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We examine Audemars Piguet’s new Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore models

The crowdpleaser is a timepiece in 18-carat yellow-gold that expands the Jumbo Extra-Thin Openworked line

I admire Audemars Piguet for many reasons. But, one reason, which is perhaps more important than the rest, is that the label totally understands the power and importance of its icon, the Royal Oak. It was, of course, the model’s anniversary last year, and you will no doubt remember we saw some killer new pieces come forth following it. Earlier this year, for example, there was a number of super-complicated Code 11:59s, which were genuine examples of top-notch haute horology.

Naturally, the expectation was that we would witness more releases as the year went on. So, last week, the unveiling of a new set of Oaks was well received (obviously), and could be viewed as a sort of doubling down and an incredible continuation of envelope-pushing ideas. And, one of the great things about social media is that you get instant feedback on what the collector community thinks. On this occasion, with five new models, the winner was without doubt the yellow-gold Openworked model. Let’s get into it.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra-thin watchface
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra-thin back

First up, a Jumbo Extra-Thin that melds two high-tech materials. Following the launch of the Only Watch unique piece, presented in 2021, this new 39mm model introduces a case and a bracelet that combine titanium and precious metallic glass (or Bulk Metallic Glass) within the collection for the first time. This new cutting-edge material has been co-developed by AP with a palladium base – another first – making it particularly shiny and resistant to scratches. Powered by the new Calibre 7121, launched in 2022 in the new Jumbo references (ref. 16202), the star of the show here is the smoked-burgundy dial, with gives the design a deep, rich feel.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra-thin Openworked Watch face
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra-thin Openworked Back

The crowdpleaser is an expansion of the Jumbo Extra-Thin Openworked line (ref. 16204) with a new model in 18-carat yellow-gold. I often think you are either an Openworked lover or not. I am not, but this movement is a spectacle nonetheless. The fine architecture, whose yellow-gold-toned hue matches that of the case and bracelet, takes centre stage on both sides of the watch.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Watchface 18-carat white gold
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Watchface 18-carat pink gold

There is also some sparkle in the new set of releases, with the introduction of the very first Royal Oak models with snow-set diamonds. Made in 34mm and 37mm, they are executed in 18-carat white- or pink-gold and are covered with an array of various-sized brilliant-cut diamonds. The rare and highly technical snow setting creates a luminous effect that highlights the Royal Oak’s architecture beautifully.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph Black Ceramic watchface
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph Black Ceramic close up watchface

The sporty option is the Offshore, which masterfully combines ceramic, titanium and gold. It comes in two variations – the most striking is complete with blue bezel, blue dial and blue pusher – and features the manufacturer’s latest self-winding chronograph movement, Calibre 4401.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie Black Ceramic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie Black Ceramic Back Engraving

Last is my personal favourite: the wild Supersonnerie Royal Oak, in black ceramic. This is the first time a ceramic case has been fused with the manufacturer’s state-of-the-art Supersonnerie mechanism (powered by the patented hand-wound minute repeater movement, Calibre 2953). Insane. And, by all accounts, the sound is loud and crisp. This is the definitive blend of contemporary design with cutting-edge technology.

All in all, an awe-inspiring lineup. Some might say we now see too many Royal Oaks; I say, keep them coming.

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