Following the triumph of the MAD Paris Alyx watch in 2021, Audemars Piguet now unveils five new timepieces, seamlessly blending Swiss watchmaking tradition with Matthew Williams’ utilitarian fashion flair.
Curious to delve deeper into this horological and design fusion? Let’s take a look behind the collaboration between Audemars Piguet and Matthew Williams.
Audemars Piguet x Matthew Williams: New Royal Oaks and Royal Oak Offshores
The partnership between Audemars Piguet and Matthew Williams has resulted in the release of four exquisite timepieces, with an additional fifth piece offered at auction in Tokyo, all bearing the signature touch of both creators.
The collection comprises two 18-carat yellow gold references and two in white gold, featuring both the iconic Royal Oak and its bolder sibling, the Royal Oak Offshore.
This collaboration marks the first time the same design has been simultaneously developed for both these prestigious collections, showcasing the unique synergy between Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oaks and Offshores.
What truly sets these timepieces apart is the bold departure from traditional dial aesthetics. With an emphasis on sleek minimalism, Matthew Williams and Audemars Piguet have skillfully stripped away hour-markers and the date aperture on the Royal Oak models.
The result is an uncluttered canvas with a monochromatic vertical satin finish, allowing the watch’s craftsmanship and design to shine.
Matthew Williams’ Royal Oak Edition
The 37mm self-winding Royal Oak reference showcases hours, minutes, and seconds, adorned with luminescent yellow-gold hands and dual signatures – “Audemars Piguet” and “1017 ALYX 9SM”.
Its 41mm counterpart, the self-winding chronograph, takes an intriguing twist. Eschewing traditional subdials, it employs rotating hands at three, six, and nine o’clock to measure time intervals.
Both models are produced in a limited series. The 37mm houses Caliber 5909, boasting a 60-hour power reserve, while the 41mm Royal Oak Chronograph boasts the Caliber 4409 with an impressive 70-hour power reserve.
Matthew Williams’ Royal Oak Offshore Edition
The Royal Oak Offshore models maintain the minimalist ethos while embracing their robust Offshore character. The date aperture remains at three o’clock, a signature of the collection, while the chronograph counters at six, nine, and 12 o’clock have been purposefully omitted.
This stripped-back design philosophy aligns with the oversized, sporty Offshore aesthetic. The two models are accompanied by an additional black rubber strap, reflecting their active and adventurous spirit.
Both are equipped with the Caliber 4404, featuring an integrated chronograph and flyback function.
Unique Piece for Auction: 41 mm Royal Oak Chronograph
At the August 24 Tokyo launch event, a pivotal moment arrived with the auction of the “Unique Piece”, a 41 mm Royal Oak Chronograph. This singular timepiece epitomized the collaboration’s essence.
These exclusive chronographs, emblematic of Audemars Piguet and 1017 ALYX 9SM’s synergy, found their auction stage, championing a dual cause. Bids weren’t just for design; they represented support for play-based learning, channeled through NGOs Kids in Motion and Right to Play.
The 41 mm Royal Oak Chronograph auction piece embodied the partnership’s spirit. With a two-tone case and bracelet merging 18k yellow gold and stainless steel, it featured a black PVD-coated gold dial adorned with brand signatures and yellow-gold chronograph hands. Equipped with Caliber 4409, it exemplified precision.
How Audemars Piguet Enlisted Matthew Williams to Design a Special Timepiece
Audemars Piguet has been no stranger to high-profile collaborations, having partnered with notable figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1999 for a limited-edition watch tied to his movie “End of Days,” Jay-Z in 2006, and LeBron James in 2015.
Now, breaking new ground again, AP has joined forces with one of the fashion world’s most influential designers, Matthew Williams of Givenchy and 1017 Alyx 9SM fame.
The timepieces born from this collaboration impeccably reflect Williams’ trademark minimalist style. With an astute eye, he distilled Audemars Piguet’s designs to their most pure and opulent essence.
Williams found particular excitement in experimenting with AP’s array of materials. The collection elegantly oscillates between yellow and white gold, while a unique creation stands as a harmonious union of yellow gold and stainless steel.
Interestingly, this isn’t Williams’ inaugural venture into crafting his own Royal Oak. In 2019, Alyx orchestrated an informal collaboration with customizer MAD Paris, resulting in a sleek steel version of the iconic watch.
Even without the official AP endorsement, the watch garnered attention from notable collectors, including NBA player Kevin Durant and rapper Lil Yachty. This very connection spurred Audemars Piguet’s interest in Williams as the clamor for the watch reverberated through the industry.
Williams embarked on this collaboration with a clear vision – to create a timepiece that exudes timelessness and elegance, one he would be content to wear throughout his life.
Recognizing that a gold watch can be assertive, dependent on the wearer and context, he masterfully wove subtlety and timeless allure into the details.
How to Acquire the Audemars Piguet x Matthew Williams Timepieces
Each timepiece stemming from this extraordinary collaboration emerges in a limited quantity, enhancing its rarity and desirability. The exclusivity factor is heightened by the fact that only a select few will have the privilege of owning these remarkable creations.
The pricing structure adds an intriguing dimension to this collection, reflecting its meticulous craftsmanship and unique design. The cost of these coveted timepieces varies, with prices set at Rp 1.12 billion or SGD 99,698 to Rp 1.7 billion or SGD 151,243.
Detailed information on the purchasing process can now be conveniently accessed through the official website of Audemars Piguet.