The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch was designed in 1972 by world famous watch designer, Gerald Genta. The watch was responsible for paving the way in the meteoric rise of the luxury sports watch niche. Back then the case measured in at 39 millimeters, and even done in stainless steel, the watch cost more than many gold dress watches of the day. The Royal Oak boasted an octagon bezel, hex screws that were exposed, a watch dial second to none, and a very industrial integrated stainless steel bracelet. Then in 1998, the watch was given a chronograph complication; as it was fitted with an amazing Frederic Piguet chronograph movement with date complication.
By 2012, watch cases had simply gotten larger, and the 39 millimeter Royal Oak, morphed into the 41 millimeter Royal Oak. This 41 millimeter version was the only Royal Oak on tap until this year when the 38 millimeter was launched. The new watch has the contrasting satin brushed matte finished surfaces, and areas polished perfectly to appear as a new Royal Oak watch case. Small details such as the heavily polished chronograph pushers that are in hex shaped pusher guards, and the bevel of the bezel establish this as being a high end luxury item. The case going from 41 millimeters to 38 millimeters is there, but the watch still has the same thickness of 11 millimeters. At the wrist the watch does feel more compact, but has a slightly chunkier feel to it because only the diameter was changed. The diameter to height ration has been changed, and it creates a new watch feel altogether.
This new watch comes in a very high end variant done n pink gold, and having silver dial decorated in that amazing waffle board Grande Tapisserie. The subdials are pink gold colored. Its chronograph counters as well as the small seconds have been snailed, with the markings of the hands being black. The hour markers are applied baton, and are made of pink gold with plenty of lume for visibility in the dark. The two variants done in stainless steel have great contrast because one is done with blue counters and has a cool silver dial, while the second one has a dial done in ruthenium and rhodium toned counters. Yes there is plenty of praise for the steel one done in silver and blue, but its the pink gold one that catches everyone’s eye. It does not come across as bling like or too shiny, it just nails the eye exactly the way a Royal Oak should.
These watches are powered by the Calibre 2385 movement. This is the same watch movement used in the Royal Oak 41 millimeter watches. It is a modified version of the Piguet 1185, and is a self winding chronograph. This movement has been the backbone of the Royal Oak for many years, and has proven itself reliable. Even though they sealed the caseback, the rotor is done with 18k gold. The movement has a frequency of 21,600 vph, or 3Hz, and offers up a power reserve of 40 hours. The watch is rated to 50 meters of depth in water resistance. The stainless steel variants sell for $27,200, and the gold variant sells for $60,000. More information can be found at audemarspiguet.com. Thank you.