Just two days ago, Audemars Piguet dropped another massive collaboration with Marvel by unveiling the Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Spider-Man”. This is the second part of the collaboration between these two giants, a partnership that started in 2021 with the introduction of the “Black Panther” timepiece. This latest watch brings together boundless creativity in its complications as it combines experience and expertise with futuristic technology.
This Spider-Man edition highlights Audemars Piguet’s desire to forge links with different cultural universes by seeking inspiration from beyond the world of Haute Horlogerie and referencing the world of pop culture. The Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Spider-Man” is a limited edition model with only 250 models being made. A unique version of this timepiece will be auctioned off to aid the First Book and Ashoka associations, a non-profit organisation that works to empower young people to create change and a positive impact.
The Super Hero pop culture phenomenon, Spider-Man, brings together a large community of fans around the world. Over the years, this Super Hero has appeared in comics, video games, consumer products, and a host of movies that people all around the world love. Now after more than sixty years since Spider-Man’s debut, Audemars Piguet and Marvel have come together to pay tribute to this amazing icon.
Paul Gitter, Executive Vice President, Global Brand Commercialization, Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, states that “We’re thrilled to share our newest collaboration with Audemars Piguet and celebrate a collection of timepieces featuring cultural icon, Spider-Man. This collaboration showcases the evergreen appeal and global impact of the SpiderMan character while also benefitting two incredible non-profit organizations helping to further empower today’s youth.”
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Spider-Man” is presented in a 42mm titanium case which is contrasted nicely with a black ceramic bezel and crown. The watch is made with refined decorations which are faithful to the design codes of Audemars Piguet. The case itself alternates from polished to micro-blasted finishes on the top, while the sides are satin-finished.
The Manufacturer has darkened the dial to aid in not only contrasting the movement but also the silhouette of Spider-Man. The dial is made up of alternating black PVD-coated gold hour markers and Arabic numerals. The hour and minute hands are designed in the same material as the hour indices. Both the hour indices and hands have SuperlumiNova that turns blue in the dark, a reference to the world of Spider-Man.
Spider-Man’s silhouette is a masterful creation. The main architecture of the movement has been reduced to a bare minimum so that while also achieving transparency through the open-worked dial, Spider-Man’s character can appear to be a three-dimensional form that’s suspended in the void.
A reference to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 can almost be seen on the dial of this timepiece. The clocktower scene where Andrew Garfield (Spider-Man) is trying to rescue Gwen with the gears and mechanisms of the clock tower falling behind the Superhero is almost like what’s shown on this dial!
Audemars Piguet explains that to create Spider-Man for the dial, “The silhouette and volume of the character are first cut from a block of white gold using a CNC machine. The Super Hero’s suit is then laser-engraved to obtain the differences in texture that give it its textile appearance. This operation requires complex machine programming and many tests to obtain the desired result. After this step, touch-ups and engraving-related finishings are meticulously done by hand by a single artisan, making each piece unique. The character is ultimately hand-painted to give him his recognizable two-tone aesthetic, contrasting mat red and metallic blue. Extending across the entire thickness of the watch, the Super Hero alone requires no less than 50 hours of work, pushing the limits of the craftsmanship of the artisans in Le Brassus.”
While the red and blue suit Spider-Man has a run of 250 models, a special one-of-a-kind piece called the Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Black Suit Spider-Man” is also being presented. A reference to the “venom-infused Spider-Man” or “Dark Spider-Man”. this unique timepiece gets a white gold case that’s decorated with a spider leg motif. The case is the first laser engraved with the spider’s legs, and then filled with luminescent hybrid ceramic. The case is then polished and finely engraved to form a spider’s web in the background. It comes with a contrasting black ceramic bezel. The Spider-Man silhouette is done in all black.
The movement used by Audemars Piguet for this latest creation is the Calibre 2974. This new hand-wound caliber movement was based on the brand’s Calibre 2948 movement and required all the expertise of Audemars Piguet’s engineers, designers, watchmaker, and craftspeople so that the movement can be adjusted to fit the silhouette of the Super Hero and inevitably help the timepiece see the light of day. The movement itself operates at a frequency of 3hz (21, 600 VpH) and can produce a power reserve of 72 hours.
Audemars Piguet has also for the first time equipped their interchangeable strap system on the 42mm Royal Oak Concept case. As standard, the Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon “Spider-Man” comes with a black and grey rubber strap, however, a second black and red rubber strap is also offered, which nicely matches the attire of the Super Hero. The one-off “Black Suit Spider-Man” timepiece gets a black rubber and velvet strap with a second choice of black calfskin leather strap with a textile effect.
Chief Executive Officer Audemars Piguet, François-Henry Bennahmias shares his thoughts on this latest collaboration as he states “For this second collaboration with Marvel, we want to pay tribute to Spider-Man, one of the most popular Super Heroes in the Marvel universe, who is aware that with great power comes great responsibility. And, to mark the occasion, we are pleased to reiterate our commitment to First Book and Ashoka’s work to empower young people to become agents of change; they are our real-life heroes.”
This latest unveiling will certainly be talked about in the world of Horology, just as the first “Black Panther Edition” was. In all fairness, we love the design and the level of detail shown on the Super Hero. Who knows, we might even see an Iron Man or Hulk next.
- Case: 42mm
- Case Material: Titanium case, black ceramic bezel, and screw-down crown,
- Dial: Openworked movement, 3D Spider-Man character in hand-painted gold, gold hour-markers and hands with luminescent coating.
- Crystal: Glare-proofed sapphire crystal and case back
- Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
- Movement: Hand-wound Calibre 2974
- Power reserve: 72 h
- Strap: Black and grey rubber strap with interchangeable system and AP folding clasp. Additional black and red rubber strap.