These MAD Paris x Browns Audemars Piguets are grail watches on steroids
It’s a well-documented fact that the majority of the big watch marques don’t really like their timepieces being messed with once they’ve been bought.
Get the thing seen to by an unverified watchmaker rather than going through the in-house servicing department and you’ll lose your warranty at best, find yourself smote by the horological gods at worst. Have your watch customised by an external party, on the other hand, and you can expect full excommunication from the brand in question and, perhaps, Switzerland itself (perhaps).
The truth is, however, that high-level watch customisation is becoming increasingly commonplace among wealthy collectors and connoisseurs looking to make an entirely unique on-wrist impact.
Drake, for instance, has more than once been spotted sporting an “invaluable” baguette emerald-encrusted Patek Philippe Nautilus, which was designed for him by his friend Virgil Abloh, while Abloh himself is known to be in possession of an all-black ref 5726, with both pieces rumoured to have been created by custom jeweller MAD Paris.
Now, the customisation train seems to be turning in a somewhat less clandestine direction, specifically in the shape of a new collaboration between MAD and storied London department store Browns Fashion.
For the first time, the two institutions have teamed up to produce a small capsule collection of customised Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks – created in collaboration with two of the most celebrated contemporary menswear designers working today, Matthew Williams of 1017 Alyx 9SM and Givenchy and Charaf Tajer of Casablanca – and the whole thing couldn’t look more straight-A legit if it tried.
Consisting of four timepieces limited to five units each, the original watches were sourced by MAD from trusted preowned dealers and each has been given a one-of-a-kind makeover at the hands of the designer in question.
In the case of Williams, for instance, the American creative – who is known for his pared-back yet edgy collections at both Givenchy and Alyx – has taken the industrial overtones of Gérald Genta’s original octagonal creation as his aesthetic cue.
Indeed, rather than adding any new elements to his allotted assortment of ten watches, Williams chose instead to strip them back entirely, removing all extraneous design details and finishing each with an ultra-minimal brushed effect. Both the 41mm rose-gold option and the 39mm yellow-gold version come in at £125,000 apiece and they’re available to buy from Browns as of today.
Source Credit: This article originally appeared on GQ Magazine by British GQ. Read the original article - https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/watches/article/mad-paris-browns-watches