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Audemars Piguet partners with Meghan Markle’s dress designer Ralph & Russo

At Ralph & Russo's upcoming Spring/Summer 2021 runway show, models will wear Audemars Piguet timepieces paired with the glamorous gowns.

Audemars Piguet partners with Meghan Markle’s dress designer Ralph & Russo

Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet has announced a collaboration with London fashion house Ralph & Russo. (Photo: Audemars Piguet)

Bringing the world of haute couture and haute horlogerie together, Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet has announced a collaboration with London fashion house Ralph & Russo. 

If Ralph & Russo vaguely rings a bell, that's because they’re the designers of the dress worn by Meghan Markle during the royal's engagement photoshoot with Prince Harry. The couture gown featured a sheer, beaded and embroidered top and full skirt. 

At the time, the dress caused some controversy. The see-through top was considered a bold move by the Duchess, a break from royal tradition. 

The couple's engagement photo where the bride-to-be is seen in a dress by Ralph & Russo. (Photo: Kensington Palace)

Ralph & Russo is known for its glamorous, elegent silhouettes. As part of the house’s Spring/Summer 2021 ready-to-wear show at Paris Fashion Week, models will strut down the runway wearing Audemars Piguet’s latest Royal Oak Self-Winding and Royal Oak Concept models.

However, the timepieces, measuring 34mm, are smaller than what Audemars Piguet enthusiasts may be used to, as they’ve been resized for slimmer wrists.

The 34mm Royal Oak Self-Winding timepiece that will appear in the show is available in four models. The 18K pink gold version features a diamond-set bezel and a silver-toned guilloche “Grande Tapisserie” dial.

The new 34mm Royal Oak Self Winding in 18K pink gold with diamond bezel. (Photo: Audemars Piguet)

The two steel models are enhanced by either a silver-toned or blue-grey “Grande Tapisserie” dial. The blue-grey watch is embellished with a diamond-set bezel. There’s also a two-tone model that combines a stainless steel case and bracelet with an 18K pink gold bezel and bracelet links. This model comes with a silver-toned “Grande Tapisserie” dial.

All four models are powered by the brand’s new self-winding Calibre 5800 movement.

The runway show will also feature the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon, the first ladies’ timepiece in Audemars Piguet’s Concept collection.

The Royal Oak Concept Ladies’ Flying Tourbillon. (Photo: Audemars Piguet)

For the first time, the Royal Oak Concept’s case is adorned with Frosted Gold – an ancient Florentine jewellery technique revisited by jewellery designer Carolina Bucci. Tiny indentations are created on the gold surface with a diamond-tipped tool, giving a sparkle effect similar to that of precious stones, like diamond dust.

Available in 18K pink or white gold, the new Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon combines the case’s shimmering Frosted Gold finish with a contemporary dial composed of multiple layers. The timepiece is powered by the watchmaker’s hand-wound Calibre 2964 movement.

Speaking on the collaboration between the two brands, Francois-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet said, “Our partnership with Ralph & Russo came together naturally. I was struck by Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo’s warm welcome when we first met; they represent talent at the highest level mixed with simplicity and authenticity.

“The fun part was when we actually realised that our watches had already been paired with their exceptional designs many times by clients in real life who didn’t need to wait for this partnership to match our two brands.”

The founders of Ralph & Russo, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, expressed their admiration for Audemars Piguet. “Beyond our personal affinity for the brand, we felt a strong connection and alignment through our mutual dedication to both uncompromising craftsmanship and the creation of wonderfully unique styles that withstand the test of time,” they said. 

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Source: CNA/st(ds)