Audemars Piguet has just announced details of a new collaboration with Cactus Jack, the record label and brand founded by US hip-hop icon Travis Scott. The new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Limited Edition is made from brown ceramic—a signature Cactus Jack colour and a first for Audemars Piguet.
It has been nicknamed ‘The Chocolate AP’ by Scott, apparently a call-back to—or a pre-emptive bit of marketing in—the song ‘Meltdown’ on his recent album Utopia. The 41mm self-winding watch incorporates a number of design elements which refer to Cactus Jack graphics.
The typography of the calendar and week indications is based on a hand-drawn model by Scott. The hands of the day sub-dial form the shape of the Cactus Jack logo. Meanwhile, the brand’s trademark smiley face-with-its-mouth-sewn-shut takes the place of the moon phase at 6 o’clock. Its luminescent coating glows blue in the dark.
The calendar indications, with the exception of the week indication, glow green. The new elements extend to the strap. Made of calfskin, with a pink gold folding clasp engraved with the signatures ‘Audemars Piguet’ and ‘Travis Scott’.
The watch is powered by AP’s skeletonised Calibre 5135 movement which automatically takes into account the number of days in the month and correctly displays the date, even during leap years. Providing it remains wound, it will not require manual adjustment until 2100.
The watch is the latest in a series of high-profile collaborations for the brand, following on from musician and producer Mark Ronson, fashion designer Matthew Williams and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Watchmaking, to me, is the ultimate combo of engineering, fashion, tech and design,” says Travis Scott. “A harmony of precision, craftsmanship and perfect timing. I approached this collaboration similar to sampling or starting a beat, taking inspiration from the classics while introducing innovation to push them into the future. I’m beyond amped about the results, a first ever for the iconic Royal Oak.”
What could be more of a flex than performing at Lollapalooza while sporting an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak? Wearing a personalised, limited-edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for your performance at Lollapalooza. And it looks like that's exactly what Lil Yachty did this past weekend, strapping a version of the celebrity-beloved watch—reworked by the French operation MAD Paris—on his wrist for his headliner-worthy set (which actually took place a few hours before Lana Del Ray and the Red Hot Chili Peppers did their respective things on the main stages).
Want to throw another heavy-hitter name into the mix? Let's do it. MAD Paris didn't take on this project all by its own. Mathew Williams was also involved. If you need a refresher, Williams is the brains behind Givenchy as well as 1017 Alyx 9SM. This Royal Oak was customised for the latter brand and features a very clean dial that forgoes the customary tapisserie treatment in favour of a smooth, brushed finish. The clasp has also undergone a contemporary transformation, mirroring the industrial closure that Williams favours for belts, purses and various accessories.
The price to put your hands on something like the watch Mr Yachty is wearing? According to Hypebeast, the original iteration, which was produced in a series of 40, went for USD81,000—though there's no telling what kind of markup one might be looking at on the secondary market. If you ask us, that might deserve a little more main-stage time than Anthony Kiedis.