Launched in 1972, the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet was the first luxury watch to treat stainless steel, and meticulously craft, polish and decorate it, like a precious metal. Since then, this iconic line has been offering exceptional timepieces by incorporating traditional and unconventional materials like platinum, carbon, alacrite, bronze, rubber, ceramic, titanium, tantalum, etc…
Now Audemars Piguet breaks the rules again by returning luxury watchmaking to its most elemental material: yellow gold, the universal emblem of indestructible beauty, energy and light. To be unveiled at SIHH 2016 haute horlogerie exhibition, the new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar celebrates the timeless allure of yellow gold by combining it with the most classic and romantic complication.
On the “Grande Tapisserie” decorated dials — a subtle pattern of three-dimensional squares— the traditional displays of a perpetual calendar timepiece are given pride of place: day, month and date are displayed at nine, noon and three o’clock. The essential leap year indication, an Audemars Piguet innovation first introduced to wristwatch design in 1955, takes centre stage at noon. An astronomical moon finds it place at six o’clock, and the week of the year is displayed on the dial’s outer chapter ring, adding yet another layer of time measurement.
Housed in the perpetual beauty of yellow gold, the self-winding watch’s new calibre 5134 is fully visible through the glare proof sapphire crystal caseback, but the warm, natural glow of precious gold has been brought fully to the fore. Calibre 5134 is based on its predecessor, calibre 2120, however it has been enlarged to perfectly fit the updated 41mm case size.
Part of the inspiration for this new edition is the first Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (reference 5554, later renamed 25554), designed by Jacqueline Dimier in 1984. Of the 279 pieces in that original launch, 229 were sumptuously cased in yellow gold.
Perpetual calendar with week indication, day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year, hours and minutes
Frequency of balance wheel (Hz): 2.75 (=19,800 vibrations/h)
Number of parts: 374
Number of jewels: 38
Minimal guaranteed power reserve: 40h
Total diameter: 29.00 mm (123⁄4 lines)
Total thickness: 4.31 mm
18-carat yellow gold case
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback
Water-resistant to 20 m
Blue dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern
Yellow gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating
Blue inner bezel
18-carat yellow gold bracelet with AP folding clasp
Luxury box including a rotative watch rewinding mechanism: EV.701.014