It’s well known that the late, great watch designer Gerald Genta was behind Audemars Piguet’s now-iconic Royal Oak, which raised eyebrows when it launched in 1972. A more obscure nugget is that Genta also riled up the humourless organisers of a Genevan trade show in 1984 when he debuted his high-end timepieces featuring Mickey Mouse and the Pink Panther. Those character watches became collector favourites.
Their figurative style inspired the design of a timepiece featuring a panther of a different variety. The Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon is the first watch to emerge from Audemars Piguet’s collaboration with Marvel Entertainment. Despite its apparent artistry – 30 hours are required to engrave and paint each white- gold Black Panther sculpture – the timepiece has been at the receiving end of an unwarranted amount of negativity. Well, as history has shown, sometimes people just need a little time to come around.