It has only been a few days since Audemars Piguet last released a batch of watches within their Royal Oak Offshore collection on the back of an action-packed 2021 for the Le Brassus-based giants. Yet, here we are again with another sleuth of releases as Audemars Piguet hammer-home the point that they are not resting on their laurels. We must say, it is invigorating to have the Holy Trinity stalwart so incredibly active.
While new watches are always great, it's exciting to see AP's contemporaries being kept on their toes. And, bearing in mind, we are still a year out from the Royal Oak's 50th anniversary it is the right time to love the brand . This has been an exciting last 12 months to be an AP fan, but the next 12 months look like AP will take everything to the next level indeed.
So, without further ado, let's jump into the latest batch of releases and see what AP has graced us with.
Royal Oak Supersonnerie ref. 26591TI.OO.1252TI.03
In watchmaking, there is a general breakdown of the complications that watchmakers can bestow upon their watches. Among the highest of these complications that we normally see are tourbillons, perpetual calendars, and the like. While these are complicated, they are a step below what we have here, a minute repeater. Stylistically understated in that its case is precisely like that of a regular Royal Oak.
This Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie features a grey dial with a black running seconds sundial and its only giveaway, a lever at 9 o'clock that, when pushed up, will trigger the minute repeater to chime the time with the sound form created engraved on the caseback.
Originally created so clocks could tell the time in the dark, these musical complications require hundreds of hours of refinement and fine-tuning. Powered by the manually-wound AP cal. 2953, this 42mm titanium beauty is certainly not a watch for the faint-hearted with a CHF 324,500 price tag.
Titanium Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 26574TI.OO.1220TI.01
Moving from one heavy hitter to the next, we have another titanium timepiece, the Titanium Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. While not quite as complicated as the Supersonnerie, the Perpetual Calendar is still an incredibly complex timepiece that arguably looks like a lot more watch for less money. While not cheap at $80,000 USD - it certainly is somewhat more attainable than its titanium minute repeating sibling.
Featuring a scintillating blue Grande Tapisserie dial with contrasting grey subdials, this 41mm beauty clearly packs a fistful of weighty complications with its four displays. Powered by the automatic cal. 5134, this timepiece displays the date, day, week, month, leap year, and even the phase of the moon.
As complicated as it sounds, this watch packs everything within a case that is only 9.5mm thick - not bad considering most time-only watches are 11.5mm and up. Launching exclusively in the United States first and then elsewhere in October, this will be one tough cookie to get a bite of.
Royal Oak Frosted Gold Chronograph
Stepping out from the hyper-complex, we move into the relatively pedestrian chronograph function (compared to the last two watches anyway - it is still quite complicated), with two new additions to the Royal Oak Chronograph collection. Available in either 18ct white gold or 18ct pink gold, these two 41mm stunners come powered by AP's latest chronograph movement, the hand-wound cal. 4401.
Found with either black or blue Grande Tapisserie dials, respectively, these will be an instant hit, just like everything else on the list. Available first in Japan, both of these variants won't be for sale in the rest of the world until next month. With their jewel-esque finish, precious metal construction, beautiful dials, and complicated movements, their $90,500 USD price tag is undoubtedly warranted, given men and women alike will be clamoring for these two beautifully decorative watches.
Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked ref. 26600CR.OO.D009KB.01
Escaping the grasp of the Royal Oak, we have the Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked. Continuing to develop and improve one of the worst-received collections of the last few years, AP have taken the Code 11.59 from strength to strength since its debut in 2019. This latest addition highlights its complex case construction through the use of contrasting precious metals.
Sandwiched between two layers of 18ct white gold, the cases' caseband is constructed from 18ct pink gold. Thus, it highlights its geometrically unique octagonal design by standing out against the 18ct white gold background on which it is set.
With a skeletonized dial displaying its openworked cal. 2948 movement, the latest model compliment's the CODE's skeletonized lug design resulting in a watch that you can see through from above, through the dial, below, through the exhibition caseback, and even from the side through the lugs. With its sweeping rounded architecture and stunning bevelling, the cal. 2948 looks the part from whichever way you look at it.
Insight Into the Future?
Undoubtedly a complicated quartet of watches, it is always interesting to see how AP updates their collection mid-year. With the brand's latest releases being so complicated, is it fair to assume the Royal Oak's 50th anniversary will see the latest updates brought in via some more simple time and date-only models, or is AP now making a concerted effort to push in the direction of complex timepieces exhibiting the craftsmanship that has earned them a place amongst the Holy Trinity? Truth be told, we can't say, but what we can say is that we are incredibly excited to see what the brand produces over the future and good their new watches look on our Audemars Piguet rubber straps.
For more information about Audemars Piguet's latest releases and more visit them here.