Just over a decade after the launch of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet introduced the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. A leader in the field of QP complications, Audemars Piguet combined Gérald Genta’s iconoclastic design of 1972 with the thinnest automatic QP movement of the day to produce the hugely successful Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (Ref. 5554). A staple in the collection since its launch, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar was revamped in 2015 with a larger and sportier 41mm case size and the incorporation of a week display. A few months ago, we reviewed the latest RO Perpetual Calendars in pink gold and steel cases with blue dials that evoke the colour of the original Royal Oak. A new model, crafted in titanium with a blue dial and grey sub-dials, is set to launch exclusively in the United States in September with limited availability in other countries in October.
Classic Royal Oak Case
Sharing the same technical specifications, layout and movement as other Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars in collection, the latest model combines a 41mm titanium case and bracelet with a two-tone dial with blue “Grande Tapisserie” and grey sub-dials. The ultra-light case and bracelet are hand-finished with satin-brushed and polished surfaces, and the case height is a slim 9.5mm. Faithful to its ancestor, the signature octagonal bezel with eight visible screws sits on top of a sharp central case, both finished with vertical satin-brushed surfaces and brightly polished bevels. The integrated bracelet with the AP folding clasp follows the same decorative cues and blends seamlessly into the case giving the Royal Oak its attractive sensation of fluidity.
The blue “Grande Tapisserie” background is not the same colour used on the pink gold and steel cases launched in July that picks up on the original “Night Blue, Cloud 50” colour of the original 1972 Royal Oak. The blue is more saturated, and the four calendar sub-dials – months and leap year at 12, date at 3, moon phases at 6 and weekday at 9 o’clock – are offset against grey backgrounds with snailed interiors and white markings (save the 31st day of the month picked out in red). The blue inner bezel, with its even numbers (2-52) and dots for the odd numbers, corresponds to the week indication and relies on a third central hand with an arrow-shaped tip. The white gold applied hour markers and Royal Oak hands are treated with luminescent coating. A rich dial with contrasting textures, the incorporation of grey sub-dials works well with the darker hue of the titanium case.
AP’s in-house calibre 5134 is based on the famous extra-thin calibre 2121. This automatic perpetual calendar movement has a height of just 4.3mm and beats at an unconventional frequency of 2.75Hz, and delivers a relatively short power reserve of 40 hours. Visible from the caseback, the openworked 22k gold rotor displays a double “Grande Tapisserie” pattern on its edge, and the finishings include Côtes de Genève, perlage, circular satin and polished chamfers. If the watch is kept fully wound, the perpetual calendar will not require a correction until 2100.
Availability & Price
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Titanium (ref. 26574TI.OO.1220TI.01) will be launched in exclusivity in the United States this month with limited availability in other countries from October. The retail price is EUR 78,900 or USD 80,000.
For more information, please consult Audemars Piguet.