Category: Audemars Piguet Watches

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.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Repeater Supersonnerie

Audemars Piguet is famous – rightly famous – for many things; among them the Royal Oak’s instantly recognizable eight-sided bezel and distinctive overall case architecture. What’s less well known in the general watch enthusiast community, however, is that there is quite a lot more to the history of Audemars Piguet than the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Repeater Supersonnerie itself. In fact, for much of its history, one of the most distinctive elements of Audemars Piguet’s identity was its expertise as a complications maker. It’s a revelatory experience, if you can get there, to visit the Audemars Piguet museum, as HODINKEE did not long ago, and actually see and hear some of its historical production of minute repeaters. With the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Repeater Supersonnerie , Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Repeater Supersonnerie put together a genuinely fascinating fusion of some of its newest visions of watch design, and some of its most historically – well, resonant – areas of technical mastery. The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is a pretty major step in the evolution of minute repeaters, so before getting into the nuts and bolts, let’s talk a little bit about what a minute repeater is and how it does what it does. The minute repeater’s a very old complication; what it basically does is chime the hours, quarter hours, and the number of minutes past the most recent quarter hour – generally, on two gongs that sound two different notes. In a repeater, the time rings “on demand” or whenever you want to hear it (as opposed to “in passing,” as in a grandfather clock that rings the hour without you having to do anything). To operate a minute repeater, you usually have to press a slide set into the case-band, which winds a small mainspring barrel that powers the repeater gear train (otherwise every time you operated the repeater you’d run down the mainspring barrel). Minute repeaters are considered a “high” complication, and continue to be an acid test of real watchmaking skill, because making one that works well and sounds great is still something you can’t really automate. A repeater isn’t just a mechanism, it’s also a musical instrument, and the tempo and tone quality have to be painstakingly adjusted by hand. Getting a really great tone, a pleasing tempo, and adequate volume out of a repeater requires not just a lot of mechanical ingenuity; it also takes an understanding of casemaking, an instinctive grasp of musical metallurgy, and a great ear.

Traditionally the best repeaters were pocket Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Repeater Supersonnerie watches with gold cases, which delivered on all fronts: good volume; warm, pleasing tone; stately tempo. Getting the same out of a wristwatch is exponentially more difficult. The smaller case of a wristwatch (in some instances much smaller) smaller gongs, and weaker striking force in the hammers represent seemingly unsurmountable limits on performance. So it’s all the more amazing when you actually travel to Le Brassus and visit the AP museum, as we’ve been lucky enough to do, and hear just how much volume and warmth of tone you can get out of a wristwatch – below is our video, shot at AP Le Brassus in 2014 and we’d encourage you to give it a look, before going any further, as it really demonstrates just how amazing AP’s minute repeater production has been over the years. A lot of this knowledge was nearly lost during the 1970s and 1980s but fortunately Audemars Piguet has a significant number of pieces in its museum that offer clues to how to optimize the sound of a repeater. The investigation into the physical properties of its earlier phenomenal repeating watches was the spur behind the eight-year research program that finally culminated, last year, in the showing of a complex repeater with tourbillon and chronograph, in a Royal Oak Concept case, known as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept RD#1. This watch was shown last year but under certain restrictions, and especially notable was the dearth of really solid technical info.

As it turns out that was thanks to the fact that the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Repeater Supersonnerie represented three patents pending, and since then the patents have been granted, which means Audemars Piguet can discuss the innovations in this watch in depth. The Supersonnerie, by the way, looks pretty much identical to the Concept RD#1 seen last year except for the coloration of the chronograph seconds hand, chronograph minutes hand, and the outer chronograph minutes track (all three orange last year, and yellow in the production piece we’re showing you now). So here we go. The first patent has to do with the gongs. AP puts a great deal of stock in maintaining and improving classical watchmaking, so these gongs are a classical material: hardened steel. They’re also tuned in a classical fashion: by filing the point where the two wire gongs are attached to the foot, or block, that holds them; and by carefully filing down the tips of each gong to adjust the tone. The patent here is really for the manufacturing process. Whether or not a repeater is pleasing to the ear has a lot to do with the musical interval between the two gongs – the process, which we hope to hear more about later this week, has to do with being able to make the gongs so that they come to the watchmaker already very close to optimum in terms of good tone and pleasant interval.

That said, as AP’s Claudio Cavaliere was kind enough to explain to us, you can’t take the watchmaker out of the equation entirely. Making a mathematically and sonically exact gong would be possible, but the result would sound, to the human ear – and as the sound is interpreted in the auditory cortex of the brain – somewhat artificial. Since a “pleasant” tone is a subjective experience, the gongs still need to be tuned by hand. The second patent has to do with the case construction. In a traditional repeater the main problem is that the foot of the gongs – the block to which they are attached – is screwed onto the mainplate. The movement mainplate is optimized not for the best acoustic properties, but for the best mechanical properties. Rigidity is less a problem than sheer mass; the bulk of the movement absorbs a great deal of sound energy rather than transmitting it to the parts of the watch that actually can in turn, vibrate, therefore amplifying the sound. AP has gotten around this dilemma and allowed both volume and tone to be optimized by fixing the gongs, not to the mainplate, but to a copper alloy resonance membrane sandwiched between the plate and the case back. If you look at the rear view of the movement above, you’ll see the hammers, but no gongs – that’s because the gongs are attached to the resonating membrane.

The case back itself has apertures that allow sound to be transmitted to the ear with minimum obstruction. This combination of materials and case architecture is key – you can make a repeater louder, but doing so without producing an unnaturally bright, artificial tone is not so easy and this is where the Supersonnerie really shines. The fact that the copper “sound board” can be made hermetically sealed to the inner case, allows the watch to have much better water resistance than is typical for a repeater: 20 meters. The third patent is for the regulator, or governor. The governor is what’s responsible for controlling the tempo of the chime, and in the Vallee de Joux (and elsewhere for that matter) the oldest and most tried and true method is using an anchor escapement at the end of a gear train linked to the repeater spring barrel. In modern times, centrifugal or air resistance governors have been developed as well. The advantage they have is that they are almost totally silent; the tradition anchor governor/regulator makes a distinct buzzing noise. For many connoisseurs this is considered the hallmark of traditional construction, but AP has developed a design for a traditional anchor governor that significantly minimizes the extraneous sound. This has been done by creating a special shape for the (steel) anchor that allows it to act almost like a shock absorber, so that the energy of impact is deadened; AP tells us that despite the use of a traditional anchor and steel for the material, the result of the new design is an anchor governor that is almost totally silent. Now that the veil of secrecy has been lifted a bit, you can probably see that there is a LOT more to tell about this watch but those are the basics. We’re very, very excited to get more deeply into this extremely interesting new vision of the minute repeater in coming weeks.

audemars piguet royal oak offshore 43mm ceramic

You may have noticed a lot of Offshores recently, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the 30th Anniversary of this oversized beast of a lineup. As a fitting salute to the original, Audemars Piguet’s has announced the first ever audemars piguet royal oak offshore 43mm ceramic in black ceramic with matching ceramic bracelet, the new Selfwinding Chronograph ref. 26238C – now badder and bolder than ever.
This burly (42mm wide, 15.4mm thick) watch pulls from the greatest hits of AP’s Offshores from the last 30 years but in never-before-seen combinations. In addition to the new inclusion of a black ceramic bracelet, you’ll notice a Petite Tapisserie dial pattern previously reserved for the ref. 26238 Selfwinding Chronograph models in gold or titanium.

This is also the first completely monochrome dial, which audemars piguet royal oak offshore 43mm ceramic has said was difficult to achieve because of the different textures and materials used. The dial is then punched up in legibility with white hands and accents for contrast, with white Arabic numerals for the subdials and tachymeter on the rehaut.
While AP has used ceramic many times before, it’s still not easy to execute, especially when it comes to getting the mix of polished and satin-finished surfaces to come together.

Inside the watch is the Calibre 4404, a column-wheel flyback chronograph, activated by ceramic pushers. The layout of the subdials remains the same as historical watches, with a subtle update made in 2021 that puts the hours at the top so the chronograph can be read in order of hours, minutes, and seconds from top to bottom. The movement has the expected Cotês de Genève, circular graining, polished bevels, and other finishing we’ve come to expect from audemars piguet royal oak offshore 43mm ceramic , with a 22-karat pink gold oscillating weight.
Ever feel like apocalypse is nigh? Hey, lately we all do. And, let’s be honest, there’s no better watch for that occasion than a murdered-out, tough-as-nails, futuristically designed ceramic Offshore. It’s the unofficial watch of fighting off the impending robot takeover. It’s remarkable that for all the materials that AP has used for its Offshores, from titanium to forged carbon, this is the first time they’ve made an Offshore in ceramic with a matching ceramic bracelet. There’s probably not a single brand better associated with the material than AP. Examples include myriad of perpetual calender Royal Oaks to their ladies’ models and everything in between (and wild experiments off to the side, like my favorite Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication and the awesome Carolina Bucci). While no one owns the material, AP comes darn close. To my eye it drifts closer to traditional Royal Oak stylings. But look closely and you’ll find nice monochromatic touches which signal that signal still is an Offshore – without screaming it like some comic-y pieces in the past.
You get the iconic six/nine/12 subdial layout that goes with the column-wheel flyback chronograph powered by the Calibre 4404. The iconic little bubble window at three o’clock still tells you the date, great for keeping track of how many days it’s been since the robots took over. Of course, the Offshore crown guards are there too.

My biggest concern is that by taking the styling cues and bracelet from the main line of Royal Oaks, the choice to eschew the bright pops of colors and oversized numbers that the Offshore is often known for may start to blur lines a bit too much. But as you go back to punching demons or wrestling Matrix-style cyborgs or whatever it is you’re meant to do with an audemars piguet royal oak offshore 43mm ceramic , I doubt you’ll be worrying too much about whether your watch bracelet is a bit derivative. You’ll just look cool.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 1017 ALYX 9SM Replica Watch

Audemars Piguet is a watchmaker that needs little introduction, and just yesterday, AP introduced four new Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore references in collaboration with designer Matthew Williams of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 1017 ALYX 9SM Replica Watch . Alongside them is a unique Royal Oak to be auctioned for charity. These new Royal Oak and RO Offshore models offer a unique aesthetic in both yellow and white gold. And while I’ll never be able to own one, I find them pretty exciting.

Introducing so many new references in the Royal Oak line is headline enough, but in addition, Audemars Piguet is collaborating with the fashion brand Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 1017 ALYX 9SM Replica Watch with input from Matthew Williams, the fashion brand’s designer and founder. For those who want to know, the name “Alyx” is that of Matthew Williams’ daughter. The number “1017” is a reference to his birthday, October 17th, and “9SM” is an abbreviation of the brand’s founding studio address in Saint Mark’s Place, New York City. Now that we have got a translation of the name, let’s take a look at the watches.
As a Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer, AP says it wanted to create a sober series of timepieces to bring focus to the wearers, not what they’re wearing. In doing so, AP says the watches merge the watchmaker’s aesthetic codes with Williams’ “refined touch” to appeal to “fashion lovers and allow them to express their individuality,” whatever that means. These four new references come in 18K gold (yellow or white) and include two regular Royal Oak models and two Offshores. I can see the yellow hold versions certainly attracting some attention, but vertical satin finishing on these watch dials does indeed adhere to that more serious, almost Teutonic aesthetic. Even so, these are watches that others will notice. They range from 37mm to 42mm in case size, providing options for most tastes and wrists. This means that both the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore versions will feature the same design, a first for the Haute Horlogerie watchmaker. They also house AP’s latest generations of movements and beautiful hand finishing with alternating satin and polished surfaces. These add a little light play to what are, supposedly, somber watches. While the major news will be the release of these four new limited-edition models by AP, Williams and the brand also created a unique Royal Oak Chronograph to be auctioned for charity. The funds raised will go to NGOs Kids in Motion and Right to Play, who conduct projects aimed at supporting play-based learning initiatives for disadvantaged children. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 1017 ALYX 9SM Replica Watch itself is a 41mm two-tone model in 18K yellow gold and stainless steel. Its dial is a black PVD-coated gold number decorated with the same vertical finishing seen in the limited edition series. On and above it sit the signatures of both brands and yellow gold chronograph hands. The three central hands in yellow gold have lume, while the watch is powered by the previously mentioned caliber 4409. Audemars Piguet said the auction of this unique piece was to take place during the launch party of the collaboration between Audemars Piguet and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 1017 ALYX 9SM Replica Watch on August 24th in Tokyo.
These watches will allow their lucky wearers to admire a superb series of movement decorations, including Côtes de Genève, sunray and satin finishing, circular graining, as well as polished bevels. I particularly like the 37mm Royal Oak in this series of bold releases, and the idea to remove the chronograph counters on the 41mm version looks cool. What are the only things I don’t like about this release? I’ll never own the 37mm one, and all of the others look too large for my wrist.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 67656

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph. This is a watch that is so known to many of you, it may not need much of an analysis – but this is HODINKEE and you can believe you’re gonna get one. The Royal Oak Chronograph is a watch that has thousands of lovers the world over, and a few detractors, too. The ROC, as I’ll call it henceforth, is something of a middle ground between two completely distinct Audemars Piguet buyers – the collectors, and, well, everyone else. The Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore families often appeal to very different people, but I’ll get to that shortly. In this review, I tackle a mainstay in the AP lineup, and an interesting piece of haute horology, though one without its own in-house movement. I will look at how this 41mm column-wheel, vertical clutch chronograph wears, and if the matter of where the movement came from is even something worth noting at all. This is your HODINKEE Week On The Wrist with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 67656, and it’s one worth spending some time with.
Fifty is a big milestone. It’s been that many years since Audemars Piguet introduced the Royal Oak in 1972 and unleashed a new concept of wristwatch on the world: that of the lifestyle-oriented luxury sport watch. Today, the watch and the genre it created are hotter than ever, and to celebrate its birthday the brand is announcing the next generation of Royal Oak — but how do you reinvent an icon?

Although Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 67656 isn’t known to be totally risk averse, it would be folly to mess too much with a good thing. The brand needed to respect Gerald Genta’s original design, but a major anniversary offers a chance for a refresh and to integrate tweaks and upgrades. This is exactly what they’ve done, and although at first glance it feels like a familiar Royal Oak, the differences are indeed many. Here’s what you need to know: The core collection is getting new 37mm Selfwinding models, as well as 38mm and 41mm chronographs. They’re going to be slimmer with a range of elements to improve ergonomics — the Royal Oak already known to be an exceptionally comfortable watch. Thanks to a new movement (see below) and other elements such as a caseback redesign, it’ll now sit even better on the wrist. As previously introduced on some precious metal watches, the famous steel bracelet is now even thinner (and therefore lighter).
The most substantial update is what’s inside the new automatic Royal Oaks: the Selfwinding and Jumbo Ultra Thin collections both get new, thinner movements. The 37mm Selfwinding Royal Oaks are powered by the brand’s in-house 5900 movement that now operates at 4Hz (instead of 3Hz) and allows the case to measure 8.9mm thick. That’s only 0.8mm thicker than the Jumbo Ultra Thin, which also gets a new movement called the 7121 boasting a longer power reserve of 55 hours. Not all of the new watches have display casebacks, but for those that do you’ll be able to see a special “50 years” decorated rotor for the anniversary. If you know the Royal Oak well you might be able to spot some of the differences right away. The signature shapes and design elements are all there, but elements like the case’s polished bevels have been enlarged to catch even more light. It should also help the watch appear slimmer. In addition, you’ll find an applied “Audemars Piguet” logo instead of the “AP” logo and printed wordmark of past collections. These changes are subtle but help distinguish the new generation from the existing models.
We’re highlighting the most notable new watches here, but Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 67656 has in fact released a slew of new watches that include high-end models with the likes of ceramic cases and tourbillons. Even within the most exciting new collections are many new models and variations. The 37mm Selfwinding and chronograph watches (38mm and 41mm) come in steel and gold variants with several dial colors, and the same can be said of the Jumbo. There are yet more models featuring diamonds in varying amounts.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak OffShore 26231 Lady Chronograph

Jeweled watches are as trendy as Marvel movies at the moment, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak OffShore 26231 Lady Chronograph, having already mastered the Marvel collaboration, is expanding its universe of gemset watches. Four new Royal Oak Offshore series were introduced today to celebrate the collection’s 30th anniversary. All have gemset bezels and brightly colored dials, continuing a direction that has taken this line to new fun and creative places in the past couple of years. These new models are somewhere between sporty and glamorous, and perfect summer dressing.
Jeweled Audemars Piguet Royal Oak OffShore 26231 Lady Chronograph watches are as trendy as Marvel movies at the moment, and Audemars Piguet, having already mastered the Marvel collaboration, is expanding its universe of gemset watches. Four new Royal Oak Offshore series were introduced today to celebrate the collection’s 30th anniversary. All have gemset bezels and brightly colored dials, continuing a direction that has taken this line to new fun and creative places in the past couple of years. These new models are somewhere between sporty and glamorous, and perfect summer dressing.
The bezels of two of the new models are set with fairly large diamonds, one with an 18k rose gold case and the other in steel. The gold model has a light blue dial and a beige strap – a rare and quirky color combination that really works. It also comes with a light blue rubber strap, matching the dial. ($57,900). The steel model with a diamond bezel has a salmon dial, a hot color for limited editions that is often paired with platinum. It looks good with white metal and this comparatively affordable steel version is likely to be a hit with collectors. The rubber strap on this one is light gray, with a darker gray option.
The other two models Audemars Piguet Royal Oak OffShore 26231 Lady Chronograph are pink gold with multi-colored dials, in an extension of the rainbow look that has been fodder for several limited editions in the industry for the past few years. One has a striking royal blue dial, and a bezel set with a gradation of gems in yellow, green and blue hues, including tsavorites and fancy colored sapphires. It comes with a blue or green rubber strap. The other has a black dial, surrounded by 32 baguette-cut stones, including ruby, tsavorite, topaz, tanzanite, amethyst and sapphires in shades of orange, yellow, green, blue, violet and pink – it’s the full spectrum here. It comes on a black strap to match the dial, but can be swapped out for beige rubber strap.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon Openworked Only Watch 2023

Audemars Piguet (AP) is taking part in Only Watch for the fourth time with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked 41 mm “Only Watch”. In contrast to the low-key Royal Oak “Jumbo” made for the 2021 instalment of the charity auction, this year’s one-off creation is exceptionally striking in blue and white.

The latest Royal Oak “Only Watch” is based on the regular-production Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked 41 mm but made unique with a white ceramic case and bracelet along with a movement featuring blued titanium bridges and plates.
The case and bracelet material is notably uncommon for AP. While the brand has a fair number of Royal Oak models in black ceramic, there are fewer in white ceramic. In fact, there is only one regular production model in white ceramic, the perpetual calendar. In the past, there were also a handful of Royal Oak Offshore models in white ceramic, including a chronograph and Diver.

According to AP, one of the notable features of the bracelet is not only the material, but also that fact that is secured with “invisible pins”. This presumably means the pins holding the bracelet together are concealed with ceramic caps. The cal. 2972 inside is open worked in an angular, stylised manner that is very much AP’s house style. The bridges and base plate are blued titanium, while the bevels of the movement retain the natural grey colour of titanium for contrast, giving each of the bridges a pronounced outline.
While the Jumbo was the main event, last year’s Royal Oak anniversary celebrations also included the original version of this bad boy, the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked. Now, for Only Watch 2023, Audemars Piguet has brought it back in a colourway that lives up to the annual auction’s colourful theme.

The theme of the not-quite-competition this year is the encapsulation of all previous editions’ colours, and Audemars Piguet have apparently earmarked blue. Not your typical, darker colour combo though, but the phenomenal, somewhat nautical combination of white and a blue that’s best described as azure.
The 41mm case of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked 41 mm is made from ultra hard, scratch resistant white ceramic, already a bold choice. But even bolder is the movement, which has been given a vibrant blue overhaul, showing off its inner workings in dazzling style. Paired with a matching blue inner bezel and white gold indexes and hands, the result is eye-catching in the extreme.
Defining all that architecture is the calibre 2972, an immaculately finished automatic number with an impressive 65 hour power reserve. It’s the same as in the previous 2022 model, which is to be expected given that it’s still a shiny new movement for Audemars Piguet.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Spiderman Tourbillon

When Audemars Piguet released the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon in 2021, it was met with curiosity, a bit of snickering and giggling, and no small amount of impressed awe. The watch was objectively brilliant—to say nothing of the one-off auction version—but Marvel collabs were the purview of brands like Citizen and Invicta. What was Audemars Piguet doing with Black Panther on the dial? Well, to hear AP tell it, the partnership formed with Marvel in 2021 was part of the brand seeking inspiration outside of watchmaking, “notably in pop culture and the world of entertainment.” In other words, to show the kids that AP is cool. In continuing that partnership and maintaining the brand’s cachet with the youth, Audemars Piguet has released the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Spiderman Tourbillon.
Just like the Black Panther edition, the RO Concept Tourbillon Spider-Man is housed in the ultra-modern case of the Concept line. The 42mm-wide sandblasted titanium case is 15mm-thick (slightly thicker than the Black Panther), with a sandblasted and brushed finish accented with polished lines along the edges of the large facets. Long angular crown guards flank the 3 o’clock crown, while a brushed and polished ceramic bezel and a flat anti-reflective sapphire crystal complete the package. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters, which is fine because spiders don’t like the water anyway. The watch includes two two-tone rubber straps, black with gray inserts and black with red inserts, closed with an AP-branded folding buckle. Perhaps most exciting (aside from the dial, at least) is the introduction of a quick-release strap system for the Concept line: With a few easy steps, both the strap and its buckle can be changed (this is not the first quick-change system from AP, which has a separate system for its Royal Oak Offshore collection).
For the dial, AP has utilized a highly open-worked movement to allow Spider-Man’s presence to be as dramatic as possible. Surrounded by a black hour ring, the dial features black PVD-coated hour markers and skeletonized hands, all with luminant applied. As if swinging right into your face, Spidey is seemingly suspended in the dial. The character takes 50 hours to produce, first being cut by CNC from a block of white gold, then laser engraved, then hand-finished touch-ups, and finally, meticulous hand painting. The result, including the lumed eyes, is a three-dimensional piece of art that’s sure to make your pals at the local comic book shop weep with glee. There’s also a tourbillon at 6 o’clock, but you’re never going to focus on that.
Now is a good time to talk about the unique auction version of this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Spiderman Tourbillon watch. In this version, the case is crafted of white gold, decorated with a laser engraved spider leg motif that is filled in with a lumed ceramic material, followed by another round of laser engraving to create a spider web background. It’s sure to create a stunning visual effect. On the dial, the classic blue and red Spider-Man suit is replaced by one of the character’s most iconic alternate outfits: the Symbiote suit. Referred to by AP as the “Black Suit,” the design was originally submitted to Marvel in response to a call for ideas, eventually being purchased by the brand and introduced in comics in 1984. Spidey’s pose remains the same, though the brand hints that the large white spider that graces the chest of the Symbiote suit may be lumed as well as the eyes. The “Black Suit Spider-Man” was auctioned off on May 26, hammering at $6.2 million, outdoing the Black Panther model by $1 million. The proceeds (the entire auction raised $8.5 million) will go to the First Book and Ashoka non-profits that promote educational equity.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Spiderman Tourbillon watch is powered by the pleasingly symmetrical in-house Calibre 2974, a manual winding movement based on the brand’s Calibre 2948. The 2948 was pared down as much as possible to create the 2974, which reinforces the effect of the dial. It features black bridges with polished bevels and a 6 o’clock tourbillon. It runs at 21,600 bph with a very respectable power reserve of 72 hours. Of note, on the movement ring of the unique piece, it will say “Royal Oak Concept Unique Piece.”
Haters gonna hate, but this is another expertly designed and crafted Marvel collaboration from a brand that we never expected to make one in the first place. I don’t know if it’s going to capture the hearts of the youths and make them yearn to one day have an AP, but the 250 pieces that are being made will, no doubt, sell out fast, especially if the wildly successful auction piece is any indicator. I’m very comfortable with how AP is pacing these—one every two years; unlike Marvel’s parent, Disney, the brand doesn’t seem in a rush to drain all the meaning from Marvel’s characters in a deluge of releases.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak OffShore Grande Complication Pink Gold

Welcome back to an original feature, My First Grail Watch.” Well, no, that’s not entirely right. This is not another chapter in our Grail Watch series of articles, but then again, it could be. Late last year, upon visiting the highly exclusive London watch retailer Marcus in a quest to interview them for our Where To Buy Watches series, I had the extremely rare opportunity to encounter a highly elusive piece that has for long been reigning at the top of my “watch bucket list”: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication. Grand and Complicated it is, in every sense of these words. The massive movement (Caliber 2885) is 31.60 millimeter wide and 8.55 millimeter thick, and it needs all that space to comprise a total of 648 parts. As any grand complication, beyond indications for the hours, minutes, and seconds, it offers a chiming mechanism (a minute repeater with two gongs, in this instance), an astronomical mechanism (here, a perpetual calendar with the date, day, month, phase of the moon, and leap year indications), as well as a stopwatch function (which, in this case, is a 30-minute chronograph with split-seconds or “rattrapante” complication). Complexity on its own, while certainly mind-boggling, is not what makes most grand complication watches special. Instead, it is the combination of complexity with excessive attention to detail and level of refinement – and, as we will see, when it comes to this AP, there’s another element. That other element is interesting because the grand complication, as previously described, is traditionally accepted to be the most complicated movement design – with ultra-modern complications and new ways for displaying the time notwithstanding. As such, we have seen numerous – easily a dozen or more – major manufactures try themselves to creat a watch with the exact same list of complications that we mentioned above.

Where the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication stands out the most is that it offers a blend of this extremely high level of complexity and refinement with a sporty looking case – replacing the round and more conservatively styled cases of most of its alternatives with the bold (and perhaps a bit “loud”) case of the Royal Oak Offshore. And while we should not let the rugged looks fool us – a watch with such delicate a movement is not to be used for swimming or climbing a mountain – it nevertheless makes for an interesting and more unique aesthetic. The 18-carat pink gold case is 44 millimeters wide and 15.70 thick – it is big, but nothing outrageous when compared to the average size of other Royal Oak Offshore models. Where there is a more noticeable difference, however, is water resistance: a mere 20 meters is noted. Now, while we have said that the movement is extremely delicate and how that prevents the watch to be used in any rocky situation, a rating of 2 bars really is, nevertheless, low – but there’s good reason for that. While there presently are numerous ways of waterproofing a crown and the two chronograph pushers, sealing the minute repeater’s slider on the left side of the case as well as the push-piece in the center of the crown is considerably more difficult. Anyhow, the moment one gets up close to the Royal Oak Offshore’s most complicated iteration, the faintest idea of bringing it anywhere near a drop of water disappears. Virtually every mechanical movement that is more complicated than the average time-only caliber will have multiple layers: automatic winding and chronograph mechanisms are almost always located at the bottom (i.e. case-back side) of the movement, with the time-keeping mechanism with the mainspring barrel, going train and escapement being in the center, while the minute repeater and perpetual date segments are predominantly found on the dial side. In the image above, you see the dial side of the movement, with wheels of different ratios, cams, levers, and pinions being crammed extremely closely to each other – with much of the seemingly excess space being there simply to give room for the sliding and rotating actions of these components to happen. Thanks to the “smoked sapphire dial,” a number of components located here are visible through the dial, providing an arguably more beautiful backdrop than just about any solid dial one can think of.

Some of the minute repeater’s parts can be seen below the sapphire dial as well, while its two gongs are seen on the case back side. The gongs have been placed on the same horizontal plane, as opposed to the more usual vertical alignment – this might be important as far as vertical space requirements are concerned, although the volume and audibility of the chiming action is still not excessively loud (given the size of the gongs and tiny hammers, there are some simple physical restrictions which limit the strength of the sound they create).

As far as more ordinary functions go, this beast of a movement runs at 2.75 Hertz or 19,800 beats per hour, matched by 45 hours of power reserve. While traditionally not “required” for a grand complication, the 2885 caliber features automatic winding – yet another space-consuming feature that somehow found its way into the movement.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 41

Ahhh, the Audemars Piguet Perpetual Calendar. It’s hard to find a rival to this model (remember the ceramic one last year?), so it should come as no surprise at SIHH this year there are a handful making their debut. The ultra-thin Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar RD#2 might be the splashier release, but there’s also the more established 41mm perpetual calendar being offered in a pink-on-pink combination for the first time. The new addition to the QP collection features the same 41mm case that we know and love, now with a rose gold dial to match. The dial, has dark blue subsidiary dials which make it easier to read the day, date, moonphase, and whether or not it is a leap year (in case you forget). The movement is the same trusty automatic caliber 5134. All-in-all, it’s a solid addition to the collection. Audemars Piguet Perpetual Calendar has been in the business of making Audemars Piguet Perpetual Calendar since the 1950s, and, in fact, AP (along with Patek Philippe) were some of the only guys making perpetual calendar wristwatches at all for the better part of the 20th century. That said, it should be no surprise that they keep introducing new QPs, whether via an entirely new caliber or just by adding a new metal to an existing collection like this one. The current Royal Oak QP was introduced back in 2015, and it has been available in rose gold since the very beginning, but never with a matching dial like you see here.

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