The long-anticipated Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 40 Years global travelling exhibition finally arrives in Beijing at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA). Joining Audemars Piguet’s ad interim CEO François-Henry Bennahmias, Asia Managing Director Oliviero Bottinelli and Chief Artistic Officer Octavio Garcia at the opening gala were many international and local celebrities. Notably, vanguard artists Sebastien Leon Agneessens and Quayola, famous American actor Chris Noth, renowned Chinese stars Hu Jun and Zhang Yuqi as well as international supermodels Du Juan, Bonnie Chen and Kang Qianwen.

After kicking off in New York, stopping in Milan then Paris and its stint here in Beijing, the exhibition will continue to its final stop in Singapore in October. The Beijing exhibition will be open to the public from August 31st to September 3rd.

In 1875, Le Brassus in the Vallée de Joux became the birthplace of Audemars Piguet. Today, the three artists Sebastien Leon AgneessensQuayola and Dan Holdsworth have used installation, photography, sound and film in the exhibition to reflect Audemars Piguet’s origins, mastery and artistry as well as to tell the stories of Audemars Piguet and the Royal Oak in an unprecedented way.

The Manufacture has curated 100 exceptional timepieces ranging from the very first Royal Oak in 1972 to the latest collections recently launched at the 2012 SIHH as well as those set with the finest jewelry, the most complicated watches, borrowed pieces from the private collections of the most avid watch enthusiasts and limited edition pieces one would be hard-pressed to find in the market. The exhibition in Beijing will also have the privilege to showcase for the first time the number 10/100 of the platinum edition of the Royal Oak Leo Messi limited series, launched earlier this year in three versions of 1000 pieces worldwide. The number 10/100 of the limited edition platinum models will be up for auction in December. The entire proceeds of the auction will be donated to the Foundation Lionel Messi (Leo Messi Foundation) to help educate and treat underprivileged children.

Apart from 100 iconic timepieces and invaluable memorabilia dating back to the beginning of the 70s, visitors will also have the opportunity to closely observe the artistry of Audemars Piguet’s craftsmen through a watchmaker’s area that includes a brocading dial machine.

To celebrate the opening of the Royal Oak 40 Years Exhibition, Audemars Piguet held an illustrious gala dinner on August 29th and an influencer’s party on August 30th. Nearly 500 distinguished guests were present at the opening ceremony, with many celebrities invited from all over the world. A live performance was provided by The Irrepressibles, a band Audemars Piguet selected because of its reflection of one of the brand’s core values: passion.

Exhibition TitleROYAL OAK 40 YEARS: From Avant-Garde to Icon
Date: Thursday August 30th – Monday September 3rd, 2012
Time: 10 AM – 7 PM
Location: Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
Address:  798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Entry: Open to the public. Free admission.

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