audemars piguet royal oak selfwinding diamonds
While the stars of the show for the celebrations of the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary were, without a doubt, the new Extra-Thin 16202 and the Openworked 16204, Audemars Piguet won’t only be looking at the Jumbo models. In fact, throughout 2022, the entire permanent Royal Oak collection will be updated. Be reassured; we’re talking small touches to make these models slightly more refined or mechanically more modern. The design invented by Genta in 1972 is still alive and well and almost intact. First, concerning the audemars piguet royal oak selfwinding 37mm and audemars piguet royal oak selfwinding diamonds Chronographs 38mm & 41mm, the evolutions will be focusing on details from the case and bracelet and dial design/colours. And, a little spoiler, these evolutions will also concern the Royal Oak Selfwinding 41mm and 34mm in the second half of 2022. But let’s look at this new collection to understand what has changed.
Let’s get straight to the point. We’re not looking at a complete overhaul of the Royal Oak. Don’t expect a complete redesign or entirely new models. The collection that Audemars Piguet releases in the frame of the 50 years of the Royal Oak is about subtle, minimal updates without altering the original concept of the RO collection. It’s still a sports watch with an integrated bracelet; it still features an octagonal bezel with eight screws; it is still a proper luxury watch; and it still features a tapisserie pattern on the dial. And the way the collection is articulated – read Selfwinding time-and-date watches in 34mm, 37mm and 41mm, as well as two Selfwinding Chronographs in 38mm and 41mm – hasn’t been touched either. Those who were expecting the Royal Oak to change will be disappointed. Those, and they are many, who were looking forward to the Royal Oak remaining true to its origins will be pleased.
So, what has changed in 2022? And this goes for all three audemars piguet royal oak selfwinding 37mm and Chronographs 38mm and 41mm we’re looking at today and will be the same for the 34mm and 41mm later this year. As for the case, it’s about the finishing and how the case is shaped. While retaining the same proportions as before, these new Royal Oak references now have enlarged polished bevels adorning the top and the bottom of the case, enhancing the contrast and play of light with the brushed surfaces. Also, the screwed caseback has been slightly more integrated into the case middle to sit more comfortably on the wrist.
Another evolution concerns the transition between case and bracelet and the way the whole tapers to the clasp. Indeed, to accentuate the case’s slenderness and add a bit of refinement, the integrated bracelet’s first four links are now trapezoid in shape and no longer parallel. This more pronounced decrease in thickness brings forward the bracelet’s taper for more visual appeal. Furthermore, the links are thinner throughout the bracelet and therefore lighter, enhancing the comfort on the wrist – this evolution of the design was actually introduced discreetly on Royal Oak models in gold a few years ago but now finds its way into the whole collection, including steel and titanium models.
The second update concerns the dials. audemars piguet royal oak selfwinding adds subtle touches without drastically changing the overall idea of the tapisserie pattern, which has been associated with the Royal Oak since its very creation. The idea with the 2022 update of the Royal Oak Selfwinding models is to bring coherence. Design-wise, the hour markers and hands retain the same aesthetics as before, yet the size has been harmonised across the whole collection, regardless of diameter and material. In the same vein, the proportions of the hour markers of the new self-winding chronographs and self-winding time-and-date timepieces have been standardised according to the different diameters.
Looking at the dial in more detail, there’s a new AUDEMARS PIGUET signature, replacing the applied AP monogram and printed text used in past collections. Now, the brand is using the same embossed signature as used on Code 11.59. Made of thin layers of 24-carat gold, the signature is achieved through a chemical process akin to 3D printing known as galvanic growth. Each letter is connected with links approximately the size of a hair and placed on the dial by hand. Also, all watches now have tone-on-tone date wheels.
Finally, while the tapisserie pattern has been retained and shows the same size as before – and this is specific to the 37mm time-and-date model – the flat external zone on which the minute track was printed has now been removed, and the track is now printed directly on the guilloché dial, just like on Jumbo models. The two 38mm and 41mm audemars piguet royal oak selfwinding chronographs retain a smooth external scale, which is used as a precision seconds track.