Bring me pictures of Spider-Man! Honestly the most difficult aspect of writing about the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man is trying not to flood the article with Spider-Man references for no reason. A particularly difficult task considering Across the Spider-Verse is still in cinemas and the new Spider-Man game on PS5 was just announced, not to mention that we’re all wondering when Tom Holland will next show up in the MCU. But with the great power that comes as a writer for Oracle Time, so too comes the great responsibility of delivering the horological news.
The Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man is the second watch in AP’s collaboration with Marvel, the first coming back in 2021 in the form of the Black Panther edition. While it was a fairly controversial launch among watch collectors, the wider world fell in love with it and the watch was seen on the wrists of icons like Lebron James. The new Spider-Man edition is very much a sister piece to the Panther, featuring the same layout: the titular hero depicted as an engraved sculpture above a flying tourbillon.
I think the concept works much better for Spider-Man than it did for Black Panther because Spider-Man is seen web slinging through the void of the skeleton display while Black Panther was squatting awkwardly above the tourbillon. Spider-Man himself is made from white gold with laser engraving to create the intricate textures of his costume. He’s then been painted by hand in his signature colours of red and blue. It’s worth noting that there’s a piece unique version called the Black Suit Spider-Man edition that was auctioned for charity that has him in his black outfit.
Structurally the piece has a 42mm case made from titanium with a black ceramic bezel in the iconic octagon shape with visible screws. The case follows the Royal Oak Concept design as seen on models like the Flying Tourbillon GMT, which means it has pronounced facets that give it a bolder profile. The piece unique edition has additional decoration in the form of a spider leg design in ceramic.
The case then leads into an integrated strap, although for the first time on a Royal Oak Concept watch, it uses a quick-change system that allows you to easily swap between straps. The standard edition comes with a black and grey rubber strap and a second rubber one in black and red. The Black Suit version has a black rubber strap with a velvety texture and a black leather number.
While you might expect the watch to use the same movement as the Black Panther edition, it actually doesn’t. That’s because it’s a brand-new skeleton movement called the Calibre 2974, based on the Calibre 2948. It’s a manual movement with a 72-hour power reserve featuring hour, minute and flying tourbillon functions. I like that the skeletonisation here has been done with intention, it isn’t skeletonisation for skeletonisation’s sake, creating space on the dial for Spider-Man to swing through.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man is limited to 250 pieces at a price of CHF 195,000 (approx. £175,000). The piece unique was sold at auction in support of the First Book and Ahshoka projects raising $6.2 million. I’m still not fully sold on the Marvel series but I prefer this to the Panther Edition, it feels less clumsily executed. And dare I say it, I’m looking forward to seeing which superhero gets the Royal Oak treatment next.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man 42mm
- Ref: 26631IO.OO.D002CA.01
- Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 15mm thickness, titanium case, open-worked dial with 3D Spider-Man character in hand-painted gold
- Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
- Movement: AP calibre 2974, manual winding, 19 jewels, 197 parts
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
- Power reserve: 72h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, tourbillon
- Strap: Black and grey rubber with interchangeable system and AP folding clasp with additional black and red rubber strap
- Price/availability: CHF 195,000 (approx. £175,000), limited to 250 pieces