Audemars Piguet Unveils Timepieces In New Textures & Colors

THM Desk
3 Feb 2023 |
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Audemars Piguet has revealed a plethora of new Royal Oak models to quench collectors' appetites. Furthermore, there are some real heavy hitters among them.

The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding and Selfwinding Chronograph is now available in a whopping six new stainless steel references. All but two of the models are made entirely of steel, while the other four have steel bezels, lugs, and backs with a black ceramic case in the middle.

And that's not all!

Although Audemars Piguet has been putting in a lot of time and energy expanding the Code 11.59 collection, the Royal Oak will always be the most recognisable and sought-after timepiece produced by the company. Despite the fact that Audemars Piguet wants to avoid being identified solely with the Royal Oak, new iterations of the Royal Oak can be expected every year.

However, it's important to note that the characteristics that make a design iconic can also be compromised if too many alterations are made to it. Since the early 1970s, the dials, materials, case sizes, and complications have been the only real distinguishing features between otherwise identical Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches. A new yellow-gold Royal Oak 37mm with a dial made from a natural turquoise stone was just introduced by Audemars Piguet as part of their most recent line of new products.

Let’s get into the details!

Audemars Piguet's Code 11.59 Selfwinding And Selfwinding Chronographs

These brand-new offerings come in three varied hues, all housed in sturdy stainless steel cases. Each model is available in three different colours: a deep, dark green, a dark blue (Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50), and a smoked beige guilloche dial. Both the blue and green models are made entirely of steel, while the smoked beige ones feature a ceramic case in the middle.

AP 11.59 Royal Oak

In the dark, both watches would have the same general shape as their forerunners: an octagonal case with a thin bezel at its centre, a domed crown, and those lugs that have been the subject of so much discussion.

Modifications to the Code 11.59 focused on aesthetics and nuance. The inner bezel of the blue dial is grey, the inner bezel of the green dial is the same tone as the watch, and the outer bezel of the smoked beige dial fades to black.

Code 11.59

When it comes to chronographs, the blue version features two-tone blue and grey counters at 3 and 9 o'clock, as well as a grey small seconds counter at 6. Rhodium plating distinguishes the counters from the rest of the green, which is mostly monochromatic. The chronograph is a smoky beige colour, with black serving as an accent.

The Code 11.59 has been updated to add some new hues and nuances. The inner bezel of the blue dial is grey, that of the green dial is the same colour as the watch, and that of the smoked beige dial, which features three hands, is black at its outer edge.

Code 11.59 Collection

The chronograph versions of the blue watch feature three- and nine-hour grey subdials and a small seconds subdial in the same colour scheme located at six o'clock. All of the green is a single tone, and the counters are plated with shiny rhodium. The chronograph, a smoky beige, is set off by a variety of black details.

Royal Oak Self-Winding 37mm Yellow Gold

It's a bit of a stretch to call the new 37mm yellow gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (ref. 15550BA.OO. 1356BA.01) a new model, as it's primarily the same timepiece as the current 37mm version of the time-and-date Royal Oak Selfwinding, but with a distinct metal case and a fresh dial. The case has the same dimensions as its existing pieces (37mm in diameter and 8.9mm in thickness) and features the classic Royal Oak design with its integrated lugs, octagonal bezel, and eight exposed screws. The case back and front are also protected by flat sapphire crystals, and a signed crown located at 3 o'clock provides access to the movement and aids in making the watch water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.

Royal Oak Self-Winding 37mm Yellow Gold

The new 37mm Royal Oak in yellow gold is about as traditional and timeless as it gets in terms of design. This new model fills a gap in the 37mm-wide Royal Oak collection that has existed since 2019, and the difference between it and the previous iteration is the use of 18k yellow gold rather than rose gold.

The dial features a natural turquoise stone face and is devoid of any text or printing save for a thin black minute track and the standard "Swiss Made" signature at 6 o'clock. The time is shown by three gold centrally mounted hands in the same classic shape as those found across the rest of the Royal Oak range, and a rectangular date window with a color-matched turquoise calendar disc sits at the 3 o'clock position.

Royal Oak Self-Winding 37mm Yellow Gold

The new yellow gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with a turquoise dial is powered by the Caliber 5900 automatic movement, making it identical to the other time-and-date 37mm Royal Oak models from the modern lineup. The 186-part Audemars Piguet Cal. 5900 has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz) and provides a power reserve of around 60 hours.

Finally, the case of the new turquoise dial 37mm Royal Oak is equipped with the collection's signature integrated bracelet, which is made from solid 18k yellow gold to match the rest of the case.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph in Black Ceramic

Until now, a 42-millimeter Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph had not been offered in a ceramic case of this colour. Both the Audemars Piguet Black Ceramic Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph and the Royal Oak Selfwinding Carolina Bucci Limited Edition have seen tremendous success thanks to their ceramic cases and bracelets. The black ceramic case and bracelet, along with the black Petite Tapisserie dial (which was previously only available on 26238 references in gold or titanium), create a striking monochrome look, while the white markers and 18-karat white-gold bezel screws create a sharp contrast that is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally useful for legibility.

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph in Black Ceramic

All of the watch's hands—including the hour and minute hands, the small seconds hand at 6 o'clock, the chronograph minutes hand at 9 o'clock, and the chronograph hours hand at 12 o'clock—have lume for enhanced legibility in low light. The 4404 calibre drives the watch; it is an in-house integrated chronograph movement with a column wheel design and a flyback feature. This chronograph does not require stopping and resetting like its conventional counterparts. Through the transparent sapphire caseback, a 22-carat pink-gold oscillating weight is displayed, with the AP initials engraved on it for a subtle splash of colour. This timepiece could be perfect for you if you want to give off an air of mysterious affluence.

Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin with Blue-Grained Dial

Here, a stylish blue-grained dial is a welcome addition to the already desirable "Jumbo" Extra-Thin model. Decorations are based on an example from 1992, made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak line. The dial's texture is blue PVD with a translucent coating that features finer, brighter grain that really stands out in the light. This limited edition update to the Royal Oak is crafted from 18-karat white gold and measures 39 mm in diameter and 8.1 mm in thickness. As it houses the latest ultra-thin 7121 movement, released in January, with an 18-carat pink-gold rotor visible through the caseback, we believe it is worth the effort.

Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin with Blue-Grained Dial

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph in Black Ceramic and Yellow Gold

A second Royal Oak Offshore was given the same black ceramic treatment, but this time the 18-karat yellow gold was added to make a striking two-tone combo. Given that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Offshore brand, you can anticipate hearing many more chart-topping singles from this series. This version has a Méga Tapisserie dial and measures 43 mm in diameter, making it a more substantial timepiece (larger squares in the waffle pattern).

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph in Black Ceramic and Yellow Gold

The yellow gold decoration continues around the case back, framing the sapphire that looks down on the column wheel and vertical clutch construction of the 4401 flyback chronograph movement. It allows the user to start, stop, and restart the chronograph with a single button press, much like the black ceramic offshore. This makes for a more seamless change, as you don't get the impression that the hands are suddenly leaping forward as they start and stop. The counter hands can be reset to zero in an instant thanks to the patented zero resetting mechanism.

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph in Black Ceramic and Yellow Gold

Selfwinding 34 mm and 37 mm and Selfwinding Chronograph in Blue Smoked Dials

The three new 18-karat white gold Selfwinding models are all remarkably similar to one another, with only minor differences that might sway a customer to choose one over the other. Without having seen them in person yet, I can say that the smoked blue dial is a deeper, moodier shade than previous iterations in steel with a Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50 dial. These versions, like their predecessors, feature a bezel set with diamonds, but the white gold case and black dial help set them apart as a more luxurious investment. PVD is used to create the dark blue colour, and coloured varnish is sprayed around the dial's outer edge as it spins to create the smoky effect. The effect looks great on the Tapisserie dial, but it will blow your mind in real life.

Selfwinding 34 mm and 37 mm and Selfwinding Chronograph in Blue Smoked Dials

Have you made it to AP’s waiting list? Nonetheless, stunning new pieces just in time for the annual Watches & Wonders show next month! What do you think?