Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet announced a long-term partnership with Marvel Entertainment and revealed the first watch of its Marvel Super Hero watch series, the Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon. This limited edition of 250 pieces was revealed during the brand’s virtual event “Audemars Piguet & Friends, Live Show from Los Angeles”, which was hosted by stand-up comedian and actor Kevin Hart alongside Audemars Piguet’s Chief Executive Officer François-Henry Bennahmias, with LeBron James, Serena Williams, Ian Poulter, Anthony Joshua, Lu Han, Jon Gray and Mark Ronson in attendance.
The design of the Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon is inspired by the cutting-edge suit of Marvel’s Black Panther. Honed from titanium, the rounded case features a black ceramic octagonal-shaped bezel and crown.
The dial features the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock and a hand-painted version of Marvel’s Black Panther, comprised of white gold. The silhouette and volume of the superhero have been cut in a white gold disc by CNC machining. The texture of the suit has been carved out by laser. This stage is complemented by meticulous hand-engraving. Number of details decorating Black Panther’s body, from his hands and claws, to his muscles and facial features, has been sculpted by hand by a single engraver.
Numerous layers of diluted dark paint was applied on the eyes and on the suit in order to reach the perfect balance of texture and graded contrasts. Small details on Black Panther’s suit have been left unpainted to add depth. 30 hours of work in total were required to engrave and paint Marvel’s Black Panther. A highly specialized team of 4 engravers and 4 painters decorated the characters of the collection’s 250 pieces.
The laser-textured titanium bridges finished with black and grey PVD coating, appearing in the background, recall Black Panther’s faceted suit. The dial showcases the movement’s openworked barrel at 10 o’clock. The vivid purple inner bezel, enhanced by a matching gasket and rubber strap, foregrounds the dial’s dark tones.