Along with the Royal Oak Offshore Grand Complications Titanium watch that I have already introduced, Audemars Piguet revealed a few more novelties from RO Offshore and Classic collections. The prestigious Swiss watchmaker demonstrated its expertise in making highly complicated pieces, with another (pink gold) version of the ROO Grand Complications watch and a new Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph. Officially presented at the opening of SIHH 2013 show in Geneva, there are new bold looking ROO Chronograph and ROO Diver watches, completely crafted in black ceramic.
Audemars Piguet Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph (Ref 26564)
Audemars Piguet has just revealed a new super complicated timepiece with the distinctive design, inspired by its earliest cushion-shaped watches. Presented in the robust size and crafted in titanium and gold for higher quality of its minute repeater’s sound, Audemars Piguet Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph comes in an ultra-limited edition of 10 pieces, featuring a titanium, 47mm case middle, combined with a white gold bezel, a silvered opaline dial and pink gold hands and Arabic numerals. Finally, there is a stylish black crocodile leather strap, with an18 karat white gold AP folding clasp.
Thus, the brand’s most elegant collection got the new highly complicated model, equipped with a technological masterpiece, AP Caliber 2874. This complex hand-winding mechanism with remarkable finishing brings together tourbillon and minute repeater complications, as well as a chronograph function. While the one minute rotating tourbillon cage can be admired through the aperture on the dial side in all its complexity, the complete mechanism is revealed through the transparent case-back. Built of 504 components and 7.65mm thick, this movement is a true example of the haute horology, both in terms of high-end performances and aesthetic qualities.
Each part of the mechanism is crafted by hand and finished with great care, including manual finishing on bridges, mainplate and the cut out parts (polished bevelling, grained finishing on the top and Matt “brouillé” finishing underneath). The AP Caliber 2874 oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour and provides the power-reserve up to 48 hours.
As I have already mentioned, the lightness of titanium, the robustness of the case and its special shape highly contribute to the acoustic quality of two minute repeater gongs. These great complications are so impressive that the interesting implementation of the column wheel chronograph into a watch from the Classic Collection passed almost unnoticed. However, it deserves a special attention, since Audemars Piguet found one of the most beautiful ways of bringing together a classic elegance with the chronograph function. Nicely designed in a vintage style, the small, 30-minute counter with its railway minute track fits neatly with the dial at the 3 o’clock position. Besides, small chronograph pushers do not affect the overall style. The small second hand rotates together with the tourbillon cage at the 6 0’clock position.
Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication Watch in Gold and Ceramic
This stunning model from the Royal Oak Offshore Collection brings together three great horological complications – a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar and a moon-phase indicator, as well as a split-second chronograph function. Since I have already written about the titanium version of ROO Grande Complication watch, which was also presented at SIHH 2013, in Geneva, here you can find all information about its inner-work (Caliber 2885 self-winding chronograph movement) and performances which are the same as those of the pink gold version.
The main difference is an 18 karat pink gold case that makes an interesting combination with a white rubber strap. The bezel is crafted in black ceramic with beautiful satin finishes, while the crown and push-pieces come in white ceramic. Glareproofed sapphire crystal covers the open-worked dial, featuring light silver sub-dials and an inner bezel ring, as well as pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oakhands with luminescent coating.
Royal Oak Offshore Diver Watch
Audemars Piguet released a new edition of its ROO Diver which is even more impressive than the previous version in forged carbon. A new diving timepiece is completely crafted in black ceramic and fitted on a matching vulcanized rubber strap with a titanium pin buckle. The modern and dynamic style is completed with a black dial, decorated with the brand’s iconic “mega tappissiere” motif.
A 42mm, ceramic case (I would prefer a slightly larger diameter since it is a diving watch) incorporates an octagonal bezel, made of the same material and fixed with eight screws. One of the most important features of diver’s watches is provided via the turning inner bezel ring, for counting elapsed time. It features a luminescent white diving scale and a zone from 12 to 3 o’clock position, marked in orange. This scale can be rotated by the crown at the 10 o’clock position.
For superb readability even in the most extreme conditions, white gold applied markers and the hour hand are coated with bright luminescence. For the same reason, minute and second hands are marked in orange. The case-back is made of ultra-light titanium and covered with sapphire crystal that opens a view on a high-end AP’s Calibre 3120. Beside its exceptional performances, this self-winding mechanism is equally impressive for its aesthetic qualities. It incorporates a Monobloc oscillating weight in 22 karat gold with ceramic ball bearings, diamond graved bevels of the bridges with inverted snailing and 40 jewels. This in-house movement beats on the frequency of 21,600 alternations per hour and provides the power-reserve of 60 hours. The date aperture is located at the 3 o’clock position.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ceramic (Ref 26402)
Finally, the most versatile Royal Oak Offshore line got a new, bold looking member. This time, a robust, black ceramic case with the diameter of 44mm is a perfect home for an AP Caliber 3126/3840. This self-winding chronograph movement provides exceptional chronograph performances, displayed on a nicely arranged, black dial with the inevitable “Méga Tapisserie” pattern. The 12 hour counter is located at the 6 o’clock position, the 30-minute counter is at the 9 o’clock, while the small seconds sub-dial takes the 12 o’clock position. Besides, there is a nice, round aperture for the date display, at the 3 o’clock position. Finally, the inner bezel ring comes inscribed with the tachymeter scale for calculating speed.
Legibility of new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ceramic is really impressive. White gold applied hour-markers andRoyal Oak hands come with luminescent coating, while the readability of chrono hands is enhanced with red color. Fixed with eight screws, the octagonal bezel comes in black ceramic, as well as screw-locked crown and chronograph push pieces. The “all in black” style is rounded with a black rubber strap.
Through the transparent sapphire crystal case-back, you can see the beauty of the mechanism with an engraved 22 karat gold rotor. It also incorporates a variable-inertia balance with eight inertia-blocks and a flat balance-spring, as well as a circular-grained mainplate and bridges which are rhodiumed, beveled, snailed and adorned with Côtes de Genève. The Calibre 3126/3840 comprises 365 parts and 59 jewels and provides the power-reserve of 60 hours.