Watches: Audemars Piguet Two-Tone Royal Oak Models (+live pictures)

By Thierry Ané on January 26, 2015

With slender lines and the iconic octagonal bezel directly inherited from Gerald Genta’s 1972 original design, the “Royal Oak” is as timeless as it is refined. Achieving the perfect balance between elegance and sporty appeal, this legendary timepiece originally presented in a stainless steel version with matching bracelet was beautifully revisited in 2012 with an Extra-Thin version featuring a blue “Grande Tapisserie” pattern on the dial.

This year, Audemars Piguet has decided to please the countless fans of this stunning timepiece with a weakness for the two-tone models so popular in the eighties. And, since the love of retro-looking watches knows no gender, the Le-Brassus manufacture unveils simultaneously the Royal Oak Automatic Steel and Pink Gold for gents and the Royal Oak Lady Steel and Pink Gold with a diamond-set bezel for the ladies.

In contradiction with all the rules of gallantry, let me start with a discussion of the male version of this “Royal Oak”. It is after all the most faithful to the original and the closest to the Fine Watchmaking spirit of the brand as it is the only one fitted with a mechanical movement!

This new Royal Oak model adds the warmth of a pink gold octagonal bezel to the ruggedness of a stainless steel case. This visually appealing contrast is picked up on the legendary metal bracelet where the middle links holding the steel segments together are also crafted in pink gold. While retaining the iconic two-tone look so successful a few decades ago, the choice of a 41 mm diameter shows that the luxury brand knows how to subtly incorporate contemporary trends. With a thickness of just 9.50 mm, though, the watch remains as elegant on the wrist as its previous iterations.

To complement this bi-colour look without adding another striking visual element, the designers opted for an understated silver-toned dial with the Maison’s stunning “Grande Tapisserie” pattern. Sober and tasteful, it is enhanced by the presence of pink gold facetted hands and applied hour markers filled with Super-LumiNova for an optimal legibility in all conditions.

This beautiful reference houses the brand’s in-house 3120 calibre. This self-winding three-hand movement with date indication offers 60 hours of power reserve and features a solid gold oscillating weight engraved with the coat of arms of the “Audemars” and “Piguet” families. The sapphire crystal on the back of the watch allows you to admire it and to appreciate the superlative finishing of this calibre.

The Royal Oak Lady Steel and Pink Gold presents the same aesthetics apart from the presence of 40 brilliant-cut diamonds on the pink gold bezel. This addition breaks the two-tone aspect a little and makes the watch more appealing for the aficionados of the brand who generally do not appreciate bi-colour models.

With a diameter of 33 mm for a thickness of 7 mm, this ladies’ model with a silver-toned “Grande Tapisserie” dial is as multi-purpose as its male counterpart and equally in line with the brand’s DNA. My only regret is that the watch houses a quartz movement, namely the 2713 calibre, and not the noble mechanical heart best suited for this high-end Haute Horlogerie brand.

Although I have never been drawn to bi-colour timepieces, I understand that there is a market for them and I have to admit that, aesthetically, both versions are perfectly well-balanced. These two-tone “Royal Oak” rightfully have their place in the collection and will easily find their audience.

For more information please visit the Audemars Piguet web site.

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