Marvel at the Audemars Piguet ‘Black Panther’ Watch Heading to Auction
It is one of only 250 made in collaboration with the media franchise and could sell for up to $650,000.
In April, Audemars Piguet introduced the Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon as part of a new partnership between the storied manufacturer and Marvel.
The brand first debuted the Concept watch in 2002 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak, one of its most iconic models created in partnership with influential watch designer Gérald Genta.
The Concept models gave the watch an avant-garde update, and the “Blank Panther” Flying Tourbillon has indeed kept with the revolutionary aesthetics for which they are known.
The watch takes its name and images from the Marvel Comics character Black Panther (real name T’Challa), who is the king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.
It features a laser-cut white gold figure of Black Panther, hand-painted with such detail, he seems ready to jump off the watch. It takes one of Audemars Piguet’s craftsmen 30 hours of work to complete the Black Panther figure.
The vivid purple and black tones of the watch are also in keeping with the character’s color scheme.
When the Black Panther Concept model was unveiled this spring, a special white gold edition was sold at a celebrity-studded event to raise money for two charities, eventually selling for $5.2 million.
The brand also made 250 editions of it in titanium, and now one of them is heading to auction, making it the first to do so.
It’s expected to sell for between $380,000 and $650,000 in “Watches Online: The Marvelous Sale,” which runs now through Sept. 7 on Christies.com.
See: 3 Gérald Genta Watches
The watch auction also features several other designs from Genta.
This includes an Audemars Piguet Tropical Dial Royal Oak Ref. 5402ST “A Series” with the rare tropical dial. Only 2,000 examples of the series were produced before the watch brand moved into Series B.
There’s also the Gérald Genta platinum Minute Repeater with a green guilloché dial and platinum case, as well as two indications often associated with Genta—jumping hours and retrograde minutes—and a Patek Philippe Steel Nautilus with Date Ref. 5711/1A-001 with a 40 mm stainless steel case, black/blue dial, automatic movement, and stainless-steel bracelet.
See: Other Highlights in the “Watches Online” Auction
Other highlights include a Patek Philippe Chronograph Ref. 1579R in a pink gold case, of which there are only 82 known examples.
There’s also a Patek Philippe Platinum Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 3939 with two high complications—a two-gong minute repeater and a tourbillon escapement—34 mm platinum case, and a black enamel dial, and a rare pink gold Rolex Ref. 8171 “Padellone,” one of only six examples to feature the “HL Mark II Officially Certified Chronometer” type dial.
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