Rolls-Royce’s New Custom Droptail Comes With Its Own (Detachable) Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
— 23 August 2023

Rolls-Royce’s New Custom Droptail Comes With Its Own (Detachable) Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

— 23 August 2023
Randy Lai
WORDS BY
Randy Lai

A super-luxury roadster that comes with a Royal Oak chrono built right into the dash. Now that’s the sort of car chat that we can definitely get behind.

Over the weekend, Rolls-Royce Coachbuild — the pinnacle of the eponymous British marque’s bespoke division — unveiled its latest VVIP commission: a ‘one of four’ two-seater V12, officially dubbed the La Rose Noire Droptail.

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Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail

A continuation of the whole ‘handsomely rear-ended’ theme Rolls Royce has been exploring in recent years with the bespoken Sweptail (2017) and Boat Tail (2021): the La Rose Noire Droptail demonstrates a number of handcrafted centrepieces that, for 99% of the world’s automakers, would be historic firsts.

Evidently, for the engineers and body-makers of Rolls-Royce, this is known as Tuesday.

Made at the behest of one of the company’s foremost clients (for a sum rumoured to exceed US$30 million), the central aesthetic underpinning the La Rose Noire Droptail is inspired by the Black Baccara rose.

A kind of hybrid tea cultivar prized for its beautiful petals, the Black Baccara’s prismatic array of reddish and monochrome hues has been translated into the medium of automobiles: here, via a two-tone colour scheme that plays out across the La Rose Noire’s 5.27-metre-long body and the parquetry that sweeps all around the vehicle’s dash, doors and tail.

The latter detailing is described by Rolls-Royce brass as “the single most complex wood project ever undertaken” by the brand; and offers an abstract representation of rose petals fluttering through the interior.

Pictured: The custom-colour Royal Oak Concept, mounted as a dashboard clock (left) and the white gold medallion which replaces the watch (right) when it’s in use.

For us however, the real rosebud lies in the dash: where the Droptail’s new owners will find a unique Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept: identical, in technical aspects, to the Split-Second Chronograph GMT model released by the brand earlier this February.

Distinguished by crimson chronograph counters and a custom-colour inner bezel, this extremely complicated Royal Oak can actually be detached from the custom-made aperture inside the car’s dashboard (where it usually fulfils the role of a clock).

For occasions when the watch is being worn, Audemars Piguet’s designers even designed a white gold medallion — mirroring the proportions of the classic Royal Oak dial and bezel. This may be mounted inside the empty dashboard aperture and continues the Black Baccara theme suffused throughout the Droptail.

(Image Credit: Robb Report)
Randy Lai
WORDS by
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].

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