Audemars Piguet x Marvel Assemble ‘Spider-Man’ Watch Worth $6.2M
By Mikelle Leow, 26 May 2023
Look out; a new marvel of a piece has just swung in. After invoking the spirit of Wakanda and putting it on the wrist in a Black Panther edition, Audemars Piguet is paying homage to Spider-Man, another beloved character of the web that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Unveiled ahead of the Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse release on June 2, the 42mm Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man is fronted by a three-dimensional Peter Parker, who is seemingly reaching beyond the void and above the dial.
It took about 50 hours to carve the character by hand using white gold. Spidey’s suit was also laser-engraved to create the textile differences of the form-fitting attire. Other complicated techniques, like machine programming and further retouches by a single artisan, helped achieve the illusion of the superhero in suspension, explains Marvel.
Finally, the figure was hand-painted in his quintessential red and blue metallic colors, with shadows and contrasts for added perspective.
The painstaking craftsmanship, combined with the prestige of the Audemars Piguet and Marvel names, warranted a price tag of 195,000 Swiss francs (US$215,870) for this watch, which has been made in a limited count of just 250 pieces.
The Swiss watchmaker also crafted a one-of-a-kind Black Suit Spider-Man variant, and this one sold for an even more startling US$6.2 million at a private sale in Dubai on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, the watch’s case is constructed from light and sturdy titanium, and its bezel and crown are made from black ceramic. It is powered by the new, hand-wound Calibre 2974. Its markers and hands turn blue in the dark as well.
One of the coolest things about this blockbuster partnership, says Audemars Piguet’s CEO François-Henry Bennahmias, is that Marvel plans its movies years ahead, “so we were able to work around that.”
According to GQ, the friendship between the brand and Marvel couldn’t have been possible without—surprise, surprise—MCU star Don Cheadle, who met Bennahmias on the red carpet at the Tony Awards in 2010.
Bennahmias had ribbed Cheadle for wearing a Patek Philippe, which he joked as being not grown up enough, that day. They became friends.
Then, in 2017, the pair crossed paths in Paris. Bennahmias then confided in Cheadle that the brand had been reaching out to Marvel for a collaboration since 2003, with no response. To which, the Avengers star responded: “Why didn’t you ever share that with me?” The actor rang up Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige for a talk, and the rest is history.
Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, spinning in not-so-friendly prices. With that being said, the US$6.2 million sale will help promising young people from low-income and traditionally excluded communities get the resources they need by way of First Book and Ashoka, as proceeds from the watch will go to those charities. This follows the sale of the Black Panther edition in 2021, which saw it close at US$5.2 million at an auction to raise funds for the two nonprofits.
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