28 April 2024


By In Audemars Piguet, General, Hype Market
Who the F**k is John Mayer?

To answer the question, John Mayer is one of the best guitarists on the world stage. He is one of the most acclaimed artists in the U.S. and lately he is also catching a fair share of attention in Europe as well, so much that he made a Tour in 2024 which covered several European cities, including Paris, where Watchype Mag members were present, both to hear good music and to find clues and exploits of the artist wearing the new watch created in collaboration with Audemars Piguet.

John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston
John Meyer and Jennifer Aniston
John Mayer concert in pParis
John Mayer during his concert in Paris

The subtitle comes from a T-shirt that John Mayer himself made for his merchandising in 2009 when the single “Who Says” was released. The phrase mentioned above was a provocation to the fact that people were wondering who he is, having been at the centre of much gossip for his relationships with many famous women, including several actresses and singers.

Picture of the t-shiro who the fucj is John Mayer
John Mayer t-shirt

His music is a mix of blues and pop rock and manages to captivate anyone who will listen through an incredible mastery of the guitar, piano and other instruments. But it is through his passion and dedication for music that he has managed to follow another of his great passions, watches.

John mayer and his Audemars Piguet on the wrist
John Mayer and his Audemars Piguet on the wrist – Photo courtesy of John Mayer
John Mayer and his passion for watches

Mayer’s passion for watches began when he was still a young musician. He started with the IWC Big Pilot 5002 purchased in 2002 and also worn in 2004 during the presentation of Garageband with Steve Jobs, but his passion guided him to the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164 Tiffany Dial purchased during one of his tours and to one of his most appreciated watches (said specifically in a 2019 interview with Hodinkee) that it’s nicknamed by watch enthusiast with his name, the Daytona John Mayer Ref. 116508 in yellow gold with an incredible green dial.

WC Big Pilot ref. 5002, the first watch owned by John mayer
IWC Big Pilot ref. 5002

From numerous interviews we can see his immense collection, consisting mostly of Patek Philippe, Rolex and Audemars Piguet. In all these cases these are not only common watches, but for the most part sought after watches especially talking about AP where we find in the collection: AP Royal Oak Concept Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked, AP Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic, Patek Philippe Ref. 5004 G with Salmon Dial and Luminous Hands and not to consider the countless Vintage Rolexes.

John’s Philosophy is not to show his watch as a luxury goods but to point it out to true watch enthusiasts so they can establish a dialogue and talk about unique aspects or symbols that mean a particular rarity. All this is to say that this is a passion that has always existed in his person and has continued to grow both over the years and with the money available due to his enormous success, until he has become one of the most influential collectors in the world of watches.

John Mayer during a review session of a song's lyrics. Audemars Piguet watch on his wrist
John Mayer – Photo courtesy of John Mayer
Changes within Audemars Piguet

Like a John Mayer’s song, also AP made some “Changes” in the lat months, like the assignment of Ilaria Resta as CEO of Audemars Piguet, starting in January 2024 (a new name within the watch industry). We have perceived substantial swing for Audemars Piguet, which wants to conquer a larger segment of the female audience after becoming an icon for the male audience. Surely the key element will be the fusion of tradition and innovation, but especially in an interview from Il Sole24ore, the new CEO does not deny important news for both RO and Ref. 11.59 and reveals the possible introduction of another line.

The collaboration

On the wave of these changes stands out the incredible collaboration with watch collector and talented musician John Mayer, who collaborated with AP to create one of the most beautiful and unique watches of recent times, based on the iconic Royal Oak so loved by the artist. John Mayer worked side by side with AP’s teams to design a stunning dial, whose texture and immensity give depth to a complication that has shaped the world of Audemars Piguet since its origins. Every detail blends harmoniously to give the timepiece a sense of infinity. Mayer wanted to make a dial that could be endlessly looked at and looked at again without getting tired. A new sparkling dial finish brings to life John Mayer’s vision of a starry night sky, the result of combining Swiss craftsmanship and John Mayer’s unmistakable creative touch.

John Mayer x Audemars Piguet
John Mayer – Credits to Audmears Piguet
The watch

In collaboration with Audemars Piguet, Mayer has created a special version of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574BC.OO.1220BC.02.
This watch, produced in only 200 pieces, is equipped with Manufacturer’s Caliber 5134 automatic movement. Made of 18K white gold, it combines the powerful aesthetics of the Royal Oak with the sophistication of the perpetual calendar complication. The dial’s relief pattern is composed of irregular shapes resembling crystals, whose sharp angles and facets add depth and brilliance to the piece. To achieve this level of detail and complexity, the mould was created atom by atom, through a metal deposition process known as electroforming “Physical Vapour Deposition,” optimising light’s effect.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574BC.OO.1220BC.02
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574BC.OO.1220BC.02 – Photo courtesy of Audemars Piguet

The dial is embellished with matching blue PVD counters indicating the day at 9 o’clock, the month and leap year at 12 o’clock, and the date at 3 o’clock. To create visual contrast, the calendar indications are printed in white on the outer blue areas of the counters, while the weeks appear in white on the outer blue ring of the dial. Likewise, the 18K white gold hour markers and hands stand out against the blue background, thanks to the luminescent material that makes them even more visible in low-light conditions.

To improve readability and aesthetic harmony, John Mayer has made little changes to the perpetual calendar display: while the number “31” on the date dial is usually red in modern Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar models, it is now printed in white. In addition, the two numbers of the “31” are now smaller and slightly inclined to distinguish them from the adjacent “1.” John Mayer also chose a light blue colour for the week indicator.

The moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock completes the overall design of the dial. For the first time, the inscription “Swiss Made” is printed in white on the lower part of the moon phase dial instead of on the outer edge of the dial at 6 o’clock. The dial then has an 18K white gold frame. The case and bracelet have both been carefully hand-finished with the Manufacturer’s alternating satin and polished bevels. The polished bevels on the bezel and bracelet links enhance the play of light created by the Royal Oak’s faceted composition. Finally, the inscriptions “Royal Oak Quantième Perpetuelle” and “Limited Edition of 200 Pieces.” are engraved on the white gold frame of the sapphire crystal case back.

details of the dial of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574BC.OO.1220BC.02
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574BC.OO.1220BC.02 – Photo courtesy of Audemars Piguet
The caliber

The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “John Mayer” Limited Edition is the latest limited edition equipped with Caliber 5134, bringing down the curtain on a mechanism whose story began in 1978 with the launch of Caliber 2100/2800, the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar self-winding movement at the time. At the height of the quartz crisis, this unusual 3.95 mm-thick movement contributed to the revival of other classic complications at Audemars Piguet and throughout the watch industry.  Launched in 2015, the Caliber 5134 adapted the perpetual calendar movement to a larger diameter case, 41 mm (ref. 26574), while maintaining a slim profile with a thickness of 4.3 mm. This movement brought renewed attention to this Haute Horlogerie complication that has played a significant role in shaping the world of Audemars Piguet over time.

Caliber 5134 from Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574BC.OO.1220BC.02
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574BC.OO.1220BC.02 – Photo courtesy of Audemars Piguet

As for the power reserve, assuming the watch is kept fully charged, the date will not require any manual adjustment until the year 2100 to stay in line with the Gregorian calendar. The calibre beats at a frequency of 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour) and has a power reserve of 40 hours. The watch’s sapphire crystal case back reveals the movement’s refined decorations, including Côtes de Genève, circular satin-finishing, and polished bevels. The skeletonized oscillating weight in 22-carat rose gold, rhodium-coloured, is further embellished with a printed motif that is reminiscent of the Manufacturer’s iconic Tapisserie.

Watchype opinion

In our opinion, the collaboration will bring with more great news, this is also because John Mayer has been assigned as the Swiss Maison’s “Creative Conduit,” that is, a figure who tries to make AP understand the emotions to convey to customers, by entering directly into the production process of the watches. This will make it more interesting, avoiding seeing more limited editions such as the Royal Oak Music Edition or the 2022 Royal Oak Rainbows with coloured diamonds.

In the next months, with the releases of new models, we will be able to better understand what direction Audemars Piguet is taking and what it wants to convey to us through its watches. But if this Royal Oak in collaboration with John Mayer is the premise, we are sure that Audemars Piguet will give us a lot of satisfaction.

Written by Antonio Branca

Born in 1994, first a passion for watches and then for architecture and Harley Davidson. As with buildings he has a great interest in materials, technologies and timepiece design.