Audemars Piguet Collaborates with Travis Scott to Launch the AP Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar x Cactus Jack
AP and their Collaborative History
Audemars Piguet have been famed for collaborating with iconic people within the fabric of pop culture for decades. From Nick Faldo, their first ambassador who decided to work alongside AP in 1988 to legendary figures within industries such as Michael Schumacher in F1, Jay-Z in music, Serena Williams in tennis, Arnold Schwarzenegger in acting and many more pop culture icons, AP have successfully interwoven themselves into the social fabric surrounding their collaborators. On the 30th of November, AP announced another collaboration, one with Travis Scott, one of the most famous rappers in the world over the last decade or even more.
A New Direction for Travis Scott's Collaborative Efforts
Known for his collaborations with brands like Nike, Fortnite, and even McDonald's, Travis Scott's list of collaborators just got that bit more random after adding AP to the list. While his Nike sneakers, Fortnite skins and McDonald's meals were all relatively attainable, this latest collab is nearly impossible to get a hold of. Made as a limited production run of 200 pieces that will set you back a cool $201,000, this collaboration speaks to a clientele that he hasn't entirely penetrated yet. Still, nonetheless, with its unique design and impressive craftsmanship, we're sure this will be a hit.
Offered as a Royal Oak variant, the Perpetual Calendar Openworked "Cactus Jack," to be precise, the ref. 26585CM.OO.D301VE.01 boasts a 41mm x 9.9mm ceramic case in Scott's signature brown colour on a matching brown calfskin leather strap with a denim texture finish that immediately recalls Scott's predominant aesthetic within his Cactus Jack brand and recording label. Additionally, its 18kt pink folding clasp even features Scott's signature. However, the piece's dial is where most of the links to Scott's design language are revealed, as one might expect.
Of course, with its openworked dial, the intricate workings of the ref. 26585CM's skeletonised automatic perpetual calendar cal. 5135 movement is revealed with its incredible finishing, labyrinthine 3-dimensional structure and exceptional craftsmanship, all exposed and ready to be appreciated. Through the exhibition case back, we can see a Cactus Jack logo on the 22kt pink gold winding rotor, and on the brown ceramic case back itself, we can see "Utopia is a state of mind" engraved across the top of it, which is then balanced by the necessary information that is found on case backs. Measuring just 29mm x 4.5mm and packed with 374 components, the cal. 5135 is as technically astute as one can expect from any brand within watchmaking, but what little remains of the ref. 26585CM's dial is what steals the show.
Featuring the typical layout for AP's skeletonised Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar models, the ref. 26585CM features four subdials and a pronounced chapter ring, each harbouring its perpetual calendar functions. However, they all feature a twist that speaks to Scott's Cactus Jack branding. To begin with, all of the typography on the dial is in a font designed by AP's design team based on Scott's personal handwriting, which includes all of the numbers on the dial, such as those in its chapter ring for the pointer week function.
The day display at 9 o'clock features a Cactus Jack logo-shaped hand, and the moon phase at 6 o'clock features Cactus Jack smiley faces for the moons to complete the obvious pieces of Cactus Jack branding. The month at 12 o'clock and the date at 3 o'clock both just feature normal hands. Additionally, all of the functions are treated with a blue luminous material, so the watch is incredibly bright and quite legible in the dark.
A unique watch and an exciting move for both AP and Travis Scott, this collaboration speaks to the two's desire to collaborate with the most influential personalities and companies that they can, no matter the industry. Whether it is AP and their collaborations with Marvel or Scott and his collaborations with Nike, it is certainly clear that they both want to collaborate with the best of the best and create something extraordinary, which they have achieved with this unique limited-edition timepiece. While traditionalists might not be huge fans of its aesthetic, AP has always shown a blatant disregard for traditionalism, and they have reaped the rewards of that risky strategy ever since and long may it last.