Combining ancestral expertise with futuristic technology, this 42 mm titanium and black ceramic timepiece is a feat of openwork and highlights the Manufacture’s boundless creativity in complications. This model also embodies Audemars Piguet’s desire to forge links with different cultural universes, seeking inspiration beyond the world of Haute Horlogerie and drawing from the world of pop culture. Limited to 250 pieces, the Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Spider-Man” is accompanied by a unique piece, which will be auctioned off to benefit the First Book and Ashoka associations, non-profit organisations that work to empower young people to create change and a positive impact.
YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD HERO
Following the Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon, which launched in 2021, this second collaboration with Marvel features Spider-Man, one of Marvel’s most popular Super Heroes.
Marvel’s Spider-Man unites a large community of fans around the world, while promoting family and community values. The Super Hero quickly became a pop culture phenomenon after appearing in comics, video games, on consumer products and more. After more than sixty years since his debut, Audemars Piguet and Marvel are pleased to pay tribute to this amazing icon.
“We’re thrilled to share our newest collaboration with Audemars Piguet and celebrate a collection of timepieces featuring cultural icon, Spider-Man. This collaboration showcases the evergreen appeal and global impact of the Spider-Man character, while also benefitting two incredible non-profit organizations helping to further empower today’s youth.” - Paul Gitter, Executive Vice President, Global Brand Commercialization, Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing
Spider-Man immediately captivated audiences. An ordinary young man, Peter Parker suddenly finds himself with extraordinary powers after having been bitten by a radioactive spider. With his newfound superpowers, Peter embodies the adage, “With great power there must also come great responsibility.” Similarly, Audemars Piguet’s commitment to the First Book and Ashoka organizations also stems from this motto. This philanthropic endeavour began in 2021, with the launch of the Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon.
A DIZZYING OPENWORKED MOVEMENT
Presented in a 42 mm titanium case contrasted with a black ceramic bezel and crown, the openworked movement of the Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Spider-Man” appears as the hero of this timepiece.
Based on the Calibre 2948, the new hand-wound Calibre 2974 required all the openworking expertise of Audemars Piguet’s engineers, watchmakers and craftspeople for this timepiece to see the light of day. By reducing the architecture of the movement to the bare minimum, they have been able to achieve a level of transparency that allows Spider-Man’s character to appear in a three-dimensional form as if suspended in the void through the sapphire crystal. The silhouette and volume of the character are first cut from a block of white gold using a CNC machine. The Super Hero’s suit is then laser-engraved to obtain the differences in texture that give it its textile appearance. This operation requires complex machine programming and many tests to obtain the desired result. After this step, touch-ups and engraving-related finishings are meticulously done by hand by a single artisan, making each piece unique. The character is ultimately hand-painted to give him his recognizable two-tone aesthetic, contrasting mat red and metallic blue. During this stage, the painter emphasizes shadows and contrasts to give Spider-Man even more perspective. Extending across the entire thickness of the watch, the Super Hero alone requires no less than 50 hours of work, pushing the limits of the craftsmanship of the artisans in Le Brassus.
The dial is composed of alternating black PVD-coated gold hour-markers and Arabic numerals that are overlaid by hands designed in the same material. All have a polished finish and are enhanced with a white luminescence that turns blue in the dark, subtly referring to the world of Spider-Man.
The timepiece is adorned with refined decorations that are faithful to watchmaking tradition and the design codes of the Manufacture. The case alternates between polished and micro-blasted finishes on the top and bottom, while the sides are satin-finished. The movement, however, features a range of decorations, from traits-tirés to sandblasting and polishing.
Limited to 250 pieces, this model is accompanied by a unique piece called the Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Black Suit Spider-Man”. This one-of-a-kind timepiece comes in a white gold case decorated with a spider leg motif. The case is first laser-engraved to create the spider’s legs, which are then filled with luminescent hybrid ceramic. It is then polished and finely engraved by laser once more to form a spider’s web in the background. It is combined with a black ceramic bezel with ceramic also adorning the caseback that bears the words “Royal Oak Concept Unique Piece” in white. Spider-Man appears on the dial in a black suit, a reference to the one worn by the Super Hero in several 1980s comics, notably The Amazing Spider-Man #252 in 1984. This lesser-known representation of the character makes the piece unique and more mysterious, as does the luminescent material, which glows green in the dark, seen on the hands, hour-markers and part of the character.
“For this second collaboration with Marvel, we want to pay tribute to Spider-Man, one of the most popular Super Heroes in the Marvel universe, who is aware that with great power comes great responsibility. And, to mark the occasion, we are pleased to reiterate our commitment to First Book and Ashoka’s work to empower young people to become agents of change; they are our real-life heroes.” - François-Henry Bennahmias Chief Executive Officer Audemars Piguet
AN INTERCHANGEABLE BRACELET
For the first time, the 42 mm Royal Oak Concept case is equipped with an interchangeable strap system, which allows the owner of the watch to change the strap and buckle in a few simple steps.
Equipped with a black and grey rubber strap and a titanium AP buckle, the Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Spider-Man” comes with a second black and red rubber strap, matching the famous suit of the Marvel Super Hero.
The unique Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Black Suit Spider-Man” comes with a black rubber strap with a velvety texture and a second black calfskin leather strap with a textile effect and white stitching.
This collaboration started in 2021 and is a testament to Audemars Piguet’s ability to seek inspiration beyond the world of fine watchmaking, notably in pop culture and the world of entertainment in particular.
Under the auspices of the Audemars Piguet Foundation, the Manufacture has also started collaborating with First Book and Ashoka, two non-profit organisations through the Time For Change: Dream, Act, Change Our World initiative designed to further educational equity through changemaking. First Book and Ashoka are systemically addressing the opportunity and resource gap that prevents young people from low-income and historically excluded communities from becoming changemakers. In April 2021, an auction of several lots, including the one-of-a-kind Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon, raised funds to support this project, which has so far reached a network of 25,000 First Book educators serving children in need and approximately 750,000 students, aged between 5 and 18, across the United States. Thanks to the first auction, over 50,000+ books related to changemaking have been distributed and educators have benefited from free actionable and practical materials to help young people feel empowered to “Dream, Act, Change Our World”. Hence, to develop their talents and abilities required for academic success, career satisfaction, and lifelong civic engagement. The programme plans to expand internationally to Brazil, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Canada, and Indonesia.
Continuing this long-term collaboration, Audemars Piguet is auctioning its unique Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Black Suit Spider-Man” timepiece, as well as several other lots. All the proceeds from the auction will be donated to First Book and Ashoka.