Audemars Piguet is making doing the right thing look very, very good.
On Thursday, the Swiss watchmaker unveiled a unique Royal Oak timepiece crafted from black ceramic that will be auctioned to benefit the One Drop Foundation, which works to provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene for vulnerable communities. Collectors will have the chance to bid on the one-off timepiece at the La Cuvee One Drop 2022 dinner in Las Vegas on November 12.
The automatic timepiece is set in a 41 mm case, like most models from the series, but its stark black bezel, case and matching bracelet are what distinguish it from the pack. Its pushers and screwed-down crown are also dressed in the dark hue. For contrast, AP gave the exclusive release a bright blue linear-brushed metallic dial with snailed chronograph registers. It’s set with blackened gold-applied hour makers that make for a sophisticated finish.
AP’s calibre 4401 flyback chronograph powers the timepiece. The self-winding movement is column-wheel operated and achieves a 70-hour power reserve. Fun fact: The Royal Oak series boasts a total of 73 self-winding watches, the largest number of all its complications (perpetual calendars and tourbillions included). With that in mind, the unique piece headed to auction is undoubtedly imbued with one of the manufacturer’s most trusted movements for frequent use.
The watch’s one-of-one status is highlighted on its titanium openwork caseback, which is engraved with the words “unique piece.” Last month, the manufacturer dropped a similar standout watch that was recently spotted on the wrist of NBA star Lebron James. The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, or Ref. 26579CS, is the first of its kind to be crafted entirely in a Smurf-like blue ceramic. Its dial is dressed in the same vibrant color and has 18-carat white gold applied hour-markers for a touch of contrast.
The black ceramic chronograph, meanwhile, is one of the top lots being offered at the live auction, which the One Drop Foundation is hosting in partnership with Cirque du Soleil, MGM Resorts and Maison Ducasse Paris. Other exceptional items being offered will include an Alain Ducasse dining experience at Versailles, a stay at Sting’s II Palagio estate in Tuscany, a signed Romero Britto artwork and more. All proceeds will go towards the foundation’s focus on ensuring sustainable access to safe water to underserved communities, both locally and abroad.
“We are proud to have participated in this auction for the fourth year and help make a positive long-term impact worldwide,” says Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias in a statement. “Access to safe water is close to our heart and complementary to the work of the Audemars Piguet Foundation.”