Avid fans of the renowned Swiss brand will be happy to see a new Royal Oak Concept timepiece which will be officially revealed next January, at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2014 (SIHH) in Geneva. RO Concepts which very rarely appear on the market always present something new and spectacular in terms of design, material and technology. New Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon watch is not an exception, but the best representative of the idea that inspired Audemars Piguet to come up with this distinctive line. It shows an exceptional cocktail of high-end materials, highlighted by white ceramic, while its open-work dial reveals a mechanical masterpiece and its precious tourbillon cage.
Audemars Piguet is one of brands that hardly change their iconic designs. Hence, it needs to be something truly impressive to make the prestigious watchmaker give up from the legendary “Grand Tapisserie” motif or highly recognizable metallic color. The first Royal Oak Concept was created in 2002 from ultra-hard Alacrite 602 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the brand’s signature collection in the extraordinary way, by redesigning a famous design code of the original. Concepts were introduced two more times, in 2008 and 2011, presenting advanced materials combined with high-end mechanics.
Finally, there is a latest creation, a stunning Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon watch, featuring a sculpted titanium case, combined with a white ceramic bezel, crown and push buttons. Not just that Audemars Piguet used this highly advanced material for outer parts, but also it incorporated it in the mechanism. Thus, a blackened upper bridge of Calibre 2913 is replaced by white ceramic, scratch resistant, light material which is nine times harder than steel.
By using these extremely-light materials, also including aluminium, hardened by anodisation which forms the outer dial’s rim, the Swiss watchmaker makes this robust timepiece very comfortable on the wrist. The 44 mm case features the octagonal bezel (rounder than the one of the original) and an integrated white rubber strap which perfectly matches striking bright look of the case.
The open-work dial has truly unique design, which besides unusual construction presents a perfect symmetry. At the 9 o’clock position, there is a completely revealed tourbillon cage, holding on a black anodized aluminium bridge. The same design is applied at the 3 o’clock position, where you can see the second time-zone indicator, featuring two superimposed discs: one with the inscribed 12-hour track and the other one below that turns once every 24 hours, showing two colored areas: a white half for day-time and a black half for night-time. Finally, at the 6 o’clock position, there is an indicator that shows a position of a winding stem. Thus H, N and R positions indicates time-setting, neutral and winding functions of a crown.
The coherence of a case and a mechanism has always been one of the principles for creating Concept timepieces. It is the same with a new Calibre 2930 hand-winding movement that powers Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon watch. This high-end mechanism has the impressive power-reserve up to 10 days thanks to the special parallel double barrel system, which generates a constant force to the gear train. The Swiss watchmaker also paid a lot of attention to finishes on mechanical components and its tourbillon, which are bevelled, polished, assembled and balanced by hand.