The idea of customizing a high-end mechanical timepiece is not necessarily seen favorably, especially amongst discerning watch collectors who demand their collectibles to be absolutely in their original condition. However, not all customized watches are eyesores, like the newly released Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection by MAD Paris. The custom shop is one of the notable names in the customized watch business, which can boast Drake and Virgil Abloh as its clients. For the new AP Royal Oak collection, MAD Paris partnered with Charaf Tajer from Casablanca and Matthew Williams from 1017 ALYX 9SM. The designers were given free rein, which resulted in some compelling horological creations.
Tajer’s take on Royal Oak mirrors the colorful exuberance of Casablanca’s recent Spring/Summer 2022. The Casablanca founder chose the 36mm version of the Royal Oak to create a pair of vibrant watches that are inspired by the Japanese culture as well as the postmodern Memphis Milano movement. In a conversation by Highsnobiety, Tajer said the watch’s playful nature revolves around “the contradiction of designing a luxury item for adults which has design elements inspired by the childhood innocence and intrigue that we all have experienced.” The colorful aesthetics of Tajer’s versions might remind you of kids’ toys.
The pair of customized AP Royal Oak watches by Matthew Williams are in complete contrast to the pair of Casablanca versions. Instead of bright colors, Williams went with a more traditional look associated with mechanical watches. Williams worked with the 41mm version of the Royal Oak and went with his renowned industrial and minimalist aesthetic. The 1017 ALYX 9SM versions wear a minimalist, brushed metal look. “It was about taking part of the ALYX world and creating a watch I would like to wear,” Williams told Highsnobiety, “and for like-minded people, myself and my friends, people that may have not been into watches before that.” The Casablanca and Alyx Royal Oak watches are limited to just five units per design and will be available through MAD Paris and Browns. There’s no word on the pricing.[Via: Boss Hunting]