Crime or sublime: Tinie Tempah picks up his customised Audemars Piguet Royal OakZach Blass
As we’ve touched upon when reporting on Cardi B and J Balvin, “buss-down” watches are a huge trend outside of the niche collecting community. Trained collectors stay away from the practice, recognising that a factory original watch is considered a more pure aesthetic and that customising a watch can (at times) be a bad choice in terms of protecting your investment in the timepiece. That being said, the individuals who engage in the practice generally do not have to worry about the secondhand value of their watch, presumably seeing it less as an object to preserve and more a canvas to express their personality. Watch customisation does not necessarily involve a “buss-down” overhaul, we have seen modifiers like George Bamford of Bamford Watch Department attract celebrities and Rolex owners with their ability to further personalise a mass-produced watch. In fact, Bamford’s aftermarket creations are of such high quality that LVMH even enlisted George to customise their watches for official limited-edition releases. So while some collectors may find it blasphemous, many see an opportunity to own something different – even potentially unique. And Tinie Tempah enlisted A Jewellers to do just that with his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
The watch appears to be a three handed Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in rose gold, set with diamonds all throughout the case and bracelet. Even the dial has been almost entirely covered in diamonds (aside from the hands, date window, and hour markers).
A Jewellers explains that the watch bezel and dial incorporate Burmese Rubies. The hour markers have been transformed into Burmese ruby baguettes and the bezel is set with a “double row chandelier ruby baguette” set. The blood-like colour catches the light quite well, and the watch will inevitably grab the attention of those around Tinie Tempah at events and awards shows.
A Jewellers claims Tinie Tempah’s customised watch is a one-of-one creation that has never been done before, and if that is true I can see why Tinie would want such a timepiece. Within the music scene it can be, at times, about flash, flair, and flexing. Being able to say you have something nobody else has is a serious flex, and I would imagine quite a costly one at that.
Objectively speaking, in the realm of aftermarket gem set projects I actually think this was a design well done. To an extent, I could see Audemars Piguet producing a version of this watch in limited quantities for their more extravagant buyers. The Burmese Ruby bezel appears to be very well crafted and maintains the iconic octagonal lines.
As you can see from the look on his face, Tinie Tempah was very pleased with the final result and expressed it was “worth every pound and every minute [waiting for the watch]”. Tempah also spoke about how he would definitely like to come back to A Jewellers again to customize another watch. To check out the full video of Tinie Tempah picking up the watch, we have embedded the original Instagram post where Tempah boasts his one of one creation. Let us know whether you think this unique AP Royal Oak is a crime or sublime.
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