Clocks and Comics –
Audemars Piguet unveiled the Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon in mid-April, the first watch in an ongoing partnership with Marvel, a one-of-a-kind example of this white gold Black Panther variant was auctioned for $ 5,200,000. This is a very surprising cooperation, but much of it represents the state of the watch industry today.
Watches and comics aren’t obvious bedfellows, but their fans have surprisingly much in common. Both communities can be possessed in the best and worst ways. The Comic Book Guy at The Simpsons might as well have been the Mechanical Watch Guy. Today these two worlds collide. And loyalists on both sides may be wondering, “What kind of thing is that?” You either agree with the basic idea of an AP Marvel watch or you don’t. If you aren’t, then nothing is going to change your mind — no matter how well done the piece is. Which is a shame in a way. Because this watch is indeed very well made.
There’s no question that AP can make a good comic book watch. The question is whether AP should do it. Is it strange that a large Swiss manufacturer produces a six-figure wristwatch based on a comic about the liberation of blacks and anti-imperialism? Yeah it’s strange But it gets a lot less strange when you understand the context.
Watches have a long tradition of celebrating animated characters. AP says it took inspiration from the classic Mickey Mouse clock design — where its arms represent the hours and minutes and hands and move over time. In the 1980s Gerald Genta (the famous designer of the AP Royal Oak) made his own Mickey Mouse watch, inspired by those of his youth. Marvel Comics (and Marvel Movies) are to today’s shopper what Mickey Mouse was to the previous generation — iconic.
In other words, this cooperation could also be groundbreaking for future developments — we can look forward to more watches. Therefore, the value position of the Black Panther Flying Tourbillon can also become quite interesting in the future. One can be curious.