Inside a Mayer-performed, Audemars Piguet-thrown affair for super-wealthy watch fans.
Mayer declared Material Good, his date for the night, as “Bruce Wayne’s house” aback he took the stage. Cases of chunk sat in the entryway. A coffee table that’s gone for $12,500 at bargain and a Damien Hirst book —along with a chandelier ensconced in a net of dangling chains—served as decoration. All about the breadth Mayer performed were acutely big-ticket items: awfully impossible-to-find Birkin accoutrements accumulated up on shelves, bottle cases pushed into the bank and filled, for the night, alone with Audemars Piguet pieces.
Money is currently calamity into the watch market, area annal are burst and new mystical pieces are baldheaded every brace months. Today’s watch consumers are accessible and accommodating to absorb added than ever—and because that best bodies buy watches infrequently, it’s important for brands and retailers akin to accomplish abiding they’re the ones alleged on for this once-every-couple-years purchase. A abundant acquirement calls for an appropriately abundant party, and Mayer was Material Acceptable and Audemars Piguet’s way of adage acknowledge you to their aristocratic customers. But the achievement wasn’t the alone way the shop, founded by Rob Ronen and Michael Herman in 2015, bidding its gratitude. An hour afore Mayer took the stage, waiters dressed in atramentous roved about with little lobster rolls and avoid bonbon puffs. Servers captivation $220 bottles of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque albino rushed over to top off glasses. Audemars threw the banker the affair for actuality such a abundant partner—to acknowledge it for affairs so abounding watches to so abounding acceptable customers. Material Acceptable offered up John Mayer the aforementioned way the bounded coffee boutique adeptness accord its barter a chargeless cup of joe on their tenth visit: a accolade advised to bout the best customer’s loyalty.
That night, those barter included credible faces like New York Giants amateur Saquon Barkley, New York Knick Lance Thomas, and designers Maxwell Osborne and Heron Preston. The blow of the faces weren’t ones TMZ would calmly put a name to, but they were aloof as acutely rich: men and women with Prada dresses, Chanel purses, and blatant watches filed into the space.
The attendees circuitous amidst themselves, aboveboard to the actuality Mayer would accomplish that night. At one point, all the force in the allowance confused aback Osborne dapped up Barkley, who was continuing aing to Thomas. Gloved men weaved through attendees with watches from Audemars and showed them to absorbed parties.
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The accident was a account in how the super-wealthy shop. As retailers accept morphed over the accomplished brace years to action a added acute hypothesis than the adeptness to break home and adjustment aggregate while still in sweatpants, they’ve abundantly gravitated to one concept: experiences. Nike has a basketball cloister on the top of its Soho store, Todd Snyder offers haircuts at his Manhattan flagship, and any banker afterwards a coffee bar these canicule is aloof allurement for trouble. But what do you accord the array of chump who can buy, or who already has, everything? That’s area John Mayer comes in.
In the aback room, in the adumbration of David LaChapelle’s photograph of a naked Amanda Lepore amusement chunk like cocaine, Audemars Piguet’s all-around CEO François-Henry Bennahmias told me that the ambition of the accident was to “also accept that at the end we’re friends,” he said of the attendees. “That there is a absolute accord amid them and the brand. Bodies see that, they see it’s genuine, and that’s what they’re after.”
One of those accompany is Steven Devor, who flew in from Columbus, Ohio, for the night aloof to appear the event. He was dressed casually: chambray shirt, white jeans, and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with a elastic strap. His wife Kristen toted a hot-pink Louis Vuitton purse and wore Gucci’s signature bristling loafers, a Bulgari necklace, and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph. Both of the Devors bought their watches beforehand this year; the brace had alike hosted their own Audemars Piguet accident at home aloof a brace weeks prior.
In amid sips of white wine, Devor told me the accident was alive like a charm. “There’s a lot of air-conditioned watches, there’s a lot of air-conditioned brands, but I can’t brainstorm us investing—because it’s an investment—in annihilation but Audemars from this point,” he said. The brand, he explained, “feels like a family” to him. He told me a adventure about visiting the Audemars offices in New York on his daughter’s seventh altogether and the U.S. CEO Antonio Seward brought out a cupcake speared with lit candles. That ashore with him, which was the point. “We appetite to be able to bear to our audience article that money can’t buy,” Bennahmias said.
A John Mayer achievement seemed like a acceptable start, but for this army maybe still not enough. There was so abundant babble during his set that, in amid songs, bodies shushed like cine librarians. “It is what it is, man, it is what it is. I’m absolutely fine,” Mayer said, again launched into “Waiting on the World to Change.”
But it was credible that the babble was accepting to him. Afore his aing song, “Neon,” he switched to an acoustic guitar. “Acoustic guitar: not a abundant apparatus for these parties,” he told the crowd. “A adamantine fought action for your attention. I accept no botheration actuality the music. I admiration if the DJ is like, ‘They’re talking over me.’ No they’re not. I’m accomplished with the situation.” Again with a smirk: “But I do like acceptable bodies over.”
During the song, a ashamed man in a fleet clothing shouted beyond the allowance at addition he recognized: “Who let you out of the house?!” So afore Mayer played his awning of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin,” he approved a altered tact. “This is a song that’s a little bit on the quieter side,” he said. “So if there was one you were activity to key into a little bit…” The watch-buying army abandoned his request.
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