While Audemars Piguet has obtained quite a lot of flak in the past for what some collectors perceive as milking the Royal Oak fame a little too much, I believe that the option available within the range is a superb thing. Not everyone can afford a tourbillon chronograph, and not everyone wants only a time-only watch. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked Material Great watch comes with a bracelet of the same substance as the instance and an extra alligator leather strap. It is accessible at Audemars Piguet stores as well as the Material Good store in NY for $297,000 for the pink gold version and $261,000 for the titanium model. Audemars Piguet has been creating some of the most technically intriguing watches within their Royal Oak Concept collection for the past few years. This past year, they showed off the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer, an exceptionally complex chronograph with three column wheels that could quantify consecutive lap times. And earlier this year, they introduced the both complex Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph view, a minute repeater exemplifying Audemars Piguet’s obsession with audio clarity and quality.Of course, it’d be unkind to show you pictures and tell you about this watch’s amazing noise with no video to let you hear that, so do play with the movie above to listen to it on your own. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is a bit that took Audemars Piguet eight long years to develop, and the aim was to create the ultimate striking watch. The minute repeater complication is often regarded among the most difficult and… well, complicated to create – so imagine how difficult it’s to make one from scratch. The next thing to remember is that Audemars Piguet didn’t only wish to produce a new minute repeater see, they wanted to create one which are the best.
While ceramic has been a favourite material at Audemars Piguet for the Royal Oak, it has not been used for a watch bracelet, until now. Just announced at SIHH 2017, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is ceramic from end to end, with the case, bezel and every link of the bracelet in black ceramic.
The case is 41mm in diameter, just like the standard model, but the finishing of the case and bracelet takes significantly more time than for the steel or gold equivalent. While a steel model takes some six hours to machine, polish and put together, the ceramic version takes 30 hours.
To match the ceramic case, the dial is a dark grey with black sub-dials, decorated with the chequerboard grande tapisserie guilloche that’s synonymous with the Royal Oak.
Historically an important complication for Audemars Piguet, the ceramic perpetual calendar is powered by the calibre 5134, a movement based on the extra-thin calibre 2120/2121 found in the original Royal Oak of 1972.
In fact, the calibre 5134 is evolved from the calibre 2120/2802, the movement used for the 39mm Royal Oak perpetual calendar that was in production for some 30 years. The key difference in the new calibre being the addition of a 52 week indicator.
Price and availability
The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic (ref. 26579CE.OO.1225CE.01) is priced at SFr85,000. It should be available in the second half of 2017.