Audemars Piguet will be introducing an entirely new sort of minute repeater at the upcoming Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or short SIHH. They spent eight years of sound research, involving a carefully chosen community of watchmakers, artisans, technicians and academics, which lead to three pending patents and this new minute repeater that sounds much louder than any repeater watch: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research.
Audemars Piguet has used a Royal Oak Concept watch before, to launch new technologies. That started with the Royal Oak Concept Watch 1 back in 2002, that was released for the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak. The RO Concept Watch 1 was created of an entirely new alloy, comprising (for the watch industry) novel materials like cobalt, chrome, tungsten, carbon, silicon and some good old-fashioned steel. That one showcased not only the new alloy called Alacrite 602, but also a tourbillon with a unique shock protection system and a mechanism that indicates the torque of the mainspring and is called Dymograph. Now the brand uses a Royal Oak Concept again, this time to showcase the result of eight years of research and development.
In those eight years Audermars Piguet, their innovations lab Renaud et Papi, worked together with EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) on an ongoing study, to improve the sound of a classical minute repeater. What they achieved is, among others, a much louder sound. If you have experience with repeater watches, you know that the sound can mainly be enjoy when everyone in the room is silent and listening with care. Audemars Piguet now claim to have a repeater watch with a louder volume, so the sound of this new minute repeater can be shared with a larger crowd, and is louder than any repeater until now.
And it gets better. It’s water proof! Since the gongs are inside the case, it would muffle the sound when the case is closed and made water proof. AP’s newest concept watch is water proof to 20 meters, and still has the loudest repeater on board. It might not be suitable to take it for a real plunge, however you will not have to fear the rain anymore. The new RO Concept Acoustic Research comes in a 44mm titanium case and will most likely have an ‘impressive’ price tag.
The official introduction is during the SIHH in January 2015, so stay tuned to actually hear the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research, or as we like to call it, the minute repeater 2.0.