Audemars Piguet & Travis Scott Introduce the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “Cactus Jack”

The rapper's "chocolate AP" in brown ceramic.

Rumours of a brown ceramic Royal Oak began circulating several months ago, and the latest launch from Audemars Piguet (AP) has proven them true. However, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” 41 mm is more than a new colour, and instead it’s a 200-piece limited edition collaboration with American Rapper Travis Scott and his streetwear label Cactus Jack.

The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “Cactus Jack” is interesting for being more than just a change of dial colour, which is usually the route taken for limited editions. While it is based on the standard model, the “Cactus Jack” gets a brown ceramic case as well as typography based on the musician’s handwriting on the dial, along with Cactus Jack’s smiley emblem for the moons.

Notably, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “Cactus Jack” is just one part of AP’s collaboration with Mr Scott. Their tie-up also includes a line of clothing, including hoodies, t-shirts, and caps, that will be available on Cactus Jack’s own retail site.

Initial thoughts

Although the “Cactus Jack” is fundamentally identical to the regular production skeleton perpetual in ceramic, it looks strikingly different because of the case.

Typically I am not a fan of brown ceramic, but here the material sets the watch apart instantly. This differentiation is a good thing since there are many, many version of the Royal Oak perpetual calendar – the non-skeleton ceramic model is already available in black, white, and blue.

One more version doesn’t really hurt, especially since it’s done well. The handwriting and smileys on the dial add a whimsical touch to an otherwise serious watch.

More broadly, the watch continues AP’s adoption of pop culture, which started over two decades ago with its first celebrity-themed limited edition (the Offshore End of Days in 1999). This seems to have accelerated recently as current chief executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias prepares to depart. Before “Cactus Jack”, the brand already released a line of Royal Oak Matthew Williams models and the Royal Oak Concept Spider-Man. Time will tell if this takes the brand to where it wants to go, but it is certainly changing the face of AP.

“The Chocolate AP”

An American rapper and producer who is also known for being the partner of socialite Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott has been pictured wearing various Royal Oaks over the years, making one of the (many) American celebrities who are AP fans. He’s one of the few, however, to get his own limited edition.

The Royal Oak “Cactus Jack” has the same dimensions as the standard model, but the case is in brown ceramic, a first for AP. The case is not matched with a ceramic bracelet, however, and instead is fitted to a textured leather strap.

The dial retains the standard perpetual calendar layout, but replaces the usual typography with a font derived from Mr Scott’s handwriting. This font is used for all of the calendar indications, while the seconds hand at nine o’clock has been replaced with the Cactus Jack emblem.

Equally whimsical is the moon phase display, which has its twin moons taking the form of the Cactus Jack smiley featuring the eyes and mouth sewn shut. All of the luminous markings on the dial glow green, except for the smileys that glow blue in the dark.

Inside is the cal. 5135, AP’s longstanding perpetual calendar movement. It’s an ultra-thin calibre with the cal. 2120/2121 as the base and a perpetual calendar module on top. This version of the movement has been skeletonised to reveal much of the mechanics, particularly on the front, where most of the calendar works are visible.

The movement is largely identical to the standard version, except for the 22k gold rotor that’s been open worked to form the Cactus Jack emblem.

The case back has been personalised by Mr Scott with “Utopia is a state of mind”, the name of his latest album

Key facts and price

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” 41 mm
Ref. 26585CM.OO.D301VE.01

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 9.9 mm
Material: Brown ceramic
Crystal: Sapphire
Water-resistance: 20 m

Movement: Cal. 5135
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and perpetual calendar
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 19,800 beats per hour (2.75 Hz)
Power reserve: 40 hours

Strap: Textured calfskin with pink gold folding clasp

Limited edition: 200 pieces
 At boutiques and AP Houses
Price: CHF178,000 (price excludes taxes)

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