During SIHH 2016, Audemars Piguet released two Royal Oak Frosted Gold watches – a 33mm quartz version and a 37mm automatic one. For those who enjoy some bling in their watches and a larger case size, the brand has a added a 41mm limited edition option, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm watch, to the line.
The “frosted gold” used in the making of the case and the bracelet is prepared using a hammering technique by Italian jeweler, Carolina Bucci. The metal is frosted after the components are shaped but before assembly, much like other decorative techniques. For those of you who are curious, Audemars Piguet has a short video which shows a few fleeting seconds of the process underway here – note that this isn’t done by a wise, old watchmaker behind a desk but by an efficient machine.
Sometimes one can get lost in the seductive illusion that more is done by hand than, in reality, is possible with certain techniques and modern expectations for tolerances. The frosting gives the gold a shiny effect similar to that of having diamond powder on the surface, just less reflective. The bezel edges are polished and case edges beveled for some additional pop in between the frosting, and the caseband is brushed (perhaps there is such a thing as too much bling). The “frosted” finishing is not often seen in cases (movement parts and dials, more often), which makes this an interesting and unusual look that should probably be viewed in person to determine just how attractive/wearable/masculine/blingy or otherwise it is. Aside from the use of the frosted gold, this is essentially the blue-dial version of the time-only Royal Oak that we’ve come to know in various forms over the years since Gerald Genta designed it.
This is a wristwatch that’s so known to many of youpersonally, it may not need much of an investigation — but this really is HODINKEE and you’ll be able to think you are gonna receive you. The Royal Oak Chronograph is a watch that has tens of thousands of lovers all over the world, and a couple of detractors, also. The ROC, since I’ll call it henceforth, is something of a middle ground between two entirely distinct Audemars Piguet buyers — the collectors, and, well, everyone else. The Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore families frequently appeal to quite different individuals, but I’ll get to this soon. In this short article, I handle a mainstay in the AP lineup, and also an intriguing piece of haute horology, though one without its own in-house motion. I will have a look at just how this 41mm column-wheel, vertical clutch chronograph wears, and whether the issue of where the movement came from is even something worth noting in any way. That is the HODINKEE Week On The Wrist with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph, and it’s one worth spending some time with.AP is a really unique watch manufacture. It is among the few worldwide haute horology brands that remains in the control of its founding family, with several members of their Audemars family still sitting on its board. But, the ownership of AP isn’t necessarily the most interesting facet of this 175 year old fabrication — the question that matters is that buys AP’s watches?
While the previous smaller variants were offered in white and rose gold, this 41mm Royal Oak will only be available in white gold. It has the blue tapisserie dial with a matching blue date window. I always thought the Royal Oak shined best with a blue (not white) dial. The hands and applied markers are gold, of course, and filled with a sliver of Super-LumiNova to make the watch legible at night. The bracelet is the familiar and very comfortable design. Like the 37mm frosted gold sibling, it is powered by the automatic caliber 3120, which offers 60 hours of power reserve, beats at 3Hz, and has the customary, solid 22ct gold, decorated monobloc rotor – all of which is visible through a display caseback.
Those wanting to stock up on some bling will have to hurry as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm is limited to 200 pieces only. If you happen to miss out, you could always console yourself by purchasing a set of Royal Oak cufflinks that the brand released with the watch. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm is available at retailers and boutiques for $55,000 and a pair of the cufflinks will set you back $4,200 for the gold and $1,600 for steel. audemarspiguet.com