Tag: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 41

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 41

If you want to play the hits like AP, sometimes you have to consider a special remix, and the band from Le Brassus has just announced a special expression of the concept-only RD#2. This new model, which builds upon the success of a recent sibling sets the town with more titanium, less platinum, a new dial, and limited production. I’m in love.
Allow me to elaborate. The ultra-thin 41mm RD#2 was launched in platinum as a concept in 2018 (that watch can be seen below, it is supremely rare, equally cool, and very heavy on wrist). In 2019, AP announced the AP Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin RD#2 reference 26586IP.OO.1240IP.01, which featured a new non-tap dial design, and a blend of materials, in which much of the watch was titanium, save for the bezel and intermediate links in the bracelet – those are platinum and production was very limited but not part of a specific numbered edition. With this latest release, the world gets a second “production” take on the RD#2, this time it’s limited to 200 units.

If you can imagine these three watches in a sort of Animorphs-esque transformation. The AP Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar concept RD#2 is platinum, the next RD#2 26586IP is platinum and titanium, and now the transformation has hit the next stage, full titanium. Measuring 41mm wide and just 6.2mm thick, the new 26586TI weighs just 75 grams, with the only non-titanium element of note being the screws for the bezel (which are made of white gold).
Aside from shedding a few grams of precious metal, the 26586TI sticks largely to the formula but adds in a new blue-to-black dial with black subdials, a red date accent, and the same blue aventurine moon phase. While I wasn’t wild about the look of the smoky blue dial in the press images, it strikes a lovely balance in person that sees a wide variety of saturation in the blue depending on available light but no loss of contrast for the subdials.

Inside, we find the same record-setting ultra-thin movement as that found in the previous examples mentioned above, the AP Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar 5133, which is a full perpetual calendar automatic movement with moon phase and day/night indication that is only 2.9mm thick. Pricing? Well, at a cool CHF 137,000, the price is neither lightweight nor thin.
I mean, I said it up top. I’m in love. Just as I was with the two preceding versions. High-end watchmaking that is light and wearable despite housing one of my all-time favorite complications, you couldn’t have slapped the smile off of my face when I tried on both the RD#2 and the new 26586TI in the span of just two minutes. The smile faded when I had to give it back, but I digress.

As a further expression of the RD#2, I think that the 26586TI speaks directly to the merits of the RD program and its ability to produce a Royal Oak that blends tradition with modern cutting-edge production. The watch looks incredible, feels amazing, light, and very special on wrist. And to my eyes represents a halo for the entire scope of the modern AP Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar .
If the pricing even matters – and for the target audience with this watch I’m not convinced it does– this titanium creation does come in a hair less dear than the proceeding titanium and platinum RD#2 26586IP, which launched at CHF 140,000. To my eyes, it’s a great remix of the original and a direct, distinct, and appealing evolution of the 2019 ref 26586IP.

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.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 41

Audemars Piguet has a rich history of producing complicated Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar timepieces, dating back to the 19th century. In fact, the region in which Audemars Piguet was founded – Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux – is widely regarded as the foremost area where much of the development of perpetual calendars has occurred.
Even before Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar founding in 1875, descendants of the original founders, including Isaac Abraham Piguet (he began his watchmaking apprenticeship in 1753), were already involved in the field of watchmaking in the region.

It is said that 1800 was when the first perpetual calendar was invented, although that date, like many in watchmaking history, is not backed up by conclusive evidence.
Fast forward to the modern day and the Audemars Piguet manufacture is still considered one of the experts in creating perpetual calendar mechanisms.

Audemars Piguet displayed this know-how once again last month, when it launched its new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar collection, consisting of four new models in total: steel with a white or blue dial, and rose gold with a white or blue dial.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar , like the Royal Oaks that were launched in 2012, now come in larger, 41-mm-diameter cases. This new case size warranted a new movement (Caliber 5134), as well as offering more room on the dial with which to increase legibility and add a new function.

According to the manufacture, “The enlarged size has resulted in a ‘Grande Tapisserie’ dial design that greatly increases the overall aesthetics, balance and legibility of the perpetual calendar indications.”

Interestingly, in addition to the prerequisite day, date, month and leap-year functions – and the astronomical moon phase display – the designers added a week counter. A dedicated, centrally mounted hand points to the week (from 1 to 52) on a scale that is printed on the flange.
Audemars Piguet in-house Caliber 5134 is based on its predecessor, Caliber 2120. The automatic movement beats at frequency of 2.75Hz (19,800 vph), with 374 total parts, including 38 jewels, and a 40-hour power reserve. Movement thickness was kept to 4.31 mm, allowing the designers to maintain the thin case dimensions, which typically means a more comfortable fit on the wrist.

Technically speaking, the rose-gold, skeletonized oscillating weight, which can be custom-decorated upon a consumer’s request, is bidirectional, meaning it can wind the movement in both directions of motion. The balance has variable inertia blocks, a flat balance spring, and mobile stud-holder. The movement is highly finished and visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.