The latest newcomer from the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection is to say the least a very impressive piece, made in accord with the traditional watchmaking values. It comes in a yellow gold housing with the width of 41 mm and features a case and a bracelet with detailed alternating finishes that make its “package” quite stunning, even if you are not that big fan of this particular material. More importantly, the self-winding piece is made with one of the most valued complications in horology – a perpetual calendar. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar comes with a lovely realistic moon phase indication and even a week display. The watch will be premiered at the next edition of the SIHH show at the start of the next year, so there are still no official information about its pricing.
The novelty by Audemars Piguet is undoubtedly a top-shelf watch which demonstrates the values and the beauty of high-end horology products. It is placed inside a Royal Oak characteristic housing which features a curved octagon bezel that is fixed with eight hexagonal screws. The case and the stationary bezel are made of 18 K gold. Its diameter is 41 mm, while the thickness measures to 9.5 mm, which places the watch among “ultra-thin” pieces. Both the case and the bezel feature lovely alternating finishes that make the watch quite striking. Their front sides are brushed, while the edges are beveled and polished for an additional appeal.
For the crystal, Audemars Piguet naturally used sapphire with anti-reflective treatment which is likewise visible on the rear transparent section of the case. When it comes to water resistance, the piece with a screwed-in crown with the engraving of the brand’s logo is safe to just 20 meters. This allows just a minimal protection that guards the watch from potential water which will be in contact with when it rains or when the wearer washes his hands (it is conceived as a men’s piece).
The yellow gold case of the piece works very well in the combination with its dashing deep blue dial which is further enriched with a Grand Tapisserie pattern. This decoration includes square shaped elements that are raised from the basic surface, while both the background and those sections feature further tiny elements.
The deep blue dial includes central Royal Oak shaped hands with luminous coating which are just like the applied hour markers and the outlines and the pointers of its calendar counters made out of yellow gold. It should be said that as a perpetual calendar, the watch requires a single correction for this feature every 125 years and 317 days. So if one decides to get this watch, there will be no worries about the adjustment. Only after a few generations, this tweaking of the mechanism is required.
In addition to central hour and minute display, there are five calendar indications which can be on the face of new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar piece. Four of them are made as sub-counters and they are decorated with a circularly grained pattern. The top one of them indicates the current month and a four year cycle in order to show whether it is a leap year or not. At the three o’clock position there is a date counter, while across the dial sits a day of the week display. The bottom of the dial shows a lovely moon phase display. The realistic depiction of our satellite moves across the background made of deep blue aventurine with laser applied perforation that represent stars on a night sky.
Finally, the inner bezel includes an indication for a week of the year which is used in a combination with a central hand that shows the current position. The entire periphery of the dial is thus divided to 52 sections. This is yet another neat trait of the piece, since a week of the year display is not often seen in perpetual calendar pieces and is much more common for grand complication watches (that feature more demanding complications that function in concert).
Each of these features is enabled with the addition of novel Calibre 5134. The self-winding caliber is heavily based on Calibre 2120. Its main and only difference is its size, since it was enlarged to work better with the new bigger case (the diameter of 41 mm instead of 39 mm). The manufacture caliber is 29 mm wide and exceptionally thin, with the thickness measuring to just 4.31 mm.
It is comprised of 374 components and it integrates 38 jewels in its construction. Moreover, the movement functions on a slower rate of 19,000 vph (2.73 Hz), it features a balance with variable inertia, and it likewise possesses a mobile balance-spring stud holder. Calibre 5134 comes with a suspended barrel and has a power reserve which lasts around 40 hours.
Naturally, the movement shows off a host of demanding and manually performed decorations, while the manufacturer also allows customized beautification of the oscillating weight of its self-winding system.
Finally, it should be said that the newcomer with a perpetual calendar feature comes with the three-link bracelet which is made in the same material, as well as the same finishes as the case.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar watch with the serial number 26574BA.00 1220BA.01 will have its premier at the upcoming SIHH exhibition at the start of the next year. Its price is still not officially disclosed. However, judging from the similar models from the brand’s offer, it should be expected to cost just a few thousands under $100,000.