Audemars Piguet x John Mayer Collab Doesn't Disappoint

A stunning Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, the limited-edition watch was worth the wait
Published: 16 March 2024

Multi-Grammy-winning musician John Mayer’s relationship with watches goes far deeper than your average celeb horologist. He’s been a collector of watches since 2001 (very early in his musical career). And his passion for and critically deep understanding of high-end watches has paralleled his musical success ever since. It's also made him something of an oracle for collectors. For much of his collecting life, Audemars Piguet has been a firm favourite.

In Milan last week, Audemars Piguet unveiled with Mayer a collaboration two years in the making. It was the white gold Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar John Mayer, limited to 200 pieces. The insider gossip about this impending Mayer launch ahead of the event did nothing to stem the excitement when the new watch was unveiled. Instantly eye-catching, it was given a decidedly modern vibe with a dial described as "crystal sky" for its granular blue surface. The dial was created by electro-forming the 3D surface one atom at a time, then individually polishing each of the hundreds of facets before applying a deep blue PVD coating. The result is a mesmerising light show. Whichever way you look at it, over which the all-important sub-dials float with ease. For a watch as complicated as a perpetual calendar—regarded as the pinnacle of high watchmaking—it's surprisingly legible.


According to company lore, this special edition was born when Mayer approached then CEO François-Henry Bennahmias with an idea. An idea for a one-off watch for himself. Bennahmias liked it so much that he countered with the idea of making it a limited edition instead. Given that the movement that drives this grand complication is retiring, it’s a fitting and collectable send-off. The movement in question is the 5134. It's a self-winding, ultra-thin movement launched in 2016 but based on a legendary movement—the 2120—created in the mid-1960s.

In Other News...

Alongside the release of the watch came the announcement of Mayer taking on the Creative Conduit role for the brand. Somewhere between a brand ambassador and a collector, Mayer functions as a bridge between the house and its most passionate collectors.

AP also timed the Milan launch of the Perpetual Calendar John Mayer to unveil the city's upgraded and relocated AP House, a luxury space for fans and customers of Audemars Piguet to meet away from the store. Naturally enough, the latest—the 20th to open around the world, and just a stone's throw from the storied via Montenaploeone and its fashion and watch flagships—is the best yet. Spread over multiple floors in a repurposed multistory garage the Garage Traversi was built in 1938, the space features dining rooms, lounges, and meeting spaces. There’s a bar or two and a grand piano. Roof terraces wrap around the sinuous deco-style building, overlooking the rooftops of the San Babila district. One hidden dining room was designed with wall-mounted display cabinets for collectors to show off their collections over dinner. No doubt the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar John Mayer will make a showing at such gatherings.

As true horology nerds know, provided you keep it wound, this watch will tell the correct time. Specifically, the month, week, date, day, leap year, and even the current phase of the moon, all without adjustment. That is until March 1, 2100, when the Gregorian calendar is obliged to skip a leap year. It’s a Monday, by the way.

Originally published on Esquire US

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