Watches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
By Thierry Ané on September 29, 2015
For all the die-hard aficionados of the “Le Brassus Manufacture”, the revamping of such an outstanding example of Haute Horlogerie as the “Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar” is undoubtedly an important event. As an out-and-out fan of the brand myself, I can tell you that I was particularly looking forward to discovering the changes of an already stunning creation and the end result did not disappoint!
The most noticeable improvement (at least from my viewpoint!) is the case increase from an outdated 39 mm to a very contemporary 41 mm! Beyond the fact that such a diameter feels better on my yet thin wrist, it offers a larger dial which makes all the indications of a perpetual calendar always easier to read.
The new reference 26574 is available in stainless steel or in pink gold with each version featuring the signature "Grande Tapisserie" motif on the dial either in blue or silver. Whatever the version, the effortless elegance of the octagonal bezel and the beautifully brushed bracelet with perfect edges remain unchanged!
For the “Royal Oak” lovers, the third hand sharing the central position with the hours and minutes is an immediate giveaway that Audemars Piguet also carried out changes from the movement perspective. As a matter of fact, an updated version of calibre 2120, the self-winding 5134 movement animates the new watches and its additional central hand displays the week of the year on the flange (a first for this Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar).
All the other usual indications of a perpetual calendar are of course present: date, day of the week, month and leap year, including the astronomical moon phases. The exceptional finish of this 4.31 mm thick movement can be observed through the sapphire case back. No doubt watch enthusiasts will marvel at the expertly circular-grained mainplate with impeccably bevelled bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève decorations. The 22-carat gold oscillating weight engraved with “Audemars Piguet” and adorned with a “Tapisserie” motif echoing the iconic pattern of the dial will also be the centre of all attention!
With silver or blue dial, the stainless steel model will retail for US$ 60,900 while the price tag for the pink gold models (silver or blue) will be US$ 95,700. This is certainly not cheap but that is the price you have to pay for an iconic watch like the “Royal Oak” equipped with such a refined Haute Horlogerie calibre!
For more information please visit the Audemars Piguet web site.