John Mayer joins forces with Audemars Piguet for a dazzling Royal Oak QP John Mayer joins forces with Audemars Piguet for a dazzling Royal Oak QP

John Mayer joins forces with Audemars Piguet for a dazzling Royal Oak QP

Russell Sheldrake
  • Audemars Piguet and John Mayer collaborate to create a limited edition Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. 
  • With a brand new dial, never used by the brand before, the “Crystal Sky” is created through embossing and PVD colouring.
  • It represents the final outing for the legendary Calibre 5134, as its production will cease after this run. 

Among the glamour of the opening of the latest AP House, found in the heart of Milan, Audemars Piguet released a huge number of new watches – including a new collaboration was announced with the famed musician and collector, John Mayer. A darling of the watch community thanks to his openness and passion for the industry, Mayer seems to wield more power and influence than some brands in the space today, having all but defined the genre of celebrity collector. So to have this cultural behemoth teaming up with one of the most culturally relevant brands of the moment, it would appear to be a recipe for success.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak John Mayer Perpetual Calenar 2

The perpetual calendar of Audemars Piguet has an incredibly storied history. Conceived as a reaction to the quartz crisis, it was the outcome of a project carried out in secret, without the CEO, George Golay, knowing. The calibre 2120/2800 breathed new life into the Swiss manufacturer in 1978, as it provided the foundation for what would go on to become a legendary run of thin, automatic, perpetual calendars beloved by collectors today. This movement was then developed upon and became the calibre 5134 we see today, allowing it to fit better into a 41mm case. It is this sentiment and passion that pushed Mayer to utilise this famous movement for his own collaboration, giving it a final send-off in this limited production.

The main attraction of this watch is its unique dial. An evolution of the famed Tuscan dials that AP placed on its old perpetual calendars, this new version swaps the softer peaks formed through hand hammering for sharp facets created by electroforming a stamp that is then pressed into the blank dial. Once the precise pattern has formed, the blue colour is then applied through PVD, which is the best way to keep the crisp lines that help produce the glittering effect that gives this dial its name, the “Crystal Sky”.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak John Mayer Perpetual Calenar 5

For Mayer, it was important that this piece have a dial that he could “stare at endlessly” and the minute complexities found on this certainly give plenty of reason to pause. But to ensure clarity when actually reading it, white text is used throughout to create a strong contrast. While the brand’s previous perpetual calendars have opted to use red for the 31st date, to help it stand out from the 1 next to it, here Mayer and AP decided to keep the text colour the same, and instead stager the numerals of 31, one on top of the other. This keeps the visual harmony of the dial, without causing confusion over at the top of the date sub-dial.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak John Mayer Perpetual Calenar 1

Beyond the dial, everything else is as expected when it comes to a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. The 41mm white gold case is joined by the perfectly tapered bracelet, all exhibiting the type of finish that has defined this luxury sports watch. The display caseback shows that well-renowned calibre off brilliantly, especially given the skeletonised rotor, opening up the entire movement. The caseback is also engraved with ‘Limited Edition of 200 pieces’ so they will not be individually numbered, which I’m sure many collectors may have preferred.

There is plenty to be excited about when it comes to this new collaboration. Given the long-standing relationship that Audemars Piguet has had with music and musicians, and the passion John Mayer has for the brand, both sides have clearly poured a lot into this piece. With nods to the vintage Tuscan dials, but in a completely contemporary, and modernised way thanks to advances in technology, this is a watch that looks towards the future without forgetting about its past, as shown by the historic calibre running it.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “John Mayer” Perpetual Calendar pricing & availability

Announced at Audemars Piguet’s annual Social Club in Milan, this piece is limited to just 200 pieces. Price: CHF 150,000.

Brand Audemars Piguet
Model Royal Oak “John Mayer” Perpetual Calendar
Reference 26574BC.OO.1220BC.02
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 9.5mm (T)
Case Material 18k white gold case
Water Resistance 20 metres
Crystal Sapphire crystal and exhibition caseback
Dial Blue “Crystal Sky” with white gold applied hour markers
Strap 18k white gold bracelet
Movement Calibre 5134, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 40 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, moon phase
Availability 200 pieces
Price CHF 150,000