Audemars Piguet just rolled out a slew of Royal Oaks for its women clientele, although they can be worn on any wrist, depending on your size and style preference. There are five new rainbow gem-set versions, a chronograph with a purple dial surrounded by matching amethysts, a baby blue dial set in white-gold and a highly covetable black ceramic model with 18-karat pink gold accents. Whichever Royal Oak is your poison, you will need to act fast to get your hands on one—or prepare to land on a waiting list.
Black Ceramic Royal Oak Selfwinding
The 34 mm black ceramic Royal Oak Selfwinding watch is arguably the must-have of the bunch, given both its sleek presentation, versatility and barely-there feel on the wrist. Creating it, however, was a rather hefty task requiring an adaptation of the material’s difficult composition to work in a smaller frame. The manufacture uses zirconium oxide powder, mixed with a binding material, to create the ceramic throughout different stages of high-precision machining. AP keeps the exact process to itself, but in order to achieve the final color, the components must be sintered at more than 1,400 degrees Celsius to create its uniform look. The components are pre-polished and pre-satin-brushed before they are finished by hand with alternating satin-brushed and polished chamfers. The result is a lightweight, scratchproof piece that offers a contrasting delicate play of light. It is powered by the Caliber 5800 offering a power reserve of 50 hours and water resistance of up to 50 meters. It is topped off with 18-karat pink-gold hour markers, hands and screws, as well as a matching oscillating weight in the same material.
We had the opportunity to try the piece on before the announcement of the release and it is, without a doubt, the reference everyone will want to own. But at US$45,200 (a little over RM189,000) a pop, it will belong to the rarefied few.
Royal Oak Frosted Gold Selfwinding 34 mm
For those that prefer to feel the weight of their hard-earned dollars on the wrist, the new white-gold 34 mm Selfwinding Royal Oak accented in a frosted finish, courtesy of jeweller Carolina Bucci, offers a weightier proposition with a touch more flash. The Italian designer has been outfitting Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oaks in her signature technique—a Florentine execution using a diamond-tipped tool to create indentations in the surface—since 2016. It has been an ongoing hit, showing up on everything from more complicated timepieces like a white-gold/purple-dial Selfwinding Chronograph and a white-gold Openworked Double Balance Wheel to 33 mm white-gold and yellow-gold quartz models or a yellow-gold 37 mm reference with a mirrored dial. Also equipped with the Caliber 5800, this version (US$49,400 or about RM207,000) sports a baby blue PVD-coated tapisserie dial that complements its icy-looking exterior.
Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openwork Rainbow
The Royal Oak has never been a wallflower watch. It is a statement timepiece through and through, so why hold back? If you are going to commit to an RO, you might as well dial it up with one of the five new rainbow references with intricate openworked dials. Set with 32 baguette-cut tsavorites, emeralds, topazes, tanzanites, and amethysts, as well as a variety of coloured sapphires, there are three 41 mm versions (set in 18-karat white gold, yellow gold or pink gold) and two in 37 mm sizing. All come with the added sparkle of Bucci’s frosted technique on the bracelet and case and are powered by the Caliber 3132 movement with 45 hours of power reserve. The 41 mm models sport a slate-gray NAC-coated bridges with a double balance wheel matching the case material and the 37 mm sizes are outfitted with an openworked movement that matches the 18-karat pink gold or yellow-gold cases accented with a blackened openworked barrel at 1 o’clock.
Rainbow watches have become all the rage with nearly every watchmaker racing to put their signature stamp on the exploding trend. Audemars Piguet, however, can lay claim to some of the most ornate iterations on the market. The 41 mm will set you back US$118,500 or about RM497,000, while the 37 mm are US$100,500 (just a touch over RM421,000) each. All five rainbows will be available in October. Get in line!
Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph
Purple dials, while not exclusive to Audemars Piguet, have certainly become a sort of signature of the brand. Currently, there are two in the Code 11.59 collection and the new 38 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph is the fourth in the current Royal Oak lineup. The colour has long been adopted by kings, queens and the aristocracy dating back to antiquity when the colour of the dye was extremely costly. As a result, it was typically worn only by the elite from Byzantine to Holy Roman Empires. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I reportedly forbade anyone to wear it except her inner familial circle.
So, if you really want to drive home that you are part of Audemars Piguet’s court, the new lavender-hued 18-karat pink-gold tapisserie dial surrounded by baguette-cut amethysts (US$81,900 or slightly over RM343,000) should do the trick. For extra showmanship, the manufacture has crafted the dial with multiple layers of purple PVD, which plays with light to reveal purple and blue undertones depending on the angle of the wrist. Beneath the surface, it is powered by the Caliber 2385 with chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds and date functions. Its caseback has been sandblasted and satin-finished. Fittingly, this timepiece will only be available for purchase at Audemars Piguet boutiques.
Previously published on Robb Report.