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.
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.
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.