. Kids in Motion supports a specific project in Lamu, Kenya, which allows the local population to strengthen its infrastructure and support the activities of its community within the school.”
Williams has designed watches before. In 2019, Alyx did an unofficial collaboration with AP when Williams worked with customizer MAD Paris to transform the Royal Oak he has always worn. With Alyx’s signature roller-coaster buckle, the watch caught the attention of rappers like Lil Yachty and basketball player Kevin Durant, which is likely how Williams ultimately caught the attention of AP for this official link-up.
The latest Royal Oaks feel like a continuation of the pared-back aesthetic he experimented with initially, making for a timeless and elegant collaboration that feels far more natural than most designer mash-ups we’ve become accustomed to seeing lately.
You Might Also Like