The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak gets a royal touch…
It’s almost that time of the year when we all gear up for our annual visits to Geneva & Basel to witness what the brands have in store for us. Well, the last two years have been all about virtual views and visits, and not by choice if I may say so. On that note, here is what the “Royals” from Le Brassus have in store for us this year.
Let’s start off with some brief history here. First unveiled at Baselworld in 1972, the original Genta designed “luxury” sports watch Royal Oak reference 5402 has surely come a long way. This ground-breaking success for its time, housed calibre 2121 which was based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 920. This same movement was then used by Patek Philipe for the first Nautilus 3700/1A and the Vacheron Constantin ‘222’ Overseas models.
This iconic octagonal screwed bezel inspired by a ship’s porthole has been downsized, upsized and also been introduced in various colours, my favourite still being that stunning salmon edition of 2020.
This year Audemars Piguet has dropped several new additions to the Royal Oak family enriched with green dials. Yes, green seems the colour of the year for many. The new offerings include a 950 platinum Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin with a smoked green dial embellished with a sunburst pattern, as well as a limited-edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph with an 18-carat yellow gold case and a green “Grande Tapisserie” dial. Lastly, the Manufacture also presents three new Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon variants in pink gold or titanium, all of which incorporate green hues.
Audemars Piguet ROYAL OAK “JUMBO” EXTRA-THIN
This 39mm “Jumbo” with a platinum case and an integrated bracelet is definitely the showstopper of the collection. Extra thin indeed with a thickness of 8.1mm, this slender royal oak with a smoked green sunburn dial houses Audemars Piguet’s self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2121 fitted with a 22-carat gold oscillating weight. The white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands are treated with luminescent coating, aiding legibility in dim light. The “Audemars Piguet” signature is positioned below noon, while the AP initials are located at 6 o’clock, as “Jumbo” convention dictates.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin is exclusively reserved for AP Houses.
Audemars Piguet ROYAL OAK SELFWINDING FLYING TOURBILLON
From clean and sharp dials to high complications, Audemars Piguet upholds its reputation yet again with three new hand finished variants of Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon. Each option is available in a 41mm case and is endowed with a green Tapisserie sunburst dial. All models are powered by the selfwinding Manufacture Calibre 2950, the latest generation of the Audemars Piguet flying tourbillon. Unlike a conventional tourbillon, a flying tourbillon eschews the upper bridge, affording views of the escapement, regulating organ and cage in motion.
The first reference comes with an 18-carat pink gold case with matching hour-markers and hands. This model is limited to just 10 pieces.
The second model, limited to 50 pieces, is crafted in full titanium.
This third variation, limited to 15 pieces is quite special I’d say. A combination of a titanium case with an 18-carat white gold bezel set with 32 baguette-cut emeralds (~2.41 carats), each individually cut, faceted and set by hand. A unique and rare expression of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak!
Audemars Piguet first employed colourful stone dials during the 1970s, in brown, green and blue tones. This paved the way for a new generation of lively and expressive dials in the 1990s, which have permeated the Manufacture’s collections ever since. The emeralds’ verdant hues enhance the green colour of the Tapisserie dial, while offering a unique play of light. Both titanium models incorporate white gold applied hour-makers and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating and are complemented with a titanium bracelet.
Audemars Piguet ROYAL OAK SELFWINDING CHRONOGRAPH
Lastly we have the solid gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph! I have to say that lustrous yellow gold with the “Grande Tapisserie” pattern green dial complemented with three snailed counters makes quite an audacious statement. Well, your wrist surely won’t go unnoticed! The “Audemars Piguet” name on the dial is formed of 24-carat gold and realised using galvanic growth. The model is fitted with a solid caseback engraved with “Limited Edition” (125 pieces).
Housed in a 41mm case, this version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is powered by the self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2385 which includes an 18-carat gold oscillating weight. As well as its chronograph, the movement indicates the hours, minutes, small seconds and date. In addition to the yellow gold bracelet, with AP folding clasp, the model is supplied with two additional straps: green calfskin and green rubber. I do get the feeling that this particular edition will create quite a stir amongst the elite watch collectors in India.
Although I still haven’t seen the watches in person, the press images of these sublime sunburst green dialed watches have certainly not left me dissatisfied. With or without the frills, the opulent new green Audemars Piguet royal oaks will certainly stand out as high performance and extremely handsome wristwatches. Although some may identify “the green” with the most recognised global luxury watch brand and may consider it as a bit much for the royal oak, in my opinion, why not?