Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet (Instagram) has joined forces with designer Matthew Williams, the creative mind behind 1017 Alyx 9SM (Instagram), to present a captivating fusion of haute horlogerie and contemporary design. This collaboration has birthed four exceptional Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore references and a one-of-a-kind Royal Oak timepiece which YUNG saw while visiting Audemars Piguet’s booth at Dubai Watch Week 2023.
Williams has created a fusion of Audemars Piguet’s rich, established styles with his own designs, resulting in timepieces that resonate with fashion connoisseurs and watch lovers seeking a unique, contemporary look. These four new references, all crafted in 18K gold (in both yellow and white), include Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore models, each one a beautiful piece that demands attention.
The timepieces come in a range of sizes, catering to stylistic preferences and wrist sizes and creating a sense of continuity across the line. With the latest generation movements and meticulous hand finishing that blends satin and polished surfaces, they create a mesmerizing interplay of light that perfectly complements the design. In a display of elegant simplicity, all the models in the range have eschew hour markers, highlighting instead their vertically brushed gold dials.
For the Royal Oak models, the 37mm self-winding variant, with luminescent yellow gold hands and adorned with the double signature of “Audemars Piguet” and “1017 ALYX 9SM,” is water-resistant to 50 meters. The 18K yellow gold case, measuring a mere 9.1mm in thickness, houses Audemars Piguet’s caliber 5909, introduced in 2022. This timepiece offers a 60-hour power reserve, 29 jewels, and operates at a 28,800vph beat rate.
The larger 41mm 18K yellow gold model, is a striking self-winding chronograph, with its 30-minute chronograph hand at 9 o’clock, its hour hand at 3 o’clock and its small seconds hand at 6 o’clock. With a case thickness of 12.4mm and water resistance to 50 meters, this watch features a sapphire top crystal and case back, with an 18K yellow gold bracelet complete with a folding clasp. The caliber 4409 residing within is a 40-jewel movement equipped with a 70-hour power reserve and operates at a frequency of 28,800vph. Its column wheel and flyback functionality highlight this piece as an example of the finest watchmaking skills.
The two 42mm Royal Oak Offshore models showcase distinct yet minimalist aesthetics. Available in 18K white gold or yellow gold, the pieces feature a stripped-back design and AP’s interchangeable strap system, offering both a matching gold bracelet and black rubber strap. The date aperture resides at 3 o’clock, along with the famed AP monogram. The “1017 Alyx 9SM” signature gracing the 6 o’clock position, creating the unique double signature. The Offshore’s caliber 4404 boasts an integrated chronograph and a flyback function.
The design language remains the same across all the pieces and François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet, sums up the partnership aptly, “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.”
In addition, Audemars Piguet and Matthew Williams have created a unique Royal Oak Self-winding Chronograph. This one-of-a-kind piece was auctioned off with the proceeds benefiting play-based learning initiatives for underprivileged children through NGOs Kids in Motion and Right to Play. The NGOs were picked following the recommendations of the Audemars Piguet Foundations and Williams, who has long supported disadvantaged children.
The 41 mm model features a two-tone case and bracelet of 18-carat yellow gold and stainless steel. The black PVD-coated gold dial, adorned with vertical satin-finishing, creates a striking contrast with the case. The logos of both brands and the yellow gold chronograph hands gracing the dial. The hour and minute hands are filled with a luminescent material, rounding off a most modern design. Powered by the Calibre 4409, this timepiece melds state-of-the-art technology with a contemporary aesthetic.
The coming together of Audemars Piguet and Matthew Williams has resulted in a fine range of contemporary pieces that blend unique style with watchmaking excellence. These new additions to the Swiss house’s famed lines are sure to turn heads.
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