American designer and founder of 1017 ALYX 9SM, Matthew Williams, is interested in art localized in the fringes of human understanding. Williams operates where the intangible grazes the tangible, where the world of the unknown congeals just to the point of perceptibility. His work can be seen where sound is wrangled into music; where beauty manifests in fabric; where time allows itself to become quantifiable. Audemars Piguet, Swiss brand founded in the late 1800s, hovers in the same luxury space– the brand’s uncompromising craftsmanship and ancestral knowledge of temporal artifacts has yielded quality timepieces for tens of generations. As such, the collaboration between Williams and the Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer is of a particularly important note. The collaboration by the titans of each of their respective industries contains four new Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore references. Emerging out of the hazy intersection between epochal design codes and fashion ingenuity, the collaboration marries quality manufacturing with disruptive innovation.
In addition to the four models sold in Audemars Piguet boutiques, the two created a unique 41mm Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph model– a two tone case and bracelet that combines 18-carat yellow gold and stainless steel with vertical satin finishing, powered by the Calibre 4409. The Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph model was recently auctioned in Tokyo for $1 million dollars, the proceeds of which went to play-based learning initiatives for disadvantaged children (largely towards the NGOs, Kids in Motion and Right to Play).
The collaboration between the two marks an unprecedented artistic and philanthropic feat, one which highlights the forward-thinking ethos of the Audemars Piguet brand as well as underscores Matthew Williams’ commitment to quality.