This hour-long Watch & Chill video about the Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 starring Eric Ku is essential viewingAndrew McUtchen
There are certain projects that draw you in from the minute they commence. When Michael Friedman, the Head of Complications at Audemars Piguet, and his team floated the idea of a round table on Zoom with collector and watch dealer Eric Ku on the subject of a watch I find insanely compelling – the [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph – it took me no time at all to jump. Hell yes, we were in.
But before you jump in, may I offer a serving suggestion? Clear your diary for the next hour (and four minutes). Sit somewhere comfortable. Don’t grab a drink, grab the ingredients of your drink, too. The ice, the lot. Because this is as close to Joe Rogan, or a podcast, as we’ve ever gone. It’s all about the incidental conversation as much as it is about the key points. However you consume it, do so as responsibly or as irresponsibly as you like, and enjoy it as much as we did making it.
These are the elements I found most unusual, and downright spicy, about the prospect:
- It would be a long-form project. No time limits. No stage-managed script. Limited editing. “Andrew, we want to tell the story of this watch. How it came to exist. The road it travelled. The people that were a part of it. It’s a long road, and we don’t mind if this ends up a long-form video,” was the gist of the brief from Kyle Wilding and his team at Audemars Piguet. So, over an hour of footage later, there you have it. In true Watch & Chill style, this goes deep into the paint. Just like our first video, which aimed to set the tone for this, our now most cherished channel.
- The [Re]master01 is flat out one of the most noteworthy releases of the year. We’re going to do a Fantasy Watch Collection, 2020 version in the coming weeks. Spoiler alert, this one is front and centre in mine. And I like to actually hunt down what I dream about, so will it stay a fantasy? I expect not. Because, in my opinion, it should be recognised as a singular concept and release. And it should be celebrated, dare I say it, excavated as such. We should not just dig, but then brush off the dust-caked bones. Lay out the spine in formation. In an endless cycle of new watches, and just as many reissues and vintage homages, it stands completely apart as a different beast altogether. The clue is in the name. Remaster. A classic album, remastered for 2020. And for me the excitement is equivalent to listening to a crystal clear remaster of Quadrophenia by The Who, one of many bands Michael and I jointly fanboy pretty hard about.
- The different perspectives captured by involving a collector, a creator and an end consumer in a discussion about a watch that clearly benefited from a collaborative process. For example, it was Eric himself that nixed the idea of a date window on the watch. You’ll have to watch for that, and other revelations. Audemars Piguet is fast building a name for being a brand that works meaningfully (and I say that, because you’ll see their fact-finding extends way beyond a tokenistic tête-à-tête).
The ultimate test, though, is the result: is it compelling? Well, the other day I tried it out. I played the hour-plus video all the way through at the beach, watching my girls splash in the waves. Even though I was actually there for the session (and have worked with our team on finding B-roll for seemingly weeks since), it drew me right back in and time melted away. Michael and Eric, the energy in the ‘room’. I hope it has the same effect for you.