Audemars Piguet`s collab with Matthew Williams, founder of 1017 ALYX 9SM
Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet announces a new collaboration with American designer Matthew Williams, founder of the brand 1017 ALYX 9SM. To mark the occasion, four new Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore references and a Royal Oak unique piece are being launched simultaneously. The timepieces combine the recognisable aesthetic codes of the Manufacture with the designer’s refined touch. The two brands have designed this resolutely modern collection together to appeal to fashion lovers and allow them to express their individuality.
This unprecedented collaboration is the last example to date celebrating the strong ties that the Manufacture has forged with different creative worlds, such as fashion. The Chicago-born designer likes to play with materials that are high quality, innovative and highly technical to develop surprising and disruptive creations. The two brands share this avant-garde spirit, as well as a passion for details and the mastery of their craft. In addition, they both adhere to a holistic sustainable approach.
For this collaboration, the Manufacture and the designer have developed a collection with a minimalist aesthetic composed of several references ranging from 37 to 42 mm. Adaptable to all wrist types, these sober timepieces let the owner’s personality shine through and constitute a bridge between the worlds of fashion and Haute Horlogerie.
The four references come in 18-carat yellow or white gold and are comprised of two Royal Oak models and two Royal Oak Offshore models of different diameters. This is the first time that the same design has been developed for both collections simultaneously. In an effort to make the aesthetics as clean and pure as possible, Matthew Williams and Audemars Piguet have reduced the dials to their simplest form, removing the hour-markers and the date aperture on the Royal Oak models to highlight the elegant vertical satin-finishing decorating the gold dials. The result is timeless monochrome timepieces that blend refined aesthetics with advanced watchmaking techniques.
The two Royal Oak models are crafted entirely in 18-carat yellow gold. The first is a 37 mm selfwinding reference indicating the hours, minutes and seconds, which is ideal for smaller wrists. The minimalist dial comes with luminescent yellow-gold hands and the signatures “Audemars Piguet” and “1017 ALYX 9SM”, the former in a gold applique and the latter is transferred. The second model is a selfwinding chronograph measuring 41 mm in diameter, which pushes the minimalism of the dial to the limit, going so far as to eliminate the chronograph counters, leaving only the hands to rotate at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. These two Royal Oak references are produced in limited series.
The two Royal Oak Offshore models follow the same theme, dispensing with the information usually present on the dial and keeping only the bare minimum. Only the date aperture, which is emblematic of the Royal Oak Offshore collection, remains at 3 o’clock, next to the AP monogram. The 1017 ALYX 9SM signature is for its part located at 6 o’clock. The chronograph counters at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock have also been removed, leaving only the hands – a first for a chronograph. These 42 mm limited editions are available in a choice of 18-carat white or yellow gold, giving them a style that is both sober and dazzling. Equipped with the Manufacture’s interchangeable strap system, these models are accompanied by an additional strap in black rubber for an intense contrast.
These four references also feature the refined hand finishes emblematic of the Manufacture, alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces that provide infinite plays on the light. The caseback is engraved with the words “Limited Edition”.
The Royal Oak Selfwinding, Selfwinding Chronograph and Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph references are powered by different latest-generation movements.
The 37 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding model house the Calibre 5909, introduced in 2022. This movement, which is only 4 mm thick, beats at a frequency of 4 Hz and has a power reserve of 60 hours.
The 41 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph is powered by the latest selfwinding chronograph movement with the integrated chronograph Calibre 4409. Designed without a date indication, this selfwinding movement is equipped with a column wheel and a flyback function that allows the chronograph to be restarted instantly without having to stop or reset it first. It also has a vertical clutch that prevents the hands from jumping when the chronograph is started or stopped. A patented reset mechanism ensures that each counter hand instantly returns to its original position. Beating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,000 vibrations per hour), it has a power reserve of 70 hours.
Finally, the two Royal Oak Offshore models are equipped with the Calibre 4404, which comes with an integrated chronograph and a flyback function. This movement has the same features as the Calibre 4409 but is slightly thicker, which works perfectly with the Royal Oak Offshore’s large case.
Each model is fitted with a sapphire crystal caseback that opens onto the oscillating weight that has been specially developed for these limited editions. Made of 22-carat yellow or white gold, it features an engraving of the 1017 ALYX 9SM signature as well as the indication of Newton’s millimeter and rotor weight, a nod to the technical references indicated by Matthew Williams on his buckles. The wearer can also admire the refined decorations including Côtes de Genève, circular graining, sunray and satin finishing as well as polished bevels.
In addition to these four models sold in Audemars Piguet boutiques, the designer and the Manufacture have created a unique Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph piece. This 41 mm model has a two-tone case and bracelet, combining 18-carat yellow gold and stainless steel. This marriage of materials is contrasted with a black PVD-coated gold dial decorated with vertical satin-finishing. The dial also includes the signatures of both brands as well as yellow-gold chronograph hands. The three central hands in yellow gold that are enhanced with luminescent coating for optimal readability in the dark complete the design. Powered by the Calibre 4409, this timepiece combines state-of-the-art technology with a contemporary aesthetic.
The auction of this unique piece will take place during the launch party of the collaboration between Audemars Piguet and 1017 ALYX 9SM on August 24 in Tokyo. The funds raised will be donated to projects aimed at supporting play-based learning initiatives in favour of disadvantaged children, notably through the actions of the NGOs Kids in Motion and Right to Play. Kids in Motion supports a specific project in Lamu, Kenya, which allows the local population to strengthen its infrastructure and support the activities of its community within the school. Right to Play uses play to reveal the potential of each child. The choice of supporting play-based learning projects was made following the recommendations of the Audemars Piguet Foundations and Matthew Williams, who has been supporting actions in favour of disadvantaged children for many years.