Category: Audemars Piguet Watches


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra Thin Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon

Audemars Piguet has launched its latest research and development breakthrough (RD#3) with the Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin.

This 39 mm stainless steel anniversary model, measuring 8.1 mm in thickness, represents the first “Jumbo” in history to be equipped with a self-winding flying tourbillon.

It is powered by the Manufacture’s new self-winding ultra-thin flying tourbillon movement, Calibre 2968, measuring just 3.4 mm thick and adorned with a novel combination of traditional and contemporary hand-crafted decorations. Pushing the boundaries of feasibility, this model will be complemented in September by a second 37 mm version for the slimmer wrists, enriched with a dial of a different hue.
This 39 mm Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin in stainless steel achieves the feat of integrating a self-winding flying tourbillon into a “Jumbo” case. Placed at the dial level, the rotating tourbillon cage appears at 6 o’clock.

At the heart of this new innovation is Calibre 2968, an ultra-thin self-winding flying tourbillon movement that was developed over a five-year period.
Given the extra-thin nature of the form language, this self-winding flying tourbillon had to be creatively rethought to reduce the thickness required to house this complication by repositioning certain components. The tourbillon cage, which is crafted in titanium, is notably equipped for the first time with a peripheral drive. The combination of these two elements not only makes the distribution of energy to the tourbillon more fluid, but also served to lighten and refine this regulating organ.

In order to provide optimum visibility of the tourbillon and the movement, Audemars Piguet engineers completely redesigned the architecture of the mechanism. The Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin features a new escapement to accentuate the aesthetic details while revealing part of the movement’s workings.

The geometry and positioning of the balance wheel arms have notably been revised in such a way as to make the watch’s beating heart even more perceptible. The technical design of the movement results in the flying tourbillon being placed at the dial level, for a greater visual experience.
The hand decoration of the movement components, visible through the sapphire caseback, combines the dynamism and classicism of V-angles with the modernity of traits tirés– a finish that appears on the mainplate and bridges and replaces the traditional Côtes de Genève. The open-worked, rhodium-toned bridges offer an unobstructed view, contrasting with the pink-gold-toned colour of certain mechanism elements.

The new RD#3 remains true to the aesthetic codes of the iconic “Jumbo” models. The stainless steel case and bracelet feature the collection’s signature satin-brushed and polished hand finishes, while the timepiece is graced with a Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50Petite Tapisserie dial which pays tribute to the original model. The colour is obtained using a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) process that guarantees a uniform and lasting tone across all the dials.
Just as on the 1972 model, this new “Jumbo” reference is distinguished by bathtub-shaped hour-markers and hands filled with luminescent material to ensure optimal readability in the dark. The Audemars Piguet signature, like the minute-track, is printed in white on the Tapisserie motif.

The titanium flying tourbillon cage rotating at 6 o’clock stands out against the blue Tapisserie backdrop to create an airy effect. Contrary to the original model, the contemporary version is endowed with a sapphire caseback, which reveals the new ultra-thin movement and the dedicated oscillating weight.

The Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin features a central oscillating weight mounted on ball bearings and equipped with two reversers that ensure bidirectional winding.

The timepiece is fitted with the dedicated anniversary open-worked oscillating weight in rhodium-toned22-carat pink gold, which bears the “50-years” logo and the Audemars Piguet signature engraved on its surface. Matching the tones of the stainless steel case and bracelet, it is also adorned with the collection’s trademark polished and satin-brushed finishes.
In 1986, Audemars Piguet introduced the world’s first self-winding tourbillon wristwatch. Imagined by Jacqueline Dimier, the design placed the tourbillon escapement on the dial side for the very first time. Calibre 2870 is housed in an ultra-thin case measuring a mere5.3 mm thick. Its titanium tourbillon cage remains one of the smallest in the world today with a diameter of 7.2 mm, as well as one of the lightest with a weight of only 0.123 grams.

This model became known as the Tourbillon Self-winding Ra (in reference to the Egyptian sun god) because Jacqueline Dimier’s design gave the tiny regulator the appearance of a sun, with its rays spreading across the dial.

This complicated wristwatch, of which 401 were produced until 1992, opened up a new avenue for Haute Horlogerie, which began to see a comeback of prestigious mechanisms including tourbillon watches.

Thirty years after Jacqueline Dimier’s model, the Manufacture launched a series of Research and Development models. In 2015, Audemars Piguet revealed its first RD#1 Royal Oak Concept Minute Repeater Supersonnerie prototype at SIHH, after eight years of research in partnership with EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and a panel of experts composed of watchmakers, engineers, musicians and sound specialists.

This watch marked a significant step forward in terms of acoustic performance, sound amplification and sonic beauty, with the launch of the Supersonnerie mechanism. This system, for which three patents were filed, combines a novel chiming mechanism with an innovative case construction.

The commercial Royal Oak Concept Minute Repeater Supersonnerie version, which followed one year later, won the “Mechanical Exception Watch Prize” at the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

In 2019, Audemars Piguet unveiled a new innovation with its 41 mm Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin, whose prototype was presented a year earlier at SIHH under the name RD#2.

This 6.3 mm-thick calendar watch houses a movement that is only 2.89 mm thick, making it the world’s thinnest automatic calendar wristwatch of its time. To achieve this feat, the calendar functions usually mounted on three levels were brought together on a single plane.

The experts at the Manufacture also developed two patented innovations relating to the integration of the end-of-month cam with the date wheel and the association of the month cam with the month wheel. Marking a turning point in the history of complication watches, the Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin earned Audemars Piguet the “Aiguille d’Or” award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in November 2019.

This year, the Manufacture’s latest technical advance, the Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin, follows in the footsteps of previous innovations.

This RD#3 timepiece, powered by the new Calibre 2968, combines technical innovation and aesthetic refinement to pay a fine tribute to the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Carolina Bucci

Continuing its partnership with jewelry designer Carolina Bucci, Audemars Piguet has unveiled a limited-edition version of its Royal Oak Selfwinding watch.

The 34mm timepiece, arriving in all-black ceramic, is highlighted with a rainbow-colored dial celebrating the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary. The dial pays tribute to the Tapisserie design, and comes with a mirror effect that is achieved by applying a sapphire plate on top of the brass dial plate. Hexagonal pink-gold screws adorn the bezel while the caseback reads “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Limited Edition Carolina Bucci.”

The special design, which marks the jewelry designer’s third partnership with the watchmaker, arrives in a limited-edition presentation box designed by Bucci herself. Just like the watch’s dial, the box features AP’s classic Tapisserie pattern.

Take a closer look at the Carolina Bucci x Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 34mm in black ceramic above. The timepiece is available at AP boutiques and AP Houses.
Premier Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet is reintroducing the 34 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding, this time with some unexpected twists. As a celebration of Royal Oak’s fiftieth anniversary, the brand called upon Italian jewelry designer Carolina Bucci to add her unique flair to the genderless timepiece.

Bucci’s craft is characterized by effortless elegance, and this project was no different for her. The designer brings intricate touches to the Royal Oak, though her trademark hammering technique was replaced with stunning contrasts instead. The watch’s dial appears black from afar, but closer inspection reveals a macrocosm of color and iridescence.
This eye-catching feature was made possible by a sapphire plate accented with miniature squares which catch the light with every swivel of the wrist. This technique varies from dial to dial, making each piece truly one-of-a-kind.

In addition to the multicolored dial, the watch is also elevated by hexagonal pink-gold screws securing the bezel, pink-gold hour markers, and a 22-carat pink-gold oscillating weight with a sleek, polished finish.

This exclusive style, the third of Bucci’s collaborations with Audemars Piguet, comes in a limited-edition presentation box, also designed by Bucci herself. Like the Royal Oak’s dynamic dial, the box also displays the timepiece brand’s classic Tapisserie pattern.

The watch is finished off with a titanium and sapphire caseback engraved with the words, “Limited Edition Carolina Bucci” and polished chamfers to optimize the watch’s brilliance. Honoring the Royal Oak Selfwinding of the past, this silhouette stays true to tradition, while blending Bucci’s meticulous touch and knack for color.

The new limited edition AP Royal Oak Selfwinding 34 mm in black ceramic is available exclusively in Audemars Piguet boutiques and AP Houses.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin

 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin isn’t exhibiting at Watches & Wonders, but that hasn’t stopped it introducing a show stopping version of its Extra-Thin 50th anniversary Royal Oak; this time with a flying tourbillon.

A 39mm steel on steel version is launching this month, with a 37mm piece going on sale in September. Both are equipped with a new self-winding, slim, flying tourbillon movement, the Calibre 2968, which is just 3.4 mm thick, and has a 50 hour power reserve.
Launching in the Royal Oak’s silver jubilee year, the movement has been given the special 50th anniversary rotor.

It has allowed  Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin to make its first automatic flying tourbillon watch in smaller sized watches. “The Royal Oak continues to evolve and cut through the timeline 50 years after its creation and will do so for the next 50 years and beyond. It remains a platform for both technical and aesthetic development, as demonstrated by the new ultra-thin flying tourbillon making its debut on both the classic 39mm and the celebrated 37mm Royal Oak models. The movement architecture was designed to offer a unique view of the smaller cage while showcasing an engaging contrast of hand-finishing techniques throughout,” explains Michael Friedman, Audemars Piguet’s head of complications.

The  Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin (RD#3) has a blue petite tapisserie patterned dial with white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet

It may surprise you, but Olivia Crouan, Chief Brand Officer for Audemars Piguet, hasn’t always been a watch person. She spent most of her career (almost 20 years) working with brands in the Wine & Spirits division of LVMH. In fact, she only joined the horological world after moving to Geneva, Switzerland, with her two sons in 2018.

Nonetheless, at some point, her time with the historic brand became almost fated to happen, as their shared values, like family spirit, long-term vision, and craftsmanship, became more apparent.
I first met Olivia at Dubai Watch Week 2021, where Audemars Piguet was hosting a large-scale exhibition on the development of the Royal Oak Offshore. And it was there we talked about the brand’s strategies, development, the AP House concept, the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet, and the upcoming anniversary of the Royal Oak.
Thank you for sitting down with me today. Let me start by asking, how has the brand evolved since you joined the team?

When I started three years ago, I found the brand in amazing condition. It was already very vibrant. The question I faced was, “What is the next step?”

So my mission became to assure that the vision of the brand and the family stayed alive. Being anchored to who we are and to the brand’s DNA. And we have been challenging ourselves pretty much every day, trying to find new opportunities.
One challenge we faced was how to evolve the brand to appeal to people outside the watch community. Indeed, the brand has always been well-known within the watchmaking industry. But if you go outside the watch community (and here is one of the reasons why François-Henry Bennahmias hired me), people didn’t really know Audemars Piguet.

So, the goal was to get more people to know and understand who we are. Understand, I am not speaking about getting them to buy watches but about awareness of the brand and the spirit we want to convey to the world.
For instance, three years ago, our Instagram page was only about our products, but that didn’t reflect the entire spirit of AP. When you enter the AP family, you get more than just a watch; you experience something special, you meet crazy and instinctive people, and you couldn’t feel that our Instagram. So we adapted to make it reflect our whole spirit.

What is the quintessence of the Audemars Piguet’s strategy today?

I would say it’s about the natural, organic development of the brand. There are different aspects to this. For instance, in terms of retail, we continue to take control over a large proportion of our distribution via our own network of boutiques and developing the AP Houses. In terms of the brand strategy, we want proximity to our clientele. Our goal is to sell without any walls.
In terms of the brand strategy, we want proximity to our clientele. Our goal is to sell without any walls.

And in terms of collections, I would say that we want to evolve but, at the same time, stay true to our roots. We are about to have a huge development in the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection that will gain us more interest and respect. So we plan to explore this playground with more materials, design solutions, etc.
Let’s talk about the AP Houses. As I understand it, the concept behind them is to create a meeting space centered around a passion for fine watchmaking, with watches being sold (or not) after a casual conversation on a couch or over dinner. Why could this not be realized in an AP boutique?

When you are in a boutique, you are in a retail space, so it can be difficult to experiment a brand properly. Meaning that the AP House is more about education, experimenting, talking to people, and spending time with people than sales. And that is something you can’t do in a boutique.
One important thing was learning to believe in yourself. I remember François gathering the team and saying, “We are there. We know why we are there. We know what we are doing. We need to believe in ourselves.” We do something because we believe it is right for us.

On the other hand, we also learned how to manage social media, even within the company. We learned a lot about crisis management. And realizing that [as a brand] you don’t control what is and how to accept that.
Next year, we are going to celebrate the spirit behind the brand. The goal is to make it shine throughout the family. Of course, we are going to make a lot of announcements in terms of products, but I can’t tell you more at the moment.

We are also going to launch some new initiatives, which you will find out about next year. Finally, we are, for sure, going to reach out to collectors and give them more information about who we are and about our pieces. That is something crucial for us.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph

In 1993, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore replica watch was born, in addition to the tradition of the Royal Oak, the 42 mm case, externally visible waterproof gasket, chronograph function with speedometer scale and other innovative design. The replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph adds a more advanced technology and aesthetic design to the previous design. Case material introduced rose gold, black and white ceramics and other materials.
In 1986, Audemars Piguet’s bracelet made of ceramics was first used in watches, and it was one of the first watch manufacturers to use ceramic materials. The chronograph button and the screw-in crown, which are made of black ceramic on the side of the rose gold case, stand in stark contrast to the brand’s unconventional and avant-garde design. The 42mm oversized case, 18K rose gold case with eight white gold screws, anti-glare sapphire crystal and the bottom cover together protect the precision parts of the watch. The design of the dial and bezel is the interpretation of the concept of “Offshore”.
The rose gold-tone dial engraves the “Méga Tapisserie” oversized plaid, the black volute dial on the dial and the black inner bezel echo the black crown and black chronograph button. There is a calendar display window at the 3 o’clock position of the dial. There are 12-hour and 30-minute scoreboards at 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock respectively, and a small second disc at 12 o’clock. The brand abbreviated three-dimensional inserts are made of solid gold, which makes the overall style more consistent. The black fluorescent Arabic numerals and the rose gold fluorescent Royal Oak pointer break quietly in the dark, clear and clear, and can be seen at any time.
Hand-stitched black alligator strap with 18K rose gold buckle buckle, closer to the wrist, without affecting the powerful features of the watch. The chronograph movement provides at least 55 hours of power storage. The replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Series has been a revolutionary concept in the field of luxury sports watches since 1993. It is a perfect interpretation of the concept of “offshore”, leading the direction of the luxury sports watch concept.
Our watch website only sells replica Audemars Piguet watches, and these watches are made 1:1 imitating genuine products, which are almost 95% similar to the normal ones. If you don’t observe carefully, you can’t see the difference from the genuine ones. of. In addition, these Audemars Piguet imitation watches are of high quality and exquisite appearance, making them a good choice for friends or family.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept

When Audemars Piguet opts to tweak its timeless Royal Oak, it usually goes for something subtle: a material upgrade or slight size alteration. Not so for its latest round of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillons, which are the very definition of a statement piece.

Six styles of these handsome timepieces are on offer, each sporting a different take on the very fancy theme and offered atop a crocodile leather or mosiac strap. The crown jewels of the lot — pun intended — are two models that boast bezels and dials set with hundreds of multicolored gemstones that achieve a true rainbow effect.

To be specific, these rainbow-hued Royal Oaks sport a dozen types of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, topaz, and other precious stones: 468 brilliant or 207 baguette-cut gems, to be specific, arriving at very select in October 2021 and early 2022, respectively.

And then, to properly set off these indescribably opulent watches, their case is finished with either diamonds or more rainbow gemstones.

There are some (slightly) more understated Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillons watches here, too, wherein four models sport only blue sapphires. They’re a little more toned-down, perhaps a little more tasteful but certainly no less exquisite.

It’s kind of staggering to imagine what it’d feel like to walk around with one of these bad boys strapped to your wrist. Surely, one glimpse would pop the monocle or explode the top hat of any of the bluebloods at the yacht club.

Jokes aside, these are staggeringly luxe iterations of an already outrageously high-end timepiece. Audemars backs up its opulence with true craft. These Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillons aren’t lavish merely for the sake of it: they’re demonstrative of AP at the peak of its elegance, true art pieces.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 41

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is one of the most recognizable luxury watches on the planet – and it also happens to be quite good looking. These two things taken together have helped this more than 45 year old design turn into both an icon and one of the most in-demand pieces of men’s jewelry you can find; and as such we included it among our “top 10 living legend watches to own” article. And “men’s jewelry” is a term that I feel adequately describes the appeal of this timepiece. For this review I take a look at the 41mm wide version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph. Other sizes and styles certainly exist, but this is the most modern (and largest) iteration of the famed Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph ever.
Gerald Genta & The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
You can’t be a watch expert (let alone watch lover) without studying the work of the late watch designer Gerald Genta. He is most well-known for a series of luxury sport watches he designed for brands such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, IWC, and Bulgari. While Genta’s relationship with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak design ended decades ago, you can’t really understand the watch’s concept without knowing what he was intending to do with it. Audemars Piguet has been a loyal and impressive caretaker of the design, which represents the vast majority of sales at the brand.When the Royal Oak was first introduced, Audemars Piguet boldly and proudly announced in its own marketing materials that the Royal Oak was a steel sports watch priced just like a gold one. Was that just rich-boy puffery designed to further alienate the masses who could not afford such items? Not exactly.
Most Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches out in the market aren’t sold as a function of their movement or complexity. Yes, there are some exotic models with a perpetual calendar complication or a minute repeater – but this isn’t what the Royal Oak is all about. In fact, I have a very strong feeling Gerald Genta himself never even intended for there to be anything but a three-hand version of the Royal Oak, which means that something like a Royal Oak Chronograph is more a modification of his original design intent as opposed to building on it. Gerald Genta famously quipped that he himself was not a watch lover. In my opinion this statement has been taken out of context and really means that Genta was more focused on the exterior wearable part of the watch as opposed to the horological elements on the inside.
At the time when Genta was in the heyday of his design career he can clearly be seen rejecting the traditional “generic” exterior look of most watches (especially luxury ones) but introducing a series of novel ways to imagine a watch case and bracelet. It is in those latter areas where he excelled the most and his prescience on this subject was not only ahead of his time but clearly captures the emotions many luxury watch wearers have today. Both Gerald Genta and Audemars Piguet likely agree that your wristwatch being both distinctive in appearance and recognizable to others are necessary components of a wristwatch becoming more than just a nice product, but a genuine personality unto itself.
A discussion of Gerald Genta’s later design work and the contents of his eponymous brand are a subject for an entirely different discussion. With that said, it is important to understand the body of his work as well as the themes he was interested in to understand where the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak came from. Genta was a fan of the sea and all things nautical. He was also a fan of simple dials which were legible and told the time easily. If you take a look at the three-hand versions of both the Royal Oak and Nautilus, you will agree that the watch dials focus on being simple, legible, and just a little bit decorative.

Genta was never all that interested in revolutionizing watch dials through most of his career. Rather, he seemed to mostly care about the watch case and bracelet, and how they might integrate together. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was one of the first watches I can think of where the bracelet and case are not only truly integrated, but designed to go with one another. In fact, I like to see his watch designs more like bracelet designs. High-end, nice looking, masculine, and showy bracelets which also just happen to tell the time.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Meets The Chronograph
The introduction of additional complications to the Royal Oak is a more modern evolution of the product collection intended to ensure that the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak fits into as many product categories as possible for as many potential customers as possible. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph takes the most popular complication (in addition to the time) and marries it to one of the most successful watch designs of the 20th century. What it lacks in “purity” it makes up for in emotional appeal for consumers who both like the look of a chronograph with its extra sub-dials on the face and the look of extra pushers on the case. Audemars Piguet itself seems to implicitly understand this given that the movement inside the watch is nice, but hardly revolutionary.
Decorated with love and an excellent attention to detail, the Audemars Piguet caliber 2385 automatic chronograph is at the same time rather “old-school” in its performance. It operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph) with a power reserve of 40 hours. The chronograph is a module on top of an older movement design, but still manages to achieve a decent level of thinness. While the three-hand version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the clear winner when it comes to case thinness, the Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm is still comparatively slim to many other chronograph watches out there being just 11mm thick (the three-hand Royal is about 8mm thick).

Audemars Piguet further doesn’t show off the movement in most Royal Oak model watches, which means you can’t admire the solid gold engraved automatic rotor or the attractive level of finishing on the movement through the solid steel caseback.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Case
At 41mm wide the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph is a hefty timepiece made from a lot of high-quality stainless steel. Recall that the “Jumbo” version (as it is often called) of the Royal Oak is just 39mm wide. The case has a relatively long 53mm lug-to-lug distance and the wearing size is visually increased due to the widely spaced lug structure. Water resistance is just 50m, which is more than enough for daily wear but I think 100m is a more competitive number if Audemars Piguet wants to push the “sporty” side of the Royal Oak more.

Then again, the entirety of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore collection is where the brand prefers to push more of its “sport” messaging. The irony of course is that the Royal Oak in the 1970s has a similar personality as the Royal Oak Offshore had when it debuted about 20 years later in the 1990s.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak & The Patek Philippe Nautilus
Comparisons to the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak are extremely common and logical. Currently Patek Philippe charges a lot more money for the three-hand Nautilus than Audemars Piguet does for a similar model. In fact the Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm is currently less expensive (by close to $5,000) than the retail price of the three-hand Patek Philippe Nautilus. I wouldn’t look to this price difference as a real indicator about value differences and in my opinion, this price difference is more about marketing and brand positioning.

This is also a good instance to say that if you are trying to decide between the two, the Audemars Piguet represents the superior value (which is a rare thing to say about the typically high-end pricing strategy of Audemars Piguet).
I personally prefer the sharper angles of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak’s case and bracelet to that of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch that I reviewed on aBlogtoWatch here. This is a matter of personal taste, and it is because I feel that the Royal Oak is a bit more edgy, masculine, and bold compared to the softer and more genteel lines of the Nautilus. Both watches are clear cousins and are each inspired by the world of boats. Audemars Piguet envisioned the Royal Oak to be the perfect sport watch to wear while on your sailing boat or yacht. Genta himself designed the iconic eight-sided bezel of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak after the design of some ship hull windows. From his home in Monte Carlo, it is not difficult to imagine Mr. Genta spending an awful lot of time gazing at some of the world’s most expensive and interesting ships to draw design inspiration from.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Design
Aside from slight differences to the shape of the hour markers and hands, as well as the dimensions of the case, there is little from a core design perspective that this modern Royal Oak Chronograph does differently than the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak design. The dial has Audemars Piguet’s “mega (grande) Tapisserie” repeating block face design as well as slightly more faceted versions of Genta’s original “sausage on a stick” hand and matching baton hour marker design.

A date window is located between 4 and 5 o’clock on the dial, and the chronograph sub-dials do a good job of not interfering much with legibility. Note that Audemars Piguet has produced many versions of the Royal Oak Chronograph. Some have mono-color dials such as this version, and others have contrast-colored sub-dials which offer a different visual aesthetic which many people like.
The chronograph pushers are screw-down in traditional fashion. This is designed to assist with water and dust resistance, but does make it a bit annoying to use the chronograph. Audemars Piguet Chronograph owners I’ve polled almost universally report that they chose the chronograph version of the Royal Oak for design reasons and rarely ever use the chronograph. Again, Audemars Piguet knows its clients and focuses on what matters most to them. That means a bit of effort to modernize the movement or chronograph complication would likely be more pleasing to people who aren’t the collection’s core customers.
Earlier I remarked that the Royal Oak was men’s jewelry. I didn’t just say this because of how it is used by most of its owners, but also because of how it is made. Rather than a simple round, polished case, the Royal Oak has a number of small pieces which each need a lot of time being polished and finished by hand. The way the case is made is more akin to the world of jewelry than traditional watchmaking.

In fact, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak itself was developed by Audemars Piguet by request of its agents in Italy who more or less wanted them to make a masculine time-telling men’s jewelry bracelet. Once again Italian watch tastes were ahead of their time, and the concept turned out to be a serious winner for the brand. That is, once the world had finally learned about the Royal Oak in the context of other competitive products.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Wearing Experience
No doubt part of the appeal of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is in its comfortable and eye-pleasing wearing experience. The watch sits on the wrist securely thanks to its wide flat back and easy to articulate bracelet. The bracelet itself is a thing of beauty which has been produced in a series of ways over the years. My understanding is that more recently Audemars Piguet has combined hand and machine-finishing for the bracelet parts, whereas in the past it was mostly done by hand.

The newer Royal Oaks are a bit more “industrial” in their finishing than some of the older models, but the aesthetic is still very attractive. The core idea of the decoration is to combine the masculine look of brushed surfaces with as much light-catching polish in the form of mirror-polished bevels and angles. Gerald Genta knew implicitly that the allure of any jewelry item is in how its surfaces dance and play with the light – something the Royal Oak has always done nicely.

It’s All In the Details
Little details help explain the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak’s wearing comfort. For example, when you size the bracelet you’ll see that the holes for the screw bars are larger than they need to be. This helps give the bracelet “play,” which makes it more comfortable on more wrist sizes and shapes. The butterfly-style deployant clasp is entirely simple, but produced from high quality pieces of machined metal. If anything, the amount of nicely machined and finished metal pieces help give the Royal Oak a satisfying, substantial feel when held.
One of the most interesting areas of discussion from a design perspective when it comes to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is in how the octagonal bezel’s hexagonal screws have their “heads” all oriented in the right direction. Other brands have come under fire from some watch collectors who lament the fact that screw heads don’t always line up in an aesthetically pleasing, symmetrical manner. The way in which Audemars Piguet achieves this visual trick is with screw heads that aren’t really screws, but countersunk bolts with a hidden nut underneath.

In this sense all Audemars Piguet needs to do is insert the bolts so that the screw-style head is oriented in the correct direction, while the nut fastener on the bottom side is what keeps the bezel in place. Turn the case of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak over and you’ll see actual screws used to secure the caseback, whose screw heads follow a more “organic” orientation.
Final Thoughts
As a piece of men’s luxury jewelry that just happens to tell the time, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is among the best options out there. In a true “luxury maison” sense you are buying a piece of Audemars Piguet to wear on your wrist – and all the personality and history that comes with it. That is as opposed to a less recognizable watch design whose personality is dependent on the wearer. This goes back to the larger discussion I like to have from time to time of whether “you wear a watch or if a watch is wearing you.” The latter is more true for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in my opinion – and there is nothing wrong with that assuming you admire and appreciate the personality which Audemars Piguet has created for its extremely important Royal Oak product.
I’m not in a particular rush to own an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak because as a watch collector I know the collection isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That tends to happen with design icons like the Royal Oak, in that many people want one but they wait for the “right time” to acquire one. Audemars Piguet certainly has no shortage of options and with new Royal Oaks coming out each year, consumers have no reason to rush unless that “perfect” model is released.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin

As part of a recently launched collection of green-themed versions of some of the brand’s most beloved watches, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra Thin has announced the first-ever platinum Royal Oak “Jumbo” with a green sunburst dial. That’s right: Those who were simply green with envy towards anyone who managed to snag 2019’s “salmon adjacent” 152020BC can now commemorate the feeling with a truly striking smoked green dial. As the modern expression of the original Royal Oak format, the 15202 is a hugely popular reference, and this will undoubtedly be a hot-ticket item for anyone with their eyes on the current scene surrounding Audemars Piguet.
With 39mm of platinum case matched by a full platinum bracelet and a display caseback, this is a core Royal Oak offering with a twist. While AP has never shied away from colorful dials, especially when it comes to the Royal Oak, the green feels a bit more middle of the road than some of the more bold offerings we’ve seen in the past, and I think that makes a lot of sense for the 15202. In many ways, this format – without chronograph, tourbillon, or otherwise – is a shorthand for Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra Thin success, and it forms the roots of how many people come to know about the brand.

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Judging by the images (though we hope to go hands-on soon enough), this 15202PT sports a bright but not overly shiny sunburst finish that is enhanced by a smoked gradient execution that fades to a much darker tone at the dial’s edge. Combined with bright and luminous white-gold markers and hands (along with no seconds hand), the 5202PT.OO.1240PT.01 is gorgeous, and the dial fade does a good job of matching with the visual weight of the date display, which appears to fade along with the shimmering green coloring.
The movement inside should surprise almost no one – AP’s lovely calibre 2121. Fitted with a solid gold winding mass and tracking hours, minutes, and the date, this movement has long been linked with the Royal Oak, and it’s always a treat to get a chance to peer through that display caseback to catch a glimpse of Audemars Piguet’s super thin (only 3.05mm!) automatic movement.

Still dubbed the “Extra-Thin” at a very svelte 8.1mm thick, I doubt that the relative slim-ness will mean you don’t notice this chunk of platinum on your wrist, even without the razzle-dazzle of that emerald green dial. Currently, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra Thin is listing the price as “available upon request,” but regardless of that number, we all know they will be hard to get (update: price below). As new watch season looms on the horizon, AP has the jump start, and the grass is certainly looking green in Le Brassus today.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon

Awatchmaking trio inaugurates a new collection and center stages engineering nourished by exceptional savoir-faire inspired by the iconic style of the manufacture’s flagship model.
In 2018, the Royal Oak Concept embraced a movement which brought together a flying tourbillon and a central rotor. The following year, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon unveiled its latest generation of caliber which combined the two mechanisms. And, this is what we can now discover in the three variations of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak boasting the regulating device invented by the German watchmaker Alfred Helwig (1886-1974) at the beginning of the 20th century! The 41 mm-diameter case and the octagonal bezel, forever true to the design imagined by Gerald Genta’s inspirational master-touch back in 1972, protect a dial covered with a pattern known as the “Evolutive Tapisserie”. This steel case takes on a smoked-blue hue, the rose gold version adorns a smoked-gray, both offering an exquisite effect. A third titanium variation stands out with a sandblasted slate-gray alternative, snailed around the edges.
The hour and minute hands are, as such, driven by the 2950 caliber, which delivers a generous power reserve of at least 65 hours. The finishes of some of the regulating components can be admired through the cage. Other mechanical elements featuring refined Côtes de Genève decorations can be discovered through the sapphire-crystal caseback.
The three Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon watches are worn on a perfectly integrated bracelet, fashioned in the same material as the case. The stylistics of this trio is enhanced even more with handcrafted finishes alternating satin-brushing and polishing showcasing a matt and glossy aspect which has become one of Audemars Piguet’s signatures.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

As of this year, the dive-specific Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver is celebrating its sweet sixteenth with a newly updated reference. It spans three new colorways and represents the biggest evolution for the ROO Diver – ROOD? – since the model graduated from being the Offshore Scuba (which originally launched in 2005) to the Royal Oak Offshore Diver. The new 2021 models are rocking a more modern movement, tool-less push-button strap changing, and several small but noteworthy design tweaks.
To tackle the elephant in the room, no, the size has not changed. The new reference 15720ST retains the 42mm sizing of the standard Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver , along with its uncommon two-crown layout, display caseback, 300 meters of water resistance, and a time/date feature set.
Available from launch in “Trailblazing Khaki,” “Navy Blue,” and “Pristine Grey,” each version has a steel case and comes with a second strap so owners can try the new quick-change system right out of the box. The system is fully integrated into the back of the two short intermediate lugs used to match the strap to the case. Simply press the button and release the strap (see the above photo).
Audemars Piguet plans to offer a range of straps and, alongside the pair that comes with the watch, the brand already has a trio of calfskin leather straps that conform to the new swappable design.

Inside, and forming one of the more major elements of this update, we find Audemars Piguet’s modern caliber 4308, a beautifully finished automatic movement with central seconds, a date display, a rate of 4 Hz, and a power reserve of 60 hours. Visible through the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver display caseback, the 4308 also featured a black-finished 22k pink gold winding rotor.

Other updates include changes to the dial, including new markers and an “AP” signature (in gold) rather than the full brand name common to previous iterations of the ROO Diver.
As an exercise in evolving an already successful and qualified design, the new 15720ST looks like a subtle and thoughtful take on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver form. The original black-dial model that was announced in 2010 has long been a dream watch for me, and these new versions look every bit as appealing, especially given the interesting colorways (Pristine Grey for me, please) and the interchangeable straps.

Any of the three can be yours as early as May assuming you’ve got $25,400 and a good friend at the boutique. But please – pretty please – just promise me that if you get one, you’ll also take it for a swim every once in a while. After all, you wouldn’t want to be rude with your ROOD, right?

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