The classic Royal Oak complication has received some subtle improvements.
In terms of anniversaries, 50 years is a big year for Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. A number of Royal Oak models have been updated here, including design evolutions aimed at improving the watch that collectors already love and crave. One model that has received an update is the Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon, with three new additions to the collection: one in rose gold, one in stainless steel and one in titanium.
The first two have a traditional smoky blue dial with the Grande Tapisserie motif, and the third has a matte blue dial with a chapter ring connecting the hash markers of the minute track. This third version repeats the style we’ve already seen in the self-winding flying tourbillon, albeit in grey. Each new example features the calibre 2950, which debuted in 2020, with a 65-hour power reserve and a rate of 21,600 vph. Only now, on the back of the movement is a special gold oscillating weight bearing the “50 Years” logo, calling attention to the Royal Oak’s half-century celebration.
Additionally, they both feature design improvements designed to make the Royal Oak look and feel better. These include wider bevels on the case and bracelet to better accentuate the effect of light on the surface, and the first link on the one-piece bracelet, which tapers down in thickness, is slimmer, according to AP News. More comfortable to wear; a slightly recessed sapphire case back allows the watch to fit better on the wearer’s wrist; new proportions for the hour markers and hands enhance the harmony within the dial. Still, they are the same 41mm x 10.6mm as the existing self-winding tourbillon.
As we saw in the recent example of a self-winding tourbillon, the applied Audemars Piguet signature made of a thin layer of 24-karat gold was created using galvanic growth, which AP describes as a chemical process similar to 3D printing. The letters are connected by thin chains that are difficult to see with the naked eye. They are then fastened to the dial with little feet. It was originally developed by Audemars Piguet for Code 11:59. These design improvements will continue into the future, but the anniversary rotors are only available this year.
Moving the classics forward requires careful engagement and respect. This way, at least from the images I’ve seen, the new Royal Oak successfully wears a small needle. The true role of Royal Oaks is largely determined by how they look and how they feel on the wrist, all thanks to the many small-scale links, bevels and facets that must create harmony. Correctly sized, the Royal Oak bracelet is one of the most impressive watches, and the interplay of the light on the watch and the many facets of the bracelet is worth seeing. With these new enhancements, I’d love to see how the 2022 Royal Oaks feel on the wrist and how they play in the light.
While pricing is on request, these are surely expensive watches with a single complication – or a complication? – This has to be in harmony with the overall feel of the watch. As the Royal Oak, it is a sports watch where the case, dial and bracelet finishes are the top priority. Ostensibly, a bracelet is worn on a watch because it is more durable and durable than a strap. But the Royal Oak bracelet is actually a work of art. All parts of a Royal Oak have to work together to make it feel good.
Therefore, even the weighted balance wheel oscillating within the tourbillon cage must be accurate. Note its color in relation to the rose gold hands, hour markers, and AP text below; then check out all the same parts in the white metal variant above.
While these tourbillons aren’t the biggest news from the AP today, they do look great, just like the existing models that people are already lining up to buy. You can bet collectors are already asking about these new ones.
Diameter: 41 mm
Case Material: 18 karat rose gold, titanium or stainless steel
Dial color: smoked blue or sandblasted blue with Grande Tapisserie pattern
Markers: rose gold applied hour markers or white gold
Inlaid hour markers Brightness: yes
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Rose Gold, Titanium or Stainless Steel Bracelet with AP Folding Clasp
Movement: Calibre 2950
Functions: hours, minutes, flying tourbillon
Power reserve: 65 hours winding
Frequency: 21,600 times/hour