When word got out about an Audemars Piguet x Marvel collaboration, one would think that the timepiece would star one of the most beloved and recognised characters, such as Captain America, Iron Man, or even Thor.
However, rather than a Mjölnir-wielding timepiece or one with a star-spangled dial, the Swiss watchmaker unveiled its most hyped creation to date – honouring the King of Wakanda in the Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon. The announcement was made at the “Audemars Piguet & Friends, Live Show from Los Angeles” event, which also featured a surprise auction of a unique white gold variant of the watch. The live event was hosted by standup comedian and actor Kevin Hart alongside Audemars Piguet’s Chief Executive Officer François-Henry Bennahmias. Those who attended include LeBron James, Serena Williams, Ian Poulter, Anthony Joshua, Lu Han, Jon Gray and Mark Ronson.
With 100% of the proceeds going to charitable organisations supporting education for underprivileged youth, this unique edition went under the hammer for the heroic amount of US$5,200,000 (that’s about RM21,473,400).
The one-of-a-kind timepiece features an 18-carat white gold case and bezel entirely engraved by hand, featuring motifs inspired by the Black Panther. On the dial, the Black Panther is poised to attack in a highly detailed rendition, engraved and painted by hand. The suit has been outlined with streaks of purple paint for a sharper, bolder contrast. The mention “Unique piece” can be found on the purple inner bezel which is visible through the sapphire caseback.
And for watch enthusiasts who are also hardcore Marvel fans, Audemars Piguet is also offering a limited edition Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon, which features a faceted 42mm brushed titanium case and black ceramic bezel and crown. The Black Panther, like in the unique piece, dominates the top half of the watch, with the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
The figure is crafted from white gold, with the suit’s texture achieved through laser engraving. As for other details such as the hands, claws, muscles, and even facial features – they were all carved by hand, by a single craftsman, before being handed over to a single painter to bring the character to life. This whole process of painting and engraving took up to 30 hours of work per piece, with only four engravers and four painters employed to create 250 limited pieces.
And what of the superpower of this watch? It’s equipped with the Calibre 2965, a hand-wound mechanism that made its first appearance in the Royal Oak Concept Collection back in 2018. Wearers can have a peek of the open-worked barrel at 10 o’clock and the coiled mainspring through the dial side, which provides the watch with 72 hours of power reserve. Completing this action-filled piece is a purple rubber strap with 18-carat white gold AP folding clasp, though an additional black rubber strap is also available.
For more details and information, visit the official Audemars Piguet website.