Audemars Piguet Unveils New Royal Oak Complications

A heady display of the Swiss manufacture’s watchmaking ability.

By Terry Christodoulou 13/09/2021

Swiss haute horlogerie manufacture Audemars Piguet has unveiled a heady catalogue of new, complicated Royal Oak timepieces.

First out of Le Brassus are two new versions of the Royal Oak Frosted Gold Selfwinding Chronograph.

Presented in a choice of 18-carat white or pink gold, the two 41mm timepieces are respectively complemented with a “Grande Tapisserie” black or blue dial enriched with contrasting counters matching with the case’s colour.

Royal Oak Frosted Gold Selfwinding Chronograph in white gold.

The case and bracelet are decorated with ‘frosted gold’ and polished chamfers. The end result is one that ‘blings’ without the need for sometimes over-the-top diamond dusting.

The white gold model features a black dial with contrasting rhodium-toned counters while the pink gold option combined a blue dial with matching pink gold counters. Here, the counters and dial feature a luminescent coating for legibility.

At the heart of this watch is the manufacture’s latest generation chronograph movement, the selfwinding Calibre 4401, now visible through the sapphire caseback.

Unlike a regular chronograph, the flyback function allows the wearer to stop, reset and start the chronograph in one simple action. The column wheel works in collaboration with a vertical clutch system. When the chronograph is started or stopped, the hands respond accordingly without any hint of jumping.

If you have friends in the United States, now might be the time to reach out as AP’s new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar will be first launched there before being offered – with limited availability – in other countries as of October.

Here, the timepiece, crafted in grade 5 titanium sees a new dials design that pairs a blue “Grande Tapisserie” pattern with contrasting grey subdials, bestowing the model with a contemporary two-tone aesthetic.

Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Titanium.

The ultra-lightweight 41mm watch features a case (as mentioned) and bracelet in complete titanium and features the manufacture’s trademark satin brushing.

Powering the watch is the self-winding Calibre 5134, which automatically takes into account the number of days in the month and correctly displays the prevailing date even in leap years. Assuming the watch is kept fully wound, the date will not require manual correction until 2100.

Elsewhere the watch’s sapphire caseback reveals the refined decorations adorning the movement, which include “Côtes de Genève,” circular graining, circular satin and polished chamfers. The 22-carat gold openworked oscillating weight is further embellished with “Clous de Paris.”

Finally the most complicated of the new Royal Oaks is the new Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie in titanium.

The complicated limited production watch is equipped with the ground-breaking in-house hand-wound Calibre 2953 which is protected by three patents.

The chiming complication comes at no surprise to AP fans, with the watchmaker specialising in chiming mechanisms since its establishment in 1875 including the creation of a Grande Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie and Minute Repeater mechanisms.

Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie.

This 42 mm Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie encompasses a titanium case and bracelet both meticulously finished with an alternation of satin-brushing and polishing.

Within the case sits a highly stylised guilloché dial in smoked grey hues complemented by white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating for optimum legibility. The black small seconds counter at 6 o’clock echoes the inner bezel, while its snailed finishing contrasts with the Tapisserie motif. The titanium caseback is engraved with the “Royal Oak Supersonnerie” indication and a soundwave motif.

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