Swiss Watchmaking Welcomes a New Era
Today marks a new chapter for the Swiss watch industry. A collaboration between 32-year-old Houston-born rapper Travis Scott, his record label Cactus Jack, and watch industry giant Audemars Piguet.
The new chocolate brown Royal Oak perpetual calendar “Cactus Jack” LE is limited to 200 pieces and will set you back around $201,000. But this is a day for the culture. Travis Scott is the man who has been collaborating with Nike, McDonalds (!), Helmut Lang, and Dior. Know him for his music or not. In terms of visibility, he is, along with Drake, the most ubiquitous rapper of his generation.
Today, he and AP are launching a watch with his label’s logo on the dial. Though the watch itself is not a massive departure – it’s a remix done the right way – it will attract a whole new set of eyes to the watch space. The 41mm QP features white gold hexagonal screws as well as a sapphire dial revealing the openworked Calibre 5135, which combines rhodium-toned components with pink-gold hues.
- The typography of the calendar and week indications are based on Travis Scott’s hand-drawn model.
- The hand of the day subdial takes on the shape of the brand’s logo.
- But the most visible nod is the design of the moonphase at six o’clock. The usual representation of Earth’s natural satellite has been replaced by Cactus Jack’s emblematic smiley face with its mouth sewn shut, whose luminescent coating glows blue in the dark.
- In contrast, the other calendar indications, with the exception of the week indication, are endowed with a luminescent material that turns green at night for a unique luminous effect.
A new textured calfskin leather strap makes its debut for the occasion, a first for this complication, while the pink gold folding clasp is engraved with the double signatures of Audemars Piguet and Travis Scott.
For the occasion, the two brands also worked on a collection of clothing and accessories, including hoodies, T-shirts, jackets, pajamas, shorts, and caps, among others, sold exclusively online via shop.travisscott.com.
A part of the profits from the sale of this collection will be donated to a charity project or cause of Travis Scott’s choice.
The Changing of the Guard
AP CEO Francois Bennahmias is the man responsible for bringing hip-hop and haute horology together back in the early 2000s with the official Jay-Z collaboration Offshore in 2005. Let it be known that watches aren’t new to the rap world, but Swiss watch brands are working directly with rappers. Well, that’s a whole different kind of intersection. It seems only fitting that this be FHB’s final hurrah before the leadership change that becomes effective January 1st.
AP cannot be faulted for welcoming hip-hop into the Swiss fold. It’s something I respect them for. They took a chance. And though, at times, it can feel like brands piggyback on the success and reach of these artists, I truly hope that FHB’s departure doesn’t see a drop in the attempt at branching out into new demographics. François, you will be missed!
The Basics Brand: Audemars Piguet
Model: Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” Limited Edition
Reference Number: 26585CM.OO.D301VE.01
Case Material: Ceramic
Dial Color: Skeleton
Water Resistance: 20m
Strap/Bracelet: Brown calfskin leather strap with textured jeans effect, pink gold folding clasp engraved with the double “Audemars Piguet” and “Travis Scott” signatures
Caliber: Calibre 5135
Functions: Perpetual calendar with week indication, day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year, hours and minutes. Diameter: 29mm
Power Reserve: 40 hours
Winding: Self winding
Frequency: 2.75 Hz
Pricing & Availability
Cactus Jack Watch AP
Availability: AP boutiques
Limited Edition: 200