Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet unveils a new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked limited edition in collaboration with brand and label Cactus Jack, founded by American hip hop artist Travis Scott. This 41 mm model is crafted in brown ceramic – a first for Audemars Piguet. The sapphire dial provides a glimpse of the openworked selfwinding perpetual calendar movement, Calibre 5135. To celebrate this collaboration, a number of design elements refer to Cactus Jack’s graphics, while parts of the dial, including the moon phase indication, are endowed with a luminescent coating that glows blue or green in the dark in a nod to the brand’s aesthetic codes. Combining classic complication with contemporary material, this limited edition illustrates Audemars Piguet’s free and daring spirit, as well as its ability to push back the boundaries of watchmaking and create strong links with fields of creative practice over the years.
The encounter of several universes
Audemars Piguet has always fostered creative synergies with different universes, including sport, pop culture, art and entertainment. Thanks to its collaboration with personalities such as Jay-Z (2005) and LeBron James (2013), the Manufacture has strengthened its links to pop culture since the early 2000s. AP has since become one of the most quoted brands in rap songs. Today, the Le Brassus watchmaker has teamed up with Cactus Jack to design this new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” Limited Edition, which bears the aesthetic codes of the two brands.
Nicknamed “The Chocolate AP” by Travis Scott
Audemars Piguet presents its first Royal Oak model in brown ceramic – a signature colour for Cactus Jack. This light and scratch resistant material can be admired on the watch’s 41 mm case and bracelet studs.
Ceramic is made from yttrium-stabilised Zirconium Oxide powder (Zr2O), which is combined with a binder and metal oxides that will give it its final chocolate colour once the ceramic has been sintered at over 1000°C. Achieving uniform colour is a delicate and crucial stage in the manufacturing process. Each component is then pre-polished and pre-satin-brushed before being finished by hand to reach the Manufacture’s trademark alternation of satin-brushed surfaces and polished chamfers.
“The chocolate AP,” as Travis Scott likes to call it in his latest album, features white gold hexagonal screws as well as a sapphire dial revealing the openworked architecture of Calibre 5135. This movement combines rhodium-toned components with pink-gold-toned hues subtly echoing the thin circle surrounding the day, month and date subdials respectively located at 9, 12 and 3 o’clock. The subdials also play on transparency so as to reveal part of the movement. The hour, minute and counters hands, like the hour-markers inserted within the seconds scale, are crafted in gold and covered with brown PVD before being filled with a white luminescent material that turns blue in the dark. The red arrow-shaped hand indicating the week accentuates legibility in day light.
To celebrate this collaboration with Cactus Jack, numerous design elements reference the brand’s graphics. The Audemars Piguet Design team has specially designed the typography of the calendar and week indications based on Travis Scott’s hand-drawn model. Even the hand of the day subdial takes on the shape of the brand’s logo. But, the most visible nod is the design of the moon phase at 6 o’clock. The usual representation of Earth’s natural satellite has been replaced by Cactus Jack’s emblematic smiley face with its mouth sewn shut, whose luminescent coating glows blue in the dark. In contrast, the other calendar indications, with the exception of the week indication, are endowed with a luminescent material that turns green at night for a unique luminous effect.
A new textured calfskin leather strap makes its debut for the occasion, while the pink gold folding clasp is engraved with the signatures of “Audemars Piguet” and “Travis Scott”.
Lastly, the caseback is engraved with “Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar,” “Limited Edition of 200 Pieces” and “Utopia is a state of mind” in reference to Travis Scott’s latest album. This mention also appears printed on one of the strap’s mobile loops.
The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” Limited Edition is powered by the selfwinding Calibre 5135. The movement automatically takes into account the number of days in the month and correctly displays the prevailing date even in leap years. Assuming the watch is kept fully wound, the date will not require manual correction until 2100, at which point it will need to be adjusted in order to stay in line with the Gregorian calendar.
The brown ceramic and sapphire caseback reveals the refined decorations adorning the movement including circular satin, satin brushing, sandblasting, sunray brushing and polished chamfers. The stamped openworked 22-carat pink gold oscillating weight is finished with satin brushing and polished chamfers. It is also engraved with the double “Audemars Piguet” and “Cactus Jack” signatures. The Cactus Jack logo, which appears in the centre of the oscillating weight, brings the final touch to this collaboration at the crossroads of diverse universes.
* The Gregorian calendar omits three leap years every 400 years to remain in line with solar time. This is achieved by omitting February 29 in the century years which are divisible by 100, but not by 400. As a result, 2100 will not be a leap year and perpetual calendar mechanisms will have to be moved forward by one day.