In order to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic collection, the prestigious Swiss watchmaker launched 8 new Royal Oak watches that neatly follow the distinctive design codes of the origins. With its first Royal Oak, created back in 1972, Audemars Piguet has started a true revolution, offering a totally new approach in terms of design and style of the high class sport timepieces. Presented last week, at the SIHH 2012 watch show in Geneva, the latest reinterpretations of the legendary model have brought a stunning mixture of the revolutionary spirit from the past and the latest brand’s technologies.
Four of eight models come with extra-thin mechanisms, two of them with a stunning tourbillon complication. There are an Extra-Thin Royal Oak Skeleton Tourbillon (Ref. 26511), an Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon (Ref. 26510), a Royal Oak Skeleton 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (Ref. 15203PT) and an Extra-Thin Royal Oak Jumbo (Ref. 15202ST) watch.
Let us start with the very best from the Audemars Piguet 2012 Collection, with two models that come with one of the most precious complications of the haute horology. Powered with a new manual-winding Calibre 2924 movement, the newest Royal Oak Tourbillon (Ref. 26510) is one of the thinnest tourbillon watches on the market. Its stunning mechanism that oscillates at the frequency of 21’600 vibrations per hour, providing the great power-reserve of 70 hours, is just 4.46 mm thick!
Although the Royal Oak became famous as the first high-end steel sports watch in due style, new Audemars Piguet Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon watch has a mid-sized 41mm case, crafted in pink gold. Furthermore, applied hour-markers that adorn a “Petite Tapisserie” patterned dial and a bracelet with an AP folding clasp are also made of pink gold.
Even more amazing is the Open-worked Royal Oak Tourbillon 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (Ref. 26511) which skeletonized slate gray dial opens a clear view on a tourbillon mechanism. This is an AP Calibre 2924 SQ hand-winding movement, with a breathtaking thickness of just 4.46 mm. It is basically the same movement like the one that powers the non-skeletonized model, with special hand-decorations and an anthracite galvanic treatment.
The 41 mm case and the bracelet of the Royal Oak Skeleton Tourbillon watch are made of 950 platinum. The skeletonized dial of the watch features applied hour-markers, crafted in white gold and standard Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. I have already posted about another open-worked model from the collection, the extra-Thin Royal Oak 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (Ref. 15203PT) model.
The newest Royal Oak Jumbo (Ref. 15202ST) watch features some slight changes that make this timepiece look even better than some previous versions. With the brand’s logo located at the 6 o’clock position, the prestigious Swiss watchmaker brought back the design of the original. The new “Petite Tapisserie” pattern with applied white gold markers (that are now a little bit longer) makes the dial look amazingly clear and legible. Another thing that is quite logical is the change of a white date wheel with a black one. The white frame around the date aperture is removed, as well as little Arabic numerals that used to be located at the outer rim.
The case of the Royal Oak Jumbo has the diameter of 39 mm which is the same size of the brand’s icon. It is made of stainless steel, as well as the bracelet with an AP folding clasp. Inside the case, there is a technological masterpiece, an ultra-thin self-winding Caliber 2121. This 3.05 mm thick movement with a suspended barrel and hand finishing on bridges and the main plate, comprises 247 parts and 36 jewels. It provides 40 hours of power-reserve.
Audemars Piguet has also revealed Royal Oak Selfwinding 41 mm watch (Ref 15400ST), Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph (Ref 26320) and two models with diamond-set bezels – Selfwinding Royal Oak 37 mm watch and Royal Oak Quartz 33 mm watch.
Compared with the size of the original timepieces from 1972 (39 mm), the new Royal Oak Selfwinding watch (Ref 15400ST) has a larger case, with the diameter of 41 mm. It is made either of stainless steel or pink gold. The stainless steel version comes either with black, blue or silver dial, while the pink gold model comes with the choice of black or silver-toned dial.
The dial features white gold applied hour-markers (a double hour-marker inspired by the first Royal Oak watches is located at the 12 o’clock position), Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, a date window at the 3 o’clock position and a “Grande Tapisserie” pattern that makes each timepiece from the collection immediately recognizable.
The watch is powered with an automatic Calibre 3120 movement that is 4.26 mm thick. This mechanism incorporates a 22-karat gold monobloc oscillating weight with ceramic ball bearings and diamond graved bevels on bridges.
The Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph (Ref 26320) is another remarkable product from the 2012 Collection. It comes in a new 41 mm size that replaced the 39 mm cases of old versions. It is either available in a stainless steel or a pink gold variation that match the material of a bracelet. Besides, a version with a black leather strap is also available.
The dial of the Royal Oak Chronograph features a new ‘’Grande Tapisserie’’ pattern, redesigned chrono sub-dials with the improved readability, a date window, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. The dial is black, silver-toned or blue. Inside the case, there is an AP Caliber 2385 self-winding movement that oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz). Its monobloc oscillating weight is made of 18-karat gold.
Finally, let me introduce two extra-luxury models that come with sparkling, diamond-set bezels. Distinctive at the first glance by their striking sport elegance, both watches possess nice feminine size and style. The Selfwinding Royal Oak 37 mm watch (Ref 15451) is either available in steel or pink gold. It is powered with a Calibre 3120 automatic movement that oscillates with 21’600 alternances per hour and provides 60 hours of power-reserve.
The Royal Oak Quartz 33 mm watch (Ref 67651ST) is the smallest model in the collection. Although it has a petit case with the diameter of 33 mm, this watch has been revised and adjusted to feature the original identity codes of theRoyal Oak. Either made of stainless steel or pink gold, this model is a great representative of the brand’s values and philosophy.