Audemars Piguet has recently unveiled a duo of fresh, self-winding Royal Oak timepieces, accompanied by two new Royal Oak Offshore models, all in collaboration with the inventive fashion visionary, Matthew Williams, and his acclaimed streetwear label, 1017 Alyx 9SM. Williams, an influential figure in the fashion domain, currently holds the creative reins at the distinguished luxury fashion house Givenchy, overseeing both men’s and women’s lines. His distinctive style is a fusion of utilitarian-goth and streetwear merged with high fashion, resulting in an aesthetic that’s both structured yet deliberately distressed. The designs encompass layered, impeccably tailored garments coupled with unconventional accessories embellished with sleek metallic accents. It’s a compelling blend of street-inspired nonconformity and edgy elegance.
Prior to his role at LVMH, Williams co-founded the Milan-based brand Alyx in 2015, alongside streetwear luminary Luca Benini, notable for his involvement with Slam Jam. Williams’ journey involves a trajectory from creative director to his founding role within Kanye West’s Donda, as well as being an original member of the New York City collective Been Trill, which included luminaries like Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston.
Williams’ reputation solidified through his skillful integration of luxurious fashion with utilitarian-inspired accessories, highlighted by his iconic rollercoaster belt—a distinctive creation that even received commissions from Kim Jones for incorporation into belts, caps, and backpacks during the Dior Men SS19 show.
A few years ago, Alyx collaborated with MAD Paris to release a limited series of 40 34mm embossed Royal Oaks under the Alyx brand. These watches harmonized with Williams’ brutalist design ethos, featuring a clean and minimalistic aesthetic. Notably, a miniature roller coaster buckle replaced the traditional folding clasp, a hallmark of Williams’ inventive approach.
Now, Alyx and Audemars Piguet have joined forces in an official partnership. The collaboration offers four distinct references available for purchase, along with a fifth piece set to be auctioned in Tokyo. The proceeds from this auction will contribute to the NGOs Kids in Motion and Right to Play.
Of the four references, two are presented in 18-carat yellow gold, while the remaining two are crafted in white gold. The collection includes two Royal Oak models (37mm and 41mm) and two Royal Oak Offshore models (both 42mm). A noteworthy aspect is that this marks the first instance where the same design has been concurrently developed for both Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore collections. Despite the shared elements of octagonal shapes and screws, Royal Oaks and Offshores typically exude distinct vibes. This simultaneous design exploration presents a distinctive perspective for both Audemars Piguet and Williams.
To ensure a visually uncluttered and pure appearance, Matthew Williams and Audemars Piguet opted for supremely minimal dials, eliminating hour markers and date apertures on the Royal Oak models. The emphasis remains on the monochromatic vertical satin-finishing.
The 37mm self-winding reference indicates hours, minutes, and seconds through luminescent yellow-gold hands, featuring both “Audemars Piguet” and “1017 ALYX 9SM” signatures—the former in gold applique and the latter transferred. The 41mm self-winding chronograph presents an innovative approach, with concealed subdials and hands at three, six, and nine o’clock. Both models are produced in limited series. The 37mm version houses Caliber 5909, offering a 60-hour power reserve, while the 41mm Royal Oak Chronograph accommodates the Caliber 4409, providing an extended 70-hour power reserve.
The two Royal Oak Offshore models echo the minimalist theme while embodying a chunkier Offshore aesthetic. The recognizable date aperture at three o’clock, characteristic of the Royal Oak Offshore collection, remains intact, positioned alongside the AP monogram. The “1017 ALYX 9SM” signature finds its place at six o’clock. The chronograph counters at six, nine, and 12 o’clock have been thoughtfully removed, leaving only the hands for enhanced simplicity. These models are accompanied by an additional black rubber strap. Both feature the Caliber 4404, inclusive of an integrated chronograph and a flyback function.
The auction centerpiece is a 41mm Royal Oak Chronograph model, boasting a two-tone case and bracelet that melds 18k yellow gold and stainless steel. Its black PVD-coated gold dial is adorned with vertical satin finishing, along with brand signatures and yellow-gold chronograph hands. The timepiece incorporates the Caliber 4409.
Each watch within this collection is fitted with a sapphire crystal caseback, revealing a specially crafted oscillating weight designed for these limited editions. Fashioned from 22k yellow or white gold, the weight features an engraving of the “1017 ALYX 9SM” signature, accompanied by indications of Newton’s millimeter and rotor weight—a nod to Matthew Williams’ technical inspirations showcased through his buckles.