Next year the Audemars Piguet will celebrate the 40 anniversary of the Royal Oak, that was designed in by the late Gerald Genta in 1972. To celebrate this anniversary in due style, the Audemars Piguet now unveils the Openworked Extra-Thin Royal Oak, a platinum anniversary edition, limited series of just 40.
The first Royal Oak, launched in 1972, was not just another watch. The Royal Oak was the world’s first luxury sports watch and set a trend that was followed by others. During the past 40 year, the Royal Oak has left an indelible imprint on the history of Audemars Piguet and actually on the entire watch industry.
The 39 mm diameter of this Openworked Extra-Thin Royal Oak is identical to that of the 1972 Royal Oak. Considered outsized and extravagant at the time of its launch, it shaped the trend for larger watches and now represents a medium-sized diameter. The platinum case is water-resistant to 50 metres and fitted with sapphire crystals front and back that are treated with anti reflective coating.
The octagonal bezel and its eight polished hexagonal screws – consistently made in white gold – are held on the case-back side by eight recessed nuts. The Royal Oak also owes its reputation to the total integration of the case– a definite rarity in 1972 – with the tapering bracelet composed of non-identical links arranged by decreasing order of size. This set of signature features has been inherent in the collection right from its origins and is still sported by all the current Royal Oak models. The new folding clasp, also in 950 platinum, is distinguished by a double safety fastening system.
The ultra-thin selfwinding proprietary Calibre 5122 is 3.05 mm, which is the same thickness as the famous caliber 2121 that used in the very first Royal Oak. Audemars Piguet choose to skeletonize the movement and use galvanic treatment to get an anthracite color.
All finishing of the bridges and mainplate (polishing, satin-brushing, circular-graining, circular satin-brushing and drawn flanks) is done by hand. The monobloc oscillating weight entirely made in 22-carat gold bears the raised inscription “AP Royal Oak 1972-2012”.
The Audemars Piguet Openworked Ultra-Thin Royal Oak 40th Anniversary is limited to 40 pieces in platinum.