When it comes down to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin – as we call it, the real deal for an RO – the current reference is the 16202, itself replacing the 15202. Next to this reference number is a pair of letters, which indicate the material of choice for each edition. ST for steel, BA for yellow gold, BC for white gold… And we’ve seen many more in the past too. Take for instance the 15202IP, which combined titanium and platinum. Today, AP introduces the Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 16202XT. And, apart from one very specific exception, this combination of letters has never been seen in the standard collection.
XT… Letters that might not feel familiar at all for the RO Jumbo. Except that, if we get back in time a bit, in 2021 to be precise, Audemars Piguet did present a watch with such reference, in the shape of the 15202XT. What made this watch special was a combination of uniqueness, since it was a pièce unique for Only Watch charity auction (and it reached 3.1 million Swiss francs), and its materials. The case was indeed made of titanium and BMG. More on that in a few. And up until now, this mix of materials has remained unique to this model.
For its 2023 collection, following the ultra-attractive white gold RO Jumbo with Tuscan blue dial, it is time for a lightweight, innovative and striking edition, the new 16202XT. The true talking point in this edition is not really the grade 5 titanium case, with classic brushed and polished finishes (something that isn’t new to the RO) but the additional material that is used for both the fully polished bezel and the mid-links on the bracelet. Known as BMG or bulk metallic glass, this material is a palladium-based alloy used in micro-electronics, which shares “several characteristics with other glasses, including amorphicity and high strength, making it highly resistant to wear and corrosion. Its non-crystalline nature results in a unique play of light when hand-finished,” explains the brand. Specs of the case are otherwise identical, with a 39mm diameter and 8.1mm thickness. Weight should be, of course, drastically reduced compared to a steel or gold version.
The other distinctive feature of this Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 16202XT is its dial. In the same vein as the platinum 16202PT with a gradient, sunray-brushed green dial, this new titanium x BMG version has a burgundy red smoked dial with no pattern, save for a fine sunray-brushed texture. No tapisserie here, just the fumé effect. The date disc matches the dial and the applied markers and hands are done in pink gold, to add an extra touch of luxury.
Under the sapphire back is the calibre 7121, which was the main update to be found on the 16202 generation. This thin automatic movement, now done in-house, runs at a modern 4Hz frequency and stores 52h of power reserve. It is traditionally finished yet modernly constructed. More details here.
Worn on a titanium and BMG bracelet, with a folding clasp, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 16202XT will be part of the permanent collection, yet don’t expect it to be made in large quantities. Price is indicated as “upon request” but it should be somewhere between steel and gold prices (respectively 34k euros and 77k euros). For more details, please visit www.audemarspiguet.com.