In March, Audemars Piguet – the brand behind the beloved Royal Oak and collaborations with LeBron James and Jay-Z – teased a collaboration with Marvel. Now, we know the first piece in what will be an ongoing partnership is a Black Panther-themed timepiece that puts a full figurine of the superhero front and centre.
Was this a worthy collaboration? Apparently yes: a one-of-one (piece unique, in watch parlance) version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon timepiece in white gold sold for $5.2 million in a weekend event hosted by Kevin Hart with big names like Lebron James, Anthony Joshua and Serena Williams in attendance.
If you do not have a cool $5.2 million to splurge on a timepiece that features your favourite Marvel comic character (or someone else’s if you’re considering getting a piece for a superfan), don’t despair! Audemars is releasing 250 pieces of the standard version featuring a titanium case and ceramic bezel in place of white gold at $162,000 apiece. A representative for the brand says there is “VERY limited availability at this point,” so hopefully you have super speed to make it to your local AP boutique.
The partnership with Marvel suggests that Audemars Piguet thinks yet another type of watch collector is emerging. Most watch brands hew closely to tradition and focus on technical details, but this watch is for a much more modern collector—one who appreciates summer blockbusters as much as tourbillons. There is a small bit of evidence that AP’s bet will pay off: a watch Robert Downey, Jr. wore as Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame sold for $312,000 at auction just a couple of years ago.
And no, before you ask, that big Black Panther figurine sitting pretty (or bent over ready) on the dial isn’t some child’s toy. The carefully crafted piece is made out of white gold, hand-engraved, and then painted by hand. All in all, it takes 30 hours of work to bring the character to life with a total of eight people recreating the figure in all 250 available pieces.
To get your hands on this collector and ‘fan-atic’ timepiece, visit any Audemars Piguet boutique or do what we all do today: pay the Swiss luxury watch brand a virtual visit here.