Audemars Piguet's New Marvel-ous Creation: The Royal Oak Concept Spider-Man Tourbillon

It feels like a lifetime has passed since 2021. In that year's April, under the ingenious leadership of Francois Bennahmias, Audemars Piguet presented a magnificent Royal Oak Concept tourbillon that featured a miniature Black Panther figure at the heart of its dial, alluding to the remarkable design details spread across the case.

Black Panther
I might have understated the timepiece's description, given the mixed reactions it triggered in the horology community. I empathized with the watch aficionados who were taken aback, but I felt that they overlooked the essence of the timepiece and the imminent conclusion of Bennahmias's influential tenure.
Introducing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man. The Black Panther Concept Tourbillon was a symbolic blend of a culturally significant icon and cutting-edge watchmaking skills. The outcome was a meticulous hand-carved sculpture best experienced first-hand.

AP Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man
Having been privileged to spend time with the watch, I was deeply impressed by its craftsmanship rather than finding it distasteful. It made a cultural splash, attracting celebrities such as Kevin Hart and NBA stars Draymond Green and Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Royal Oak Concept Spider-Man Tourbillon by Audemars Piguet is the latest in a line of collaborations with Marvel. This watch continues the design direction established by the previous launch and is limited to 250 pieces, priced at CHF 195,000.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man

Audemars Piguet Spider-Man
The base model retains its place in the Concept collection, boasting an ideal 42mm size. It features a chapter ring style minute display and a tourbillon.

Spider-Man AP

Sp-Man AP
The dial hosts alternating black PVD-coated gold hour markers and Arabic numerals, covered by hands made of the same material. The hands and numerals glow white, turning blue in the dark, subtly hinting at Spider-Man's world. Center stage is a three-dimensional Spider-Man figure in mid-swing.

Spider-Man APiguet

APiguet Spider-Man
Unlike the Black Panther design's inspiration from the Vibranium-laden mines of Wakanda, this piece goes for a more web-like aesthetic. The dial seems to be partially skeletonized, giving it a "web dial" appearance. Unlike the full purple strap of the Black Panther, the Spider-Man version opts for black with red highlights. For the first time in the Concept series, AP introduces an interchangeable strap system, offering a black and red strap in addition to the black and gray one. Both come with a titanium buckle.
The titanium case flaunts a mix of polished and blasted finishes, sans additional engravings from the previous model. The case is titanium, while the bezel is black ceramic. At the heart of the dial, Peter Parker himself can be seen swinging through Manhattan, with one hand out of frame, presumably holding onto some webs, while the other reaches out as if it's about to shoot more webs.

Audemars Pig Spider-Man.jpg
This depiction of Spider-Man isn't from any film adaptation but directly inspired by the comic book pages. AP's collaborations with Marvel have always focused on comic characters rather than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Excuse my lack of knowledge regarding the specific artist behind this inspiration, but I must commend the watch's designers for the sculpture's dynamism, creating a sense of movement in a static image. Also, Parker's rear narrowly escapes the tourbillon, adding an element of suspense.
Inside the watch, the Manufacture Calibre 2974 operates, a new movement based on the caliber 2948, representing a change from the Black Panther's 2965 caliber. The AP team managed to trim the movement down to only the essential parts needed to make Spider-Man the star of the show, creating the illusion of Spider-Man emerging from a black void, swinging around the tourbillon. According to AP, "The superhero's figure and volume are initially carved from a block of white gold using a CNC machine. The superhero's suit then undergoes laser engraving to achieve textural contrast, giving it a fabric-like appearance."
Post this phase, additional detailing and finishings related to the engraving are done manually by a single craftsman. The painting is also a manually executed step, totalling to a 50-hour process.
Utilizing the same base case as the predecessor was a wise decision. One point of agreement from the last release was the ideal form of the 42mm case. There's already plenty of experimentation with a timepiece like this. So if there's something that works well, why change it? Rather, AP and their team chose to keep it as a relatively blank canvas, allowing the Spider-Man sculpture to be the center of attention.
I haven't had the opportunity to see this watch in person yet, but if it's anything like the Black Panther, the pictures you see here don't do it justice.
This collaboration, which combines comic books and luxury watchmaking, might seem absurd in some ways, but it can also be seen as audacious. Given its limited quantity, it's bound to become a collector's item, just like its predecessor.
In addition to this, AP will auction a unique variation of this watch to support the First Book and Ashoka associations, similar to what they did with the Black Panther watch. The Black Panther unique piece sold for $5,200,000, so we're eagerly awaiting to see the auction price for this one.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Spider-Man Tourbillon: 42mm titanium case; black ceramic bezel and crown, sapphire crystal and caseback, water-resistant up to 50m; dial with 3D hand-painted and hand-sculpted Spider-Man figure, white-gold hour markers with black PVD coating, black inner bezel, white-gold Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating; hand-wound Manufacture Calibre 2974 with a frequency of 3 Hz and 72 hours of power reserve; tourbillon, hours, and minutes; price: CHF 195,000.

APiguet Spider-Man

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