With a movement of 2.89 mm in thickness and a case of 6.3 mm in height, the new Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin (ref. 26586IP.OO.1240IP.01) becomes the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch and marks Audemars Piguet’s latest technological milestone.
To reach an ultra-thin movement of 2.89 mm in height, the perpetual calendar functions, normally arranged on three levels have been merged into one single layer. This led to the development of two pioneering and patented innovations: the end-of-the-month cam has been integrated to the date wheel, while the month cam has been combined to the month wheel. The geometry of each component has also been optimised from the onset, reducing adjustment and assembly time.
The dial, too, has been redesigned compared to previous Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar models (such as ref. 26574). The day, date and month subdials have been enlarged for optimum legibility, while the night and day indication at 8 o’clock has been added symmetrically to the leap year indication positioned at 4 o’clock.
Evolving from the initial 950 platinum RD#2 prototype presented in 2018 at the SIHH, the Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin combines titanium and 950 platinum for an elegant look and a significant lighter feel on the wrist. As for the movement, the case, bracelet and dial have been finished by the expert hands of craftsmen.
The alternation of polished and satin-brushed surfaces adorning the case, bracelet and bezel elevates the aesthetic contrast provided by the two materials. In addition, the dial of the Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is no longer endowed with a blue “Grande Tapisserie” pattern. Instead, its blue satin finishing enhances legibility as well as the watch’s refined aesthetics.
Although the advent of simultaneous multi-parametric technologies has enabled Audemars Piguet to think differently to re-engineer its perpetual calendar movement, its latest launch results, first and foremost, from the hard work of its engineers, designers, programmers and watchmakers who have pushed further the limits of their craft to create a new generation of calibers and watches designed with today’s contemporary lifestyle in mind.
This balance between traditional watchmaking and emerging technologies has always been at the core of Audemars Piguet’s savoir-faire history. For instance, the emergence of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and CNC (Computer Numerical Control) spurred Audemars Piguet’s creativity in the 1980s, forging a new path for the company and the industry as a whole.
These technological innovations ushered the resurgence of complicated wristwatches during and after the Quartz Crisis, bringing Audemars Piguet at the forefront of complicated innovation.
Pioneering Calendar Watches and Extra-Thin Mechanisms
Looking back, the Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin also inscribes itself in the Manufacture’s long history of pioneering calendar watches and extra-thin mechanisms. Champion of miniaturisation since its establishment in 1875, Audemars Piguet quickly charted its own course in the development of extra-small and extra-thin mechanisms with and without complications.
- AP Heritage Inv. 250: In 1921, the Manufacture launched the thinnest pocket watch ever crafted with a movement of only 1.32 mm in thickness (caliber 17SVF#5).
- Ref. 5043, AP Heritage Inv. 912: Audemars Piguet set another technological record in 1938 with this extra-thin wristwatch caliber measuring 1.64 mm in thickness.
- Ref. 5516, AP Heritage Inv. 1732: In 1955, Audemars Piguet produced the first perpetual calendar wristwatch with a leap year indication: model 5516 with caliber 13VZSSQP.
- Ref. 51273: The post-world war era marks Audemars Piguet’s revived focus on extra-thin mechanisms, leading to the development of calibre 2120 in 1967, the thinnest self-winding movement of its time measuring 2.45 mm.
- Ref. 5548, AP Heritage Inv. 1445: Never standing still, the Manufacture released, at the height of the Quartz Crisis, the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch, with a calibre (2120/2800) of 3.95 mm in height.
- Ref. 25643, AP Heritage Inv. 1057: The first-ever self-winding wristwatch with a tourbillon. In 1986, it was the thinnest of its kind (5.3 mm) with the smallest tourbillon (7.2 mm). Today, it still remains the smallest tourbillon ever produced.
Today, the Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra Thin is the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar wristwatch and marks a turning point for Audemars Piguet, paving the way for a new generation of complicated watches balancing refined aesthetics, optimum ergonomics, technical complexity, ancestral savoir-faire and contemporary lifestyle.
Model: Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin // 41mm
Perpetual calendar with day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year, night and day indication, hours and minutes
Satin-brushed titanium case, glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback, polished 950 platinum bezel and links, titanium screw-locked crown, water-resistant to 20 m
Self-winding Manufacture Calibre 5133
Total diameter 32 mm (14¼ lignes)
Total thickness 2.89 mm
Number of parts 256
Number of jewels 37
Power reserve 40h
Frequency of balance wheel 2.75Hz (19,800 vibrations/hour)
Blue satin-brushed dial, blue counters, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating
Satin-brushed titanium bracelet with polished 950 platinum links and titanium AP folding clasp