There are a lot of historical designs floating round the world of watchmaking. Many Swiss brands date back centuries, with archives full of designs that have been adored for generations.
But the design of this watch was born out the most turbulent time in the watch industry – the Quartz crisis that took place in the late 60s and early 70s. All the Swiss watch houses were suffering and looking for ways to improve sales and reinvent themselves.
Audemars Piguet reached out to one of the most successful watch designers of the time, Gerald Genta. In no more than a day, Genta came up with the groundbreaking design of the Royal Oak.
In 1972, the first Royal Oak hit the shops and has been a star ever since.
This latest addition to the family still uses the same movement — 2121 — as the original and, at 8mm, it sits only 1mm thicker than the 1972 model, while maintaining a 39mm diameter.
The case and bracelet are cast in white gold, paired and contrasted with a pink, gold-toned “Petite Tapisserie” dial. The grid texture of the dial gives the wonderful effect of different tones of gold spread throughout the watch face.
It’s this dial that had everyone at this year’s SIHH fair talking. The unique shade of gold that Audemars Piguet have used has been described by some as salmon and others as “salmon-adjacent”. But we’ll just call it stunning.
This is the kind of watch that is slim enough to slip under a cuff but bold enough to make a statement, especially to those who know what you’re wearing.
It might be a bit tricky to get hold of one of these, however, as they are a boutique exclusive and only 75 are being made. So if you do the maths, that means of the 50 boutiques that the brand has around the world, most will only be getting one model.
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, we are certain you’ll be just as overjoyed with your new purchase as we will be jealous of it…
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra Thin
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