Watches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon

By Thierry Ané on November 26, 2013

The Royal Oak Concept was first unveiled in 2002 to mark the 30th anniversary of Gerald Genta’s iconic design. At this year's SIHH, Audemars Piguet will present a new version of the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon introduced in 2011.

Aesthetically, one could say that the latest addition to the Royal Oak Concept line is simply the summery version of the watch presented three years ago. Indeed, the case and the folding buckle are still in titanium. The black ceramic bezel, crown and pusher have now been replaced by an immaculate white ceramic. The openwork dial is graphically similar and although the calibre number has changed (from 2913 to 2930), the watch offers the same functions.

In addition to the central hours and minutes, both models feature a tourbillon at 9 o’clock and a second time zone display at 3 o’clock that can be adjusted by the pusher at 4 o’clock. This second time zone comprises two superimposed discs. The upper disc indicates the time and completes on turn in 12 hours while the lower disc, half-black and half-white, rotates in 24 hours as serves as a day-night indicator. Another useful feature of these watches is the “function indicator” located at 6 o’clock (Neutral -N-, Time Setting -H-, or Winding Mode -R-).

The first Royal Oak Concept from 2011

The huge difference (apart from the obvious colour change that is) is the incorporation of ceramic in the movement of this year’s model. The upper bridge was made of simple blackened metal in the 2011 piece whereas it is now crafted in white ceramic. Considering how hard it is to work with this material, this is not a small achievement!

Personally, I love white watches when I am by the beach. I therefore really like the look of this new version. The brand already used a white ceramic bezel and a white rubber on a steel model: the Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Siam. I just hope that Audemars Piguet’s experimentation with ceramic will not end there and that they will include this white ceramic into other timepieces. I would be overjoyed for instance to see a version of the Royal Oak Offshore 44mm in white ceramic…

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: