Audemars Piguet’s third collaboration with Carolina Bucci marks the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary in sleek style, with the limited edition Royal Oak Selfwinding rethought in black ceramic.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Carolina Bucci Limited Edition watch

In this newest piece, Bucci turns her attention to the dial, imbuing it with a rainbow of colours. The prismatic effect is created using the tapisserie technique, where little squares are intricately laid on top of the brass dial plate in order to create a prism of colour. ‘I felt like I had unfinished business with the famous tapisserie,’ Bucci says on why she chose to work with this technique. ‘It is one of the main codes of the original 1972 design. In my previous collaboration, I had eliminated it completely – trying to find a perfect counterpoint to the complex finish of Frosted Gold. I loved the way the mirror dial worked within the octagonal bezel, but here I think we found an amazing blend – a tapisserie that appears and disappears in different light.’

Patterns of squares vary from piece to piece, making each rainbow design unique. For Bucci, the result had to find the right balance between subtlety and drama in the way the dial refracts the light. ‘Too much of one and the effect would be under or overwhelming,’ she adds. ‘I read the phrase “opulent subtlety” the other day in a review of the watch. I think that is a good way to describe my intentions.’

black watch

The dial makes a brilliant foil for the clean and distinctive design of the case, accentuated only with subtle design details such as the pop of hexagonal pink gold screws against the smooth black ceramic of the dial.

‘The Royal Oak is the perfect platform for experimentation,’ says Bucci. ‘It is such a well-known design with various clear codes – the tapisserie, the octagonal bezel and its screws, and the tapered bracelet. Because it is so recognisable, it means as a designer you can push and pull those codes in different directions to achieve a totally fresh look.’ §