Sun, Mar 10, 2024

Luxury Goods, Jewellery & Watches
AP offers Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 'John Mayer' edition

Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet has teamed up with American singer, guitarist, watch collector and longstanding friend of the brand John Mayer to design the last iteration of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar equipped with the manufacture’s selfwinding Calibre 5134.

For the occasion, Mayer has applied his sensibilities to create a distinctive timepiece, limited to 200 pieces, that combines the aesthetic power of the Royal Oak with the refinement and astronomical roots of the perpetual calendar. The result is a timelessly elegant watch in 18-carat white gold, enhanced by a deep blue dial where every detail speaks in unison to create a landscape evocative of a crystal sky.

The creative vision of Mayer, a seven-time Grammy Award-winning artist, has led to the creation of micro-mechanical wonders blending technical complexity with distinctive designs. He has lent his collector’s eye and his taste for precision and aesthetic beauty to the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar.

He proposed a highly contemporary design that seamlessly evokes the timelessness and refinement at the heart of the perpetual calendar, while bringing the instantly recognisable aesthetic codes of the Royal Oak to the fore. With its cosmic air, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “John Mayer” Limited Edition puts Calibre 5134 in the history books, while opening up new aesthetic horizons for the Royal Oak collection as a whole.

John Mayer worked hand in hand with the AP teams to design a picturesque “Crystal Sky” dial, whose texture and vastness lend depth to a complication that has shaped the world of Audemars Piguet since its beginnings. Each detail harmoniously combines to give the timepiece a sense of infinity.

The brass dial plate is finished with a new scintillating pattern developed by Audemars Piguet’s artisans to give life to Mayer’s vision.

The embossed motif is composed of irregular shapes resembling crystals, whose sharp angles and facets add relief and brilliance to the piece. To achieve this level of detail and complexity, the stamping die was created atom by atom, through a metal deposition process known as electroforming.

For this limited edition, the new motif has been created in a deep blue shade using Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD), a technique that preserves and enhances the depth of the pattern, while maximising the play of light. The textured dial is complemented by subdials in a matching blue PVD colour that display the day at 9 o’clock, the month and leap year at 12 o’clock and the date at 3 o’clock.

To provide visual contrast, the calendar indications are printed in white on the blue outer zones of the subdials, while the weeks appear in white on the dial’s blue outer ring. Similarly, the 18-carat white gold hour-markers and hands stand out against the blue background, their luminescent material making them even more visible in dim light.

To enhance legibility and aesthetic harmony, Mayer has brought subtle modifications to the perpetual calendar display that only become apparent on closer inspection. While the number “31” of the date subdial is usually red on modern Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar models, it is now printed in white. Also, the two numerals of the “31” are now smaller in size and slightly stepped to distinguish them from the adjacent “1”. In addition, John Mayer chose a light blue colour for the week indicator that “could fall back into the dial when simply reading the time but easily be found when looking to read the week complication,” as he explains.

The laser-microstructured moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock, which is set against an aventurine background, completes the dial’s overall design. For the first time, the “Swiss Made” inscription is printed in white at the bottom of the moon phase subdial rather than on the dial’s outer edge at 6 o’clock – another subtle visual distinction only noticeable on closer look.

The refined dial is framed in 18-carat white gold, a precious material prized by collectors. The case and bracelet are both meticulously finished with the manufacture’s alternation of satin brushing and polished chamfers. The polished bevels on the bezel and bracelet links enhance the play of light created by the Royal Oak’s multifaceted architecture. Lastly, the white gold frame of the sapphire caseback is engraved with “Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetuel” and “Limited Edition of 200 Pieces.”


Audemars Piguet is committed to evolving its calibres, combining age-old skills with cutting-edge techniques. Following this mindset, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “John Mayer” Limited Edition is the last limited edition equipped with the selfwinding perpetual calendar movement, Calibre 5134, bringing down the curtain on a history that began in 1978, the manufacture said.

At the height of the quartz crisis, Audemars Piguet released, against all odds, the thinnest selfwinding perpetual calendar wristwatch of its time equipped with the Calibre 2120/2800. Conceived in secret by three dedicated watchmakers, this ground-breaking perpetual calendar movement achieved its extra-thinness (3.95 mm) by using the ultra-thin Calibre 2120 (2.45 mm thick), launched in 1967, as its base. Over the next 18 years, more than 7,000 movements were produced, cased, and sold, ushering in a new era of growth for Audemars Piguet and paving the way for the revival of other classic complications, including the openworked chronograph (1980), the first selfwinding tourbillon wristwatch (1986), the minute repeater (1992) and the Grande Complication (1996). In 1984, this calibre powered the first Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, Model 5554, soon followed by other references in the collection.

Launched in 2015, the Calibre 5134 adapted the perpetual calendar movement to a larger 41 mm case diameter (Model 26574), while maintaining a thin profile with a thickness of 4.3 mm. Unveiled on the first Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in 41 mm (ref. 26574), a model that also featured a new dynamic aesthetic, this movement brought renewed attention to this classic complication which had been in decline since the end of the 20th century. This revival was confirmed in 2017 with the release of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 26579CE in black ceramic, which caused a sensation. This calibre has powered numerous perpetual calendar wristwatches across the Manufacture’s collection ever since.

Calibre 5134 automatically takes into account the number of days in the month and correctly displays the prevailing date even in leap years. Assuming the watch is kept fully wound, the date will not require manual correction until 2100, at which point it will need to be adjusted to stay in line with the Gregorian calendar. It beats at a frequency of 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour) and has 40 hours of power reserve.

The watch’s sapphire caseback reveals the movement’s refined decorations that include Côtes de Genève, circular graining, circular satin and polished chamfers. The rhodium-toned 22-carat pink gold openworked oscillating weight is further embellished with a stamped motif recalling the Manufacture’s iconic Tapisserie.

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