Barbagallo Watch’s Unique Audemars Piguet
How the boutique struck an exclusive collaboration with the Swiss marque.
There abounds many interesting— and, sure, sometimes rather tall—tales in horology. And it’s these stories, attached to intrinsic craftsmanship and technique, exemplary engineering and detailing that ultimately elevates a given piece—adding meaning and a sense of character not found outside the luxury sphere.
It’s also this expansion of story that drives the current currency of collaboration—an opportunity to sculpt, design and deliver a further heightened expression of inspiration; something truly unique, in a short and exclusive run and which tells a tale of tightly held artistry.
We were recently made aware of an impressive marriage between Switzerland’s storied historical manufacture Audemars Piguet and Perth’s Barbagallo Watch. The resulting piece is a customised Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (itself a stunning ref of few peers) that’s come to be known as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar for Barbagallo Watch, or, to the 10 lucky local recipients, the ‘QP +8’.
A bold and alluring piece created to celebrate on many various levels, we thought it only right to catch up with Barbagallo Watch managing director, Troy Barbagallo, to learn a little more.
Robb Report: What are the most boastful highlights, as you see them, of this exemplary timepiece?
Troy Barbagallo: The Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetual is a horological masterpiece and it has a very strong place in Audemars Piguet’s history. So this complication made perfect sense—the yellow gold case and dial, with the subdials resembling ‘Australian green’.
RR: And what does such a limited piece mean to you as a collector?
TB: Anyone who has the privilege of being able to acquire an Audemars Piguet knows the joy, but when it’s a piece like this, that is so sought out and so limited, and which has so much history and will last more than a lifetime, the feeling is very special.
RR: In discussing design, how involved were you in regards to the level of personalisation?
TB: Being involved in the design process was so rewarding and it made me very proud. The final result is all about celebrating our world-class boutique in Perth and thanking our loyal Western Australian clients.
The yellow gold celebrates WA being a famous gold-mining state; the green sub dials on the yellow gold dial make it very Australian; the yellow gold rotor visible through the sapphire crystal caseback is unique to this modern perpetual calendar. Last but not least, the Arabic number eight at 8 o’clock clearly represent our gorgeous city of Perth being plus eight hours GMT.
RR: We understand that, in true Australian fashion, this piece has been gifted its own nickname?
TB: The watch is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar for Barbagallo Watch. Many great watches these days are nicknamed by the consumers. If there’s an unofficial name, when discussing it over the bar the boys first called it ‘The Kangaroo’ but that would have been more fitting for a Royal Oak Offshore, so it ended up being called the “Plus 8”.