At the intersection of haute horology and urban fashion lies an unprecedented collaboration between Swiss watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet and American designer Matthew Williams, the creative genius behind 1017 ALYX 9SM. This alliance signifies more than a mere dalliance between two brands; it’s an emblematic fusion of two worlds, each grounded in a shared ethos of craftsmanship, innovation, and sustainability.
The product of this visionary partnership is nothing short of extraordinary—a range of timepieces that infuse the classical elegance of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore collections with Williams’ minimalist, street-smart aesthetic. The watch case diameters stretch from a compact 37 mm to a more robust 42 mm, making a quiet yet powerful statement that is agnostic to wrist size. The minimalist designs in the 18-carat yellow or white gold act as blank canvases that mirror the wearer’s personality, offering a fluid transition from the atelier to the asphalt.
In a bold move that is perhaps a nod to the age of digital distractions, the Royal Oak models have been stripped down to their most elemental form. Gone are the date aperture and hour markers, replaced by a visually arresting vertical satin finish. The effect is that of time distilled to its purest essence—a concept that will likely resonate with an audience seeking authentic experiences in a hyper-digitized world.
Beneath the understated exteriors lie marvels of mechanical engineering. The 37 mm Royal Oak model is powered by the Calibre 5909, a notably slim movement that still packs a 60-hour power reserve. Meanwhile, the 41 mm Royal Oak Offshore models are driven by the Calibre 4404, featuring an integrated chronograph and a flyback function. Each watch in this collaborative series is a masterpiece of Swiss craftsmanship, featuring oscillating weights engraved with the 1017 ALYX 9SM logo and adorned with exquisitely detailed finishes visible through a sapphire crystal case back.
In a true homage to exclusivity, these timepieces are not just limited editions but also feature interchangeable straps, allowing for a personalized touch. Each case back is meticulously engraved with the words “Limited Edition,” solidifying their collectable status.
Beyond the craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal, the collaboration harbours a philanthropic component. A unique Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph will be auctioned, with proceeds going to organizations that support disadvantaged children. The collaboration reinforces that the intersection of luxury and social responsibility is not just possible but highly impactful.
As these new references launch, what becomes clear is that this collaboration is less a commercial endeavour and more a cultural event—a harmonious blend of Audemars Piguet’s heritage and 1017 ALYX 9SM’s contemporary vision. For those fortunate enough to adorn their wrists with these creations, the message is unequivocal: Time, like style, is an evolving narrative, and this is its latest, most captivating chapter.
The auction for the unique Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph will take place on August 24 in Tokyo, signalling not just the culmination of a unique collaboration, but also the beginning of a new frontier in the world of luxury watches and high-end fashion.