Three new models are added to the Millenary collection at SIHH next month, together with smaller instances and more sparkle than ever. The Millenary is one of three collections from Audemars Piguet that include ladies’ watches, but basically, it’s the most female-centric of the full collections within the brand. The Royal Oak and the Royal Oak Offshore equally have ladies’ versions, but they started as, and are known chiefly as men’s collections. The jewellery sets are limited-edition one-offs, certainly not created for everyday wear or pocketbooks. Gem-setting is a particular strength of the collection identifying the watches in the sportier Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore ladies’ pieces. At the exact same time, a partly openworked dial provides the Millenary a technical aspect — a reminder that it comes from one of the leading makers of mechanical movements. The Millenary, last upgraded in 2015, will be refreshed with three new versions at SIHH next month in Geneva, for example two all-gold models set with diamonds and a single gold instance version with a strap.The instance on the ring variant has a “frosted gold” finish that gives it the look of hand-finished jewelry. Frosted gold is a collaboration between Audemars Piguet and Florentine jewelry designer Carolina Bucci, using a technique known as the Florentine method. It is made by using a diamond-tipped tool to make tiny indentations across the surface, culminating in a shimmering glow, such as snow. The end was released last year around the women’ Royal Oak. On the Millenary, it’s applied between polished sections on the stepped bezel and lugs, and to areas of the case side. The signature offset sub-dials that record minutes, hours, and seconds are set with opal, a new dial substance for this collection. Audemars Piguet also adds a fashion watch component to the strap variant. It is offered in several colors and textures, including rubber, alligator, textile, or velvet, and a selection of blue, gray, red, pink, light green, or purple.
Last year Audemars Piguet unveiled a slew of Royal Oak watches in yellow gold, with a notable omission, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin “Jumbo”. As the Royal Oak marks the 40th anniversary of the first yellow gold model of 1977, that has now been rectified with a pair that will make their debut at SIHH 2017.
The new Royal Oak Extra-Thin watches in 18k yellow gold join the 50-piece limited edition made for Singapore retailer The Hour Glass last year, with both the case and bracelet in yellow gold.
While the version for The Hour Glass had a green dial, the two new additions to the collection are in dark blue and yellow gold respectively. Both dials are finished in the traditional style of the Royal Oak, decorated with Petite Tapisserie guilloche and featuring yellow gold applied markers and hands.
The case diameter is 39mm, the exact same diameter as the 1977 original “Jumbo”, though the sapphire display back means the modern iteration is slightly thicker than the solid back original.
But the movement inside remains the 2121, the slim, self-winding calibre originally developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre but now made by Audemars Piguet.
Price and availability
The Royal Oak Extra-Thin in yellow gold with a blue dial is the ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.01, while the same with a matching yellow gold dial is the ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.02. Both are priced at US$55,400.