From offering subtle design alterations to a new calibre, this is an important ensemble for the Swiss watch brand
January 27, 2022: Brands, in the course of their lives, end up giving birth to some iconic products that define them. The Royal Oak is one such product line for Audemars Piguet. On the occasion of the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary, the Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer has unveiled an array of new selfwinding hour, minute, second and date models in 37 mm as well as new 38 and 41 mm selfwinding chronographs, which will be launched throughout the year.
Retaining the aesthetic codes of the original Royal Oak designed by Gérald Genta, these new references present slight evolutions in terms of case, bracelet and dial design, furthering the collection’s contemporary appeal. In addition to welcoming new calibres, most of the new models are equipped with the dedicated Royal Oak “50-years” oscillating weight.
Paying tribute to the collection’s original aesthetics, while enhancing its ergonomics, the Manufacture has performed subtle changes on the Royal Oak case. The bevels adorning the top and the bottom of the case have been enlarged to enhance the play of light between the satin-finished and polished surfaces, while bestowing the watch with a slender aesthetic. The caseback has been slightly more integrated into the case middle to sit more comfortably on the wrist.
The integrated bracelet’s first four links are now trapezoid in shape and no longer parallel. Furthermore, the links are thinner throughout the bracelet, and therefore lighter, offering added comfort and optimum ergonomics.
The logo has been reworked. A gold Audemars Piguet signature endowed with a unique topography now replaces the applied AP monogram and the printed “AUDEMARS PIGUET” at 12 o’clock. Made of thin layers of 24-carat gold, the signature is achieved through a chemical process akin to 3D printing known as galvanic growth. Each letter is connected with links approximately the size of a hair and placed on the dial by hand with tiny legs almost invisible to the naked eye.
Lastly, the minute track, which was previously printed on the flat external zone, now appears directly onto the Tapisserie of all Royal Oak selfwinding hour, minute, second and date models for more visual appeal – a challenging process due to the unique topography of the guilloché dial.
The new Royal Oak “anniversary” timepieces are fitted with the dedicated oscillating weight in 22-carat gold that features the “50-years” logo and the engraved Audemars Piguet signature. For the occasion, the oscillating weight has been matched to the colour of each case and finished with an alternation of satin-finishing and polished chamfers, with the exception of the 38 mm chronographs.
The Royal Oak models endowed with the new design evolution are equipped with three different calibres, including a brand new one, Calibre 5900. This selfwinding hour, minute, second and date movement premiers this year on Royal Oak references in 37 mm, in replacement for Calibre 3120. This new mechanism is thinner (3.9 mm vs 4.26 mm) than its predecessor and offers a higher frequency (4 Hz vs 3 Hz). It is also endowed with 60 hours of power reserve when not on the wrist.