The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo – SIHH 2012

This year is Audemars Piguet celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak. The timepiece Gerald Genta design and that was launched in 1972, became a true classic and an icon in the horological history. 

For this celebration they release many new Royal Oak models and among them a new Royal Oak Jumbo, a new Royal Oak Automatic and a Royal Chronograph. My personal preference is the new Royal Oak Jumbo and my first reaction is… I WANT ONE!

The new Royal Oak Jumbo has brought back several elements of the original Jumbo from 1972, like the AP logo that is now (again) positioned above the 6 o’clock position. Like on the old version, the new Jumbo has no white line around the date window. This is something I’m pleased with and I’m sure many enthusiasts will love it as well. The hobnail dial is now finer, with smaller hobnails (or tapisserie), however not as fine/small as on the vintage version.

The dial now has a black/blue/grey color and how it looks depends on the light and angle you look at it. According to Audemars Piguet, the color is pretty much similar to how the original one used to be when it was launched. I actually thought the original was black and vintage models from the early seventies have changed color over the years. So maybe AP wanted to get as close as possible to the color of the vintage dials? Not sure, we’ll get back on this and let you know.

The double index markers at 12 o’clock are back, which looks great, and the left out the small arabic numerals above the hour markers. New is the black datewheel with white date font, which is in my opinion a great improvement.

The bracelet is slightly thicker and has a more solid feel than on the vintage Jumbo reference 5402. Purist might find that a bummer, but personally I’m glad the bracelet has a bit more hefty feeling to it, because I always found the old version quite fragile. Not that it is fragile… it feels fragile.

The now introduced a double folding clasp with double push button to open the clasp and that is also a great improvement in my opinion. Much easier to open en close and actually more contemporary.

The movement used in the vintage Jumbo, was the gorgeous caliber 2121, which was based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 920. In the previous Jumbo, Audemars Piguet changed the caliber to their own caliber as introduced in 1969. This movement was also used in the previous Jumbo and now in this latest version of the Royal Oak Jumbo. It looks like only the rotor has been changed.

What has changed in comparison to the vintage Royal Oak ref. 5402 ST?
  • black date wheel with white numerals
  • thicker bracelet
  • double folding clasp with double push buttons
  • rotor
  • maybe the color of the dial

And what has changed compared to the previous Royal Oak ref. 15202 ST?

  • not the reference, because that remained 15202 ST
  • also not the diameter, which is still 39 mm
  • finer hobnail dial
  • no white line around date window
  • black datewheel with white date numerals
  • thicker bracelet with double folding clasp with double push buttons
  • double stick marker at 12 o’clock
  • AP logo above the 6 o’clock position
  • no roman numerals (to indicate the minutes) around the dial

No final word on the price yet, but the previous Royal Oak Jumbo was available for € 17,900 Euro including vat/tax. When we know more about the price we’ll let you know. One way or another, I’m positive the demand will be huge!

EDIT: The price is € 19,800 Euro (including VAT/tax).

Later more about other versions of the Royal Oak collection!

Frank Geelen

Frank Geelen is an expert on Haute Horlogerie and his horological heart beats faster from beautiful hand-finished mechanical movements. He loves to explain all technical details of complications like tourbillons, minute repeaters, constant force escapements and column-wheel chronographs and he has been doing that for more than seven years. Besides publishing daily here at Monochrome Watches, Frank also writes for several other publications, both online and offline.

View all articles by Frank Geelen

One Response to “The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo – SIHH 2012”

  1. GEO says:

    The dark colored date wheel is a winner

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