If there’s one watch that still haunts the collective dreams of the watch lover community since SIHH 2017 it’s the Are Audemars Piguet Gold Watches Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. In ceramic. In the 40-ish years since the Royal Oak’s conception, Gerald Genta’s avant-garde masterpiece has seen it all. Cases made of steel, gold, platinum, and forged carbon, married to nearly every type of complication under the sun in haute horology – but never in full ceramic, both case and bracelet. It’s this fresh addition to the legacy of variety combined with one of the most iconic designs in watchmaking that have made this Royal Oak in particular one for the ages.
For this year’s edition of SIHH, Audemars Piguet introduced the all-black Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar watch ref. 26579CE in ceramic – as aforementioned, marking the first time the Swiss watchmaker has paired this case material to this particular complication. However, unlike previous ceramic case offerings which usually came fitted with rubber or exotic leather straps, Audemars Piguet is also introducing a brand new ceramic bracelet, hand-finished to the watchmaker’s signature staggering degree of detail to perfectly complement the Royal Oak case.
From titanium and forged carbon to ceramic itself, Audemars Piguet has championed the use of exotic case materials for the better part of the last decade, so it should come as little surprise that the brand’s expertise finally gave birth to a matching ceramic bracelet for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. But the bracelet didn’t come easily – some 600 hours of research and development were invested into its production, largely because the true signature of an Audemars Piguet isn’t just the employment of exotic materials, but a mastery of finishing them with traditional high-end techniques usually reserved for metals like steel or gold. And because of ceramic’s notorious difficulty to produce and manipulate, it takes a highly trained technician over 30 hours to machine, polish, hand-finish, assemble, and control this particular ceramic bracelet – over five times longer than executing the same production procedures on a standard Audemars Piguet Royal Oak stainless steel bracelet.
I was further inspired by Audemars Piguet along with the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph when thinking about my latest post on matters I’d love to see more of and less of out of the watch business in 2017 and talking my own expectation to get more daring colors in watches by leading brands. It appears like Audemars Piguet shares my enthusiasm. You will find five “vibrant” Funky Colour Edition designs of this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver to pick from this year including the mention 15710ST. OO.A027CA.01 in dark blue, 15710ST. OO.A070CA.01 in bright orange, 15710ST. OO.A051CA.01 in acid yellow, 15710ST. OO.A010CA.01 in snowy. The latter is extremely similar in layout to the white ceramic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver from 2014. Every one of the models comes at a finely completed 42mm-wide steel case that is water resistant to 300 meters. A hallmark design element of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver is your interior rotating timing bezel that is operated by the crown located at 10 o’clock. It looks like the blue-colored crowns are coated in vulcanized rubber. Attached to the instances are incredibly high-quality rubber Royal Oak Offshore tapering straps in colours to match the bold colors of their watches. Interestingly, blue is the common colour across all these new versions, and so as to provide a more “safely conservative” option, Audemars Piguet includes an extra blue-colored strap with each watch. The version that already comes on a blue strap has an additional yellow strap to choose it. This 15710ST. OO.A027CA.01 piece may actually be the trendiest model when on the yellow strap.
Of course, it would be cruel to show you photos and tell you about this watch’s amazing sound with no video to let you hear it, and thus do play the video above to listen to it on your own. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is a piece that took Audemars Piguet eight long years to develop, and the goal was to make the supreme striking watch. The second repeater complication is frequently regarded among the toughest and… well, complicated to make – so imagine how difficult it is to create one from scratch. The next issue to remember is that Audemars Piguet did not only wish to produce a new minute repeater see, they desired to make one that would be the best.Now, the “greatest” to get Audemars Piguet signifies their attempting to create the most crisp and clear sound of any moment repeater. The brand points into three accomplishments demonstrated in this particular watch, which I will briefly run through. To begin with, the unique preparation of the steel used to create the gong arrangement makes it possible for the watchmakers to more accurately and easily correct and hone the pitch, tone, and harmony of this second repeater. Second, the method by which the situation is constructed minimizes sound absorption and maximizes amplification. I’ll discuss this “soundboard” procedure more a little bit later on. Finally, the striking regulator is redesigned so that the anchor system acts like a shock absorber, minimizing shock noise.One of the most important constituents of a second repeater watch is the situation because it is responsible for broadening the sound. Titanium is a very light and strong alloy, and its low density enables sound to pass through with less resistance. In case you have any doubts about this, you only need to check at exotic supercars and their titanium exhausts. Titanium is also used elsewhere around the watch to enhance the quality of the noise, but more on this later.
The end result is both seamless and sinister – delivering the same singular, unbroken aesthetic between case and bracelet we’re used to seeing on other Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar offerings in steel and gold, and quite frankly, the way the watch has always been meant to be worn. In ceramic, however, the watch remains lightweight, yet just assertive enough to lend the feeling of an ultralight titanium sport watch, but one whose finishing goes to eleven.
According to two earlier Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph watches, specifically the Ref. 26388PO (watch our hands-on with it here) and 26288OR, those new Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph watches come in stainless steel and 18k rose gold respectively, and feature a new case design that has a thinner bezel and hence a more spacious dial. Even so, the identifying Royal Oak Offshore design traits are all undamaged. The 45mm instance is still angular, the bezel is still octagonal, and there is no lost those vulnerable hexagonal screws on the bezel. Water resistance is also 100m. On the dial, one can see the exposed motion and the tourbillon at 9 o’clock. Opposite the tourbillon at 3 o’clock is your 30-minute counter to get the chronograph. Also clearly visible are the two mainspring barrels. The skeletonized bridges stretch from each of the eight screws in a means that’s rather distinctive and ties the design of the case, dial, and movement together in a way few watches manage to do so.These watches are powered by the in-house hand-wound Caliber 2947, which is an open-worked variant of the Caliber 2933 found at the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Ref. 26388PO & 26288OR. This particular movement features 338 components, an integrated chronograph movement that has a column wheel mechanism, a beat rate of 3Hz, and a power reserve of a whopping 237 hours. Royal Oak Offshore fanatics are certainly eager to know the costs, and we’ll update the article when we can confirm.
Since it sprung to life for the first time in 1955, Audemars Piguet’s perpetual calendar movement has been another hallmark for the brand, and while the self-winding Caliber 5134 fitted to this Audemars Piguet Watchfinder Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar still bears the less-than-subtle recessed adjusters on the 9:00 side of the case, it’s still a highly modern movement deeply connected to the brand’s origins, bearing the reminder that the source of all time measurement ultimately begins and ends in the stars. To be more specific, though, the 5134 is sized specifically for the 41mm case and yields a three-register layout with month and leap year indicators at 12:00, a moonphase display at 6:00, and the day of the week at 9:00. Running the circumference of the dial on the rehaut is a central-mounted 52-week pointer. Even at that level of complication, the 5134 runs a svelte 4.31mm thick, which helps maintain the Royal Oak’s classically thin silhouette.
Based on two earlier Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph watches, especially the Ref. 26388PO (watch our hands on with it here) and 26288OR, these fresh Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph watches come in stainless steel and 18k rose gold respectively, and feature a new case design which has a thinner bezel and hence a more spacious dial. Even so, the identifying Royal Oak Offshore design characteristics are all undamaged. The 45mm instance is still angular, the bezel remains octagonal, and there’s no lost those vulnerable hexagonal screws around the bezel. Water resistance can also be 100m. On the dial, an individual can observe the vulnerable movement and the tourbillon at 9 o’clock. Opposite the tourbillon at 3 o’clock is the 30-minute counter for the chronograph. Also clearly visible are both mainspring barrels. The skeletonized bridges stretch from each of the eight screws in a means that’s rather distinctive and ties the design of this case, dial, and movement together in a way few watches manage to do so.These watches are powered by the in-house hand-wound Caliber 2947, which is an open-worked version of the Caliber 2933 located at the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Ref. 26388PO & 26288OR. This specific movement features 338 components, an incorporated chronograph movement which has a column wheel mechanism, a heartbeat speed of 3Hz, and a power reserve of a whopping 237 hours. Royal Oak Offshore fanatics are certainly eager to understand the prices, and we’ll update the article when we can confirm.
It just wouldn’t be a Royal Oak without the textured “Grande Tapisserie” guilloche dial, nor would it be one without the applied white gold hour indices, or octagonal bezel – all of which are mandatory signatures that have collectively made this watch a joy to behold through the ages. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar edition gets one other neat flourish – a photorealistic rendering of the moon, as sharply contrasted against the inky black case as the real thing beaming down from a dark winter sky.
There’s a lot to love about Audemars Piguet finally delivering a bracelet in ceramic – and while the Perpetual Calendar makes the most sense for the bracelet’s debut, we’re holding out hope that a ceramic bracelet for the ROO Diver is soon to follow. The price for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (reference 26579CE) in full ceramic is $93,900, which is comparable to the asking price of the gold variants introduced in 2015. audemarspiguet.com