New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Skeleton

A charming skeletonized version of AP’s new flying tourbillon movement.

By now, it should no longer be a secret that Audemars Piguet’s famous Royal Oak has turned 50 this year, and the brand has unveiled a new Jumbo Slim 16202. The brand has made serious efforts to commemorate the occasion with a new range, new model and slightly modified exterior with special rotors. One model that combines all three elements is the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Skeleton, a tribute to the first self-winding tourbillon watch: the 1986 Audemars Piguet Calibre 2870.

When it comes to revamping the overall look of the Royal Oak, that of course means only minor touches. This is not to say that we are suddenly witnessing a radical departure from design and architecture. Following novelties such as 16202 and Jumbo Openworked 16204, the overall shape is preserved, yet refined. The changes are minimal at best and sometimes difficult to identify unless you have both old and new references handy. However, as we saw with last year’s Royal Oak Offshore update, it brings a more coordinated collection.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Flying Tourbillon Skeleton has a 41mm wide and 10.6mm thick stainless steel case. As always, it has the signature octagonal shape with an octagonal bezel and functional fasteners (secured from the back), so there’s nothing new to report here. These changes include wider polished chamfers on the bezel and caseback, the latter of which is more flush with the mid case for improved ergonomics. online men watches

Considering this is a skeletonized version of the Royal Oak, there is no real dial. Instead, all we see is a sloping inner flange finished in slate grey with a minute track and applied platinum indexes. The time is indicated by a pair of white gold hour and minute hands with a luminous central ridge. For the rest, you can watch the movement up close and unobstructed. The rhodium-toned components display a striking symmetry, and of course, the flying tourbillon sits proudly on the lower half of the “dial”.

Powering this powerful new version of the Royal Oak is Audemars Piguet’s new in-house calibre 2972​​. It is an upgraded version of the Calibre 2950, ​​introduced in 2018 as part of the Code 11.59 series. This was one of Audemars Piguet’s first flying tourbillon movements, and it made the transition to the Royal Oak family in watches like the 26530PT and 26530TI — basically a closed-dial version of the watches we see today.

Most striking is the large flying tourbillon in the lower half, suspended only from the back. Incorporating the full hollow structure, more details of the whirlwind escapement can be seen. This is a fairly complicated movement with 271 components, including 27 jewels. It runs at 3Hz or 21,600vph and has 65 hours of autonomy when fully wound. Everything is done to Haute Horlogerie standards.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Flying Tourbillon Skeleton features a special 50th anniversary winding rotor, visible through the sapphire crystal. The oscillating weight will only be installed in 2022 to commemorate the Royal Oak’s 50th birthday.

Of course, this new high-end version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak comes with the iconic stainless steel bracelet. Following the latest design evolution of the Royal Oak, the bracelet features larger polished chamfers, thinner and therefore lighter links, and tapers from the case. The AP folding clasp ensures a secure fit on the wrist.

Technical Specifications – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Flying Tourbillon Skeleton
Case: Diameter 41mm x H10.6mm – Stainless steel case, polished and polished – Octagonal bezel with 8 white gold screws – Anti-reflective sapphire crystal and case back – 50m water resistance
Dial: Rhodium-plated skeleton movement – White gold applied indexes and Royal Oak hands with luminous coating – Slate grey inner bezel.
Movement: Calibre 2972​​, Internal – Automatic – 31.5mm x 6.84mm – 271 parts including 27 jewels – 65 hour power reserve – one minute flying tourbillon beating at 21,600 vibrations/hour – hours, minutes, tourbillon flywheel
Bracelet: One-piece stainless steel bracelet with brushed and polished finish – AP triple folding clasp
Reference: 26735ST.OO.1320ST.01