For decades, brands have strategically leveraged collaborations with influential figures to tap into new audiences. Audemars Piguet, a brand well-versed in this approach, has effectively employed it for years. Regardless of personal opinions on the matter, as a watch enthusiast, I cannot deny its success. While I may not be deeply familiar with the musical endeavors of hip-hop artist Travis Scott, I’ve encountered his brand, Cactus Jack, primarily through its association with Air Jordan sneakers—an interest of mine that deserves its own discussion.
The “Perpetual Calendar timepieces” hold a special place in Audemars Piguet’s identity, with the manufacturer achieving a significant horological milestone in the late 1970s. They introduced the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch, measuring an extraordinary 3.95mm in thickness. In 2015, AP unveiled the Royal Oak QP, measuring 41mm and retaining a remarkable thinness. Since then, the brand has continued to release variations in various metals and ceramics.
The latest addition is a limited edition of the Royal Oak model in brown ceramic—a signature colour for Cactus Jack. Affectionately referred to as the “Chocolate AP” by Travis Scott, it boasts white gold hexagonal screws and a sapphire dial, offering a glimpse into the openworked architecture of Calibre 5135. The movement combines rhodium-toned and pink-gold-toned components, subtly echoing the thin circle surrounding the day, month, and date subdials at 9, 12, and 3 o’clock, respectively. Transparency in the subdials reveals part of the movement, while the hands and hour-markers glow in the dark, adding a unique touch to the timepiece.
To honour the collaboration with Cactus Jack, design elements echo the brand’s graphics. The Audemars Piguet Design team meticulously crafted the typography of the calendar and week indications based on Travis Scott’s hand-drawn model. Notably, the moon phase at 6 o’clock replaces the conventional representation with Cactus Jack’s iconic smiley face, luminescent and glowing blue in the dark. Additionally, the calendar indications, except for the week indication, feature a luminescent material turning green at night for a distinctive luminous effect.
Secured to the wrist by a textured calfskin leather strap making its debut, the Chocolate brown AP QP includes a pink gold folding clasp engraved with the signatures of “Audemars Piguet” and “Travis Scott.” Turning the watch over reveals a caseback engraved with “Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar,” “Limited Edition of 200 Pieces,” and “Utopia is a state of mind”—a reference to Travis Scott’s latest album. This inscription also appears on one of the strap’s mobile loops.
Brands meticulously select their collaboration partners, and a partnership with Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack brand suggests careful consideration. While I typically don’t gravitate towards celebrity-inspired watches, I must admit that this collaboration stands out. The choice of a brown ceramic case aligns seamlessly with the aesthetics of the Cactus Jack brand. Undoubtedly, there will be those who strongly dislike such collaborations, expressing disdain for both the design and color scheme of the watch. Nevertheless, setting aside differing opinions, the watch itself exudes a distinct and appealing style.
The new Royal Oak Openworked Perpetual Calendar Cactus Jack, as mentioned is limited to 200 pieces and is priced at approx. £200,000. For more information, visit audemarspiguet.com.