The first Royal Oak timepiece from the house of Audemars Piguet was created in 1972 by the legendary Gerald Genta. The first luxury steel sports watch to hit the market, and despite being into the Quartz crisis in its early years, the watch has grown to be one of the most iconic designs of the brand.
In 1977, the luxury watchmaker introduced the design in white and yellow gold, leading to a newer revolution in the horology industry. The Royal Oak, even after 50 years, holds a special place in the brand’s history. Thus, the brand has planned more than a few iterations of the stunning designs throughout this year with newer designs and movements. Here are some of the most anticipated and awaited timepieces from the collection.
The Code 11.59 remains to be the brand’s alter-ego but evolves with two pioneering models bringing together 18-carat white or pink gold with black ceramics in the centers. The black ceramics are visible through the sides and are created using Zirconium Oxide powder combined with a secret binder component developed in collaboration with the family-owned and Swiss-based precision component company, Bangerter.
Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin
Diving into the latest trend of green dials, the brand offerings include a 950 platinum Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin with a smoked green dial embellished with a sunburst pattern. Featuring the caliber 2121, it has a solid-gold winding rotor visible through the case back. The 39mm Jumbo has an incredible height of 8.1mm made of Platinum – enhancing the sleek and elegant look. The Jumbo is limited to 100 pieces only, but there hasn’t been any formal price announcement yet. The limited-edition Royal Oak Self-winding Chronograph with an 18-carat yellow gold case and a green “Grande Tapisserie” dial.
Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin with diamonds
If you prefer bling in your timepieces, The Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin presents three new gem-set models in 18-carat pink or white gold. The 39 mm case, bezel, and bracelet are all dressed with 1,102 brilliant-cut diamonds (~7.09 carats) for a unique play of light. The white gold case is paired with a black or light blue “Petite Tapisserie” dial, while the Dial of the pink gold model comes in light blue.
The Marvel Collaboration
The (French) luxury brand recently partnered with Marvel Entertainment to create a unique Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon aptly named “Black Panther”. The watch went under the hammer for an astonishing $5.2 million at a live auction held to benefit non-profit organizations First Book and Ashoka. Inspired by the movie, the watch features purple accents to mimic the color of vibranium. The Dial also hosts a white gold, three-dimensional Black Panther superhero in a heroic pose above the flying tourbillon. The brand has also released 250 pieces of the Black Panther crafted in titanium with a ceramic bezel and crown. According to Audemars Piguet’s CEO Francois-Henry Bennahmias, this is only the beginning. “This collaboration is a dream come true. It’s an honor today to pay tribute to Marvel’s heroes and further the strong connection Audemars Piguet has always had with the entertainment industry. This collaborative adventure promises many surprises to come.”
Royal Oak Self-winding Chronograph / 41 mm
If you love gold, these timepieces are ideal for you. The latest of the Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph is equipped for the first time with the newest generation of in-house integrated flyback chronograph, self-winding Caliber 4401. Every timepiece is made out of 18-carat pink gold cases complimenting them with chocolate brown or navy blue tapisserie dial hue. The brand also offers an option of either a bracelet or leather strap that matches the dial hue. The RO Self-winding Chronograph has another first – the sapphire case-back— that provides an exceptional view of the movement’s column wheel, chronograph hammers, and refined decorations made by hand.
Royal Oak Offshore Diver / 42 MM
The first significant redesign in the Offshore line, the latest stainless steel Royal Oak Offshore Diver, features a new movement, Caliber 4308, based on a similar time-only movement introduced in the Code 11.59, making it fit for the wildest adventures in and out of the water. The 42 mm watch is available in blue, grey, and olive green “Méga Tapisserie” dial. Because of the high-impact dial, the brand chose to keep the signature short to ‘AP’. The RO Offshore Diver has leather straps in beige, brown and black, and rubber. The brand hasn’t announced the price yet, but the launch is scheduled for May.
Royal Oak Self-winding Chronograph / 43 mm
The 43 mm Royal Oak Self-winding Chronograph diameter makes its appearance with five models honed from stainless steel, 18-carat pink gold or titanium. While retaining the essence of the Royal Oak Offshore’s original characteristics, the design of the case and Dial has evolved to offer optimum aesthetics and ergonomics. In addition, the new interchangeable strap system enables wearers to change straps easily with a quick click and release.
Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Flyback Chronograph / 43 mm
A new double complication makes its debut in the Royal Oak Offshore collection with the Royal Oak Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Flyback Chronograph. Limited to 100 pieces and priced at CHF 245,000 ($271,852 according to current exchange rates), this self-winding timepiece combines two highly renowned complications – flying tourbillon with flyback chronograph in a brand new 43 mm case. Retaining the essence of the original Royal Oak Offshore, the case has evolved to offer refined ergonomic aesthetics. At the same time, the Dial reveals the muscular architecture of the new hand-finished movement.
These models also introduce the Manufacture’s latest integrated flyback chronograph, Calibre 4401, in the Royal Oak Offshore collection – a movement engineered for the most active adventures. The flying tourbillon cage lets the rhodium-toned balance wheel shine through, while an open-worked oscillating weight in 22-karat gold-coated with black PVD is visible through the case back. The timepiece has a staggering 65 hours of power reserve and is water-resistant up to 100 meters (328 feet). The watch also features the brand’s interchangeable strap system.