The colour green might be the latest trend in watchmaking and even refer back to Audemars Piguet’s groovy colourful stone dials of the 1970s, but it has another far more interesting connotation that ties in very nicely with the iconic Royal Oak watch. Green is also evocative of the evergreen or perennial trees that grow in the forests around Le Brassus, home to Audemars Piguet’s manufacture and headquarters. The adjectives ‘evergreen’ and ‘perennial’ also work very well in the context of the enduring appeal of the Royal Oak since it was introduced in 1972. For 2021, Audemars Piguet enlivens several members of its Royal Oak family with vibrant green dials, including a limited edition Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph in a luxurious yellow gold case and three new Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon models in pink gold or titanium and one version set with bright green emeralds in the bezel.
Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph
The chronograph version of the Royal Oak hit the scene in 1997 in 39mm cases; in 2012, the collection was expanded with the addition of 41mm cases, an upgrade that surprised many by being more balanced and more comfortable than its 39mm sibling. The Royal Oak Chronograph was refreshed in 2017 with two-tone dials, slightly larger chronograph counters at 9 and 3 o’clock, shorter and thicker hour markers, a new typeset and transfers, a larger AP logo and more lume. Since then, the 41mm RO Chronograph has appeared with all sorts of dials, including a platinum model with a gradient grey dial in 2018 and even a stunning frosted gold model with a purple dial in 2019.
The only novelty here is the combination of an 18k yellow gold case with a green dial. All the hallmark trait of the RO chronograph are respected, including the raised octagonal bezel with the eight hexagonal screws, the powerful case build, integrated bracelet and the signature ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern on the dial. The 41mm case has a height of 11mm and a water-resistance of 50 metres. Like other models, it features contrasting satin-brushed surfaces and brightly polished flanks, all executed by hand. The eye-catching dial in green features snailed chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock and a smaller running seconds indicator at 6 o’clock. The date window is perched at an angle between 4 and 5 o’clock, also with a green background. The applied hour markers and Royal Oak hands are also made from yellow gold and treated with luminescent coating.
Turning over the watch reveals a solid sealed caseback engraved with ‘Limited Edition’. Below the caseback is Audemars Piguet’s in-house calibre 2385 based on the architecture of the Frédéric Piguet 1185 with an 18k gold oscillating weight. An automatic, integrated column-wheel chronograph with tri-compax layout, the movement beats a frequency of 21,600vph/3Hz and provides a power reserve of 40 hours for the chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds and date functions.
The Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph comes with an integrated yellow gold bracelet and two additional straps: green calfskin and green rubber.
Quick facts: 41mm x 11mm – 18k yellow gold, polished and brushed – screw-locked crown and sealed caseback – 50m water-resistance – green dial with ‘Grand Tapisserie’ pattern – applied yellow gold hour markers and Royal Oak hands treated with luminescent coating – AP calibre 2385 – automatic column-wheel chronograph – 40h power reserve – 21,600vph/3Hz frequency – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date – integrated gold bracelet, additional green calfskin and green rubber straps – Ref. 26331BA.OO.1220BA.02 limited to 125 pieces – available April 2021
Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon
The Royal Oak was treated to a tourbillon complication in 1997 to mark the 25th anniversary of the model. Last year, the Royal Oak was fitted with a more spectacular flying tourbillon movement first seen on board the Code 11.59 and available in steel and gold and an unprecedented titanium version with a sandblasted dial. Housed in 41mm cases with a height of 11.5mm, the 2020 models marked the first time the Royal Oak had been fitted with a flying tourbillon. Another change could be appreciated on the dial that adopted an ‘Evolutive Tapisserie’ pattern radiating from the centre of the tourbillon.
For 2021, Audemars Piguet releases three 41mm flying tourbillon models, all distinguished by their vibrant green dials. The first reference comes in an 18k pink gold case with matching gold hour markers and hands and is limited to ten pieces. Like the 2020 models, the green dial displays the ‘Evolutive Tapisserie’ pattern emanating from the centre of the flying tourbillon and the applied 24k gold AP signature created by a chemical process known as galvanic growth. The second model is crafted in titanium with white gold indices and Royal Oak hands and is limited to 50 pieces.
The third model, also crafted in titanium, is the most remarkable of the three flying tourbillons. Also crafted in titanium, the iconic octagonal bezel is made from 18k white gold and set with 32 baguette-cut emeralds, each individually cut, faceted and set by hand. The glowing green emeralds in the bezel – complete with the hexagonal screws – amplify the rich green colour of the dial.
The latest-generation flying tourbillon movement, calibre 2950, beats below the sapphire crystal caseback. An automatic flying tourbillon movement with a central rotor first used in the Code 11.59 collection, it beats at 3Hz and offers a comfortable power reserve of 65 hours. In keeping with the Royal Oak’s sportier nature, the decoration of the movement is more contemporary with radiating Côtes de Genève.
All three models come with integrated bracelets to match the case material.
Quick facts: 41mm x 10.4mm – titanium, titanium with white gold bezel set with emeralds or 18k rose gold, all cases polished and brushed – sapphire crystal front and back – 50m water-resistance – green dial with ‘Tapisserie Evolutive’ pattern – applied white or pink gold indices and gold Royal Oak hands, all with luminescent coating – AP calibre 2950, in-house – automatic – 30.9mm x 6.24mm – 270 components, 27 jewels – 21,600 vibrations/hour – 65h power reserve – hours, minutes and flying tourbillon – integrated gold or titanium bracelet with AP folding clasp – Ref. 26534TI.OO.1220TI.01 titanium limited to 50 pieces; Ref. 26532IC.EE.1220TI.01 titanium with emeralds limited to 15 pieces; Ref. 26533OR.OO.1220OR.01 pink gold limited to 10 pieces – available April 2021