Among Switzerland’s elite haute horlogerie brands, Audemars Piguet often stands out for doing things differently and often connects watchmaking to a broader culture. As seen with the Royal Oak, now iconic but totally disruptive when it was created in 1972, the brand has always been a beacon of innovation and creativity that dares to break new ground. In this respect, Audemars Piguet continuously looks beyond traditional watchmaking for inspiration, notably in the realms of pop culture, which offers a unique opportunity to connect the brand to modernity. In 2021, AP entered into a partnership with Marvel Entertainment, unveiling the Royal Oak Concept Black Panther. It is now the turn of one of the most popular superheroes of Marvel to weave his web into a Royal Oak. The second chapter in the Marvel x Audemars Piguet saga is this new Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man.
Created in the early 1960s by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man is one of the most popular Marvel superheroes, to the point of being part of the collective imagination. Peter Parker, the young man bitten by a radioactive spider, is a superhero not quite like the others. His success is undoubtedly due to the special ingredient present in all fictional stories: our ability to identify with the character. The popularity of Spider-Man among audiences is largely due to the personality of Peter Parker. An orphan raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, he is a teenager in the process of finding his identity, he is often lonely, full of uncertainties, and confronted with problems common to all of us…
Following the principles of its first collaboration with Marvel, Audemars Piguet chose the Royal Oak Concept for this Spider-Man edition. Since 2002, the ROC collection has been a platform of experimentation for Audemars Piguet, blending innovative technical solutions with avant-garde design and innovative materials.
Distinctive and futuristic, the edgy case is 42mm in diameter. It is made from grade 5 titanium with polished and micro-blasted finishes on the top and bottom, while the sides are satin-finished. The black ceramic octagonal bezel and screw-down crown bring striking contrast and reinforce the technical look.
One of the highlights of the Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man is its hand-wound openworked tourbillon calibre 2974, based on the calibre 2948 used in the Code 11.59 collection. The magic here is that Spider-Man really seems to be suspended within the watch. From a technical perspective, the challenge is to create this aerial structure, removing material while keeping enough rigidity to prevent any weakness while achieving this striking design. The architecture of the movement is built around the symmetry between the barrel at 12 o’clock and the tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The one-minute tourbillon beats at 21,600 vibrations/hour, and the power reserve is rated for 80 hours. As you come to expect from Audemars Piguet, the finishes are top-notch, with black-polished surfaces and several inward or outward angles.
Spider-Man is rendered in a strikingly realistic way. Altogether, some 50 hours of work are required to create each piece. The silhouette of the superhero is first machined from a block of white gold. His suit is then textured with laser engraving. Touch-ups and engraving-related finishings are meticulously done by hand by a single artisan before being hand-painted, making each piece unique. The result is quite striking from the two sides of the watch. The feet of Spider-Man seen from the back are a nice detail.
The Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man comes with a black and grey rubber strap, as well as a spare black and red rubber strap. The interchangeable strap system introduced in the ROC in 2023 allows you to swap your strap in seconds without tools. The watch is secured to the wrist by a titanium folding buckle.
The Marvel x Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man is released in a limited series of 250 pieces. The price is set at CHF 195,000. Last but not least, as stated by the Spider-Man adage: With great powers come great responsibility… Just like the Black Panther edition, a one-off version of this watch has also been created to raise funds for two charities, First Book and Ashoka. It features the black version of the Super Hero, Spider-Man Noir. Alongside other auctioned lots, Audemars Piguet raised $8.5 million to support these educational programmes.
For more information, please visit www.audemarspiguet.com.