As the modern incarnation of the very first luxury-sports watch created in 1972, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202 needs no introduction anymore. Its octagonal shape, its screwed bezel, its integrated chain-like bracelet, its extra-thin automatic movement, its finely guilloched blue dial… Everything in this watch is iconic. Well, for the SIHH 2018, there’s a new version, and don’t be fooled by the familiar look, it has many more secrets than you might first expect. Please meet the Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP – and yes it is titanium and it has a superb and unprecedented smoked blue dial.
While we’re not going to retell the whole story again – most already know the history behind the creation of the 1972 Royal Oak, as the first example of a luxury-sports watch – it is good to mention that the Ref. 15202 is the most faithful iteration of AP’s icon currently in the collection. It is based on the same 39mm case as the 1972 version, it uses the same time-and-date extra-thin movement (modernized for sure, but still the same architecture as the 1972 one), it shows almost the same “Petite Tapisserie” guilloche pattern on the dial, and it has the same integrated bracelet. It is best known in its stainless steel/blue dial version, the 15202ST.
Thus, the present watch feels quite familiar indeed. At first, the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP appears equal to the steel ST version. Well, before making premature conclusions, you should look closely. One easy feature to spot: the polished bezel. At AP, that means a different material than steel or gold, and in fact, it even means platinum. But don’t be too fast, the 15202IP isn’t full platinum either.
One of the very appreciable new features of this Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP is that its case and bracelet are crafted in lightweight, scratch-resistant grade 5 titanium. Combined with it are a solid 950 platinum bezel and platinum links for the bracelet. First, this slightly changes the visual perception of the watch, with contrasting polished accents – while the steel version is mostly brushed – and second, it will also change the feeling once on the wrist, thanks to the low density of titanium. For the rest, no changes for the case or the bracelet.
The second update on this Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP concerns the dial. While the time-and-date display without second hand, the white gold hands and applied markers and the “Petite Tapisserie” guilloche pattern are equal to the steel 15202ST model, this titanium version introduces an unprecedented style and colour: a smoked blue tone. Darker on the edges, with a bright blue central part, it appears to bring more depth and playfulness to the watch (to be confirmed once we have seen the watch in the metal).
As for the mechanics, no evolution as the titanium Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP still relies on the calibre 2121 – which is basically a modern evolution of the JLC movement used in the 1972 Royal Oak 5402. Extra-thin with a 3.05mm thickness, fitted with a central rotor for the automatic winding, it is visible through the caseback and finely decorated. Specs are known: an unusual 2.75Hz frequency and 40h of power reserve.
We’ll come back to this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP after the SIHH 2018 with live images and our impressions about the new smoked dial. Price to be confirmed. More details on audemarspiguet.com.