Last year saw high-end Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet launch a series of innovative new models to celebrate half a century of the legendary Royal Oak. There was something for every fan of the distinctive octagonal sports watch, including a Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon and a collection of Selfwinding Chronograph 50th Anniversary models. We knew 2023 would bring more interesting AP releases, although it wasn’t obvious where the brand would take Royal Oak celebrations next. Well, we didn’t have to wait long to find out. AP has just dropped its novelties for the first half of the year and one of the standout watches is the new Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin. It’s a simple piece that, at first glance, changes little more than the dial.
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A different dial on a $78,000 watch doesn’t sound like groundbreaking news but bear with us, this is Audemars Piguet, one of the holy trinity of ultra-luxury watchmakers. When AP introduces a new dial the world of horology takes note. This new release is guaranteed to be a success because it offers AP fans a perfect blend of classic Royal Oak styling and cutting-edge watchmaking. It even throws in precious metals and a new dial finish, making it a must-have for the true collector.
The Royal Oak is hailed as an icon of watch design and is considered the world’s first luxury sports watch. It features an octagonal bezel with eight exposed hexagonal screws and an integrated bracelet. Typically the watch has a steel case and the famous ‘petite tapisserie’ dial. This latest release plays with this Royal Oak DNA beautifully and retains the all-metal aesthetic and angular construction. But the 39mm case, rather than being stainless steel, is white gold, a metal rarely used on sports watches.
Last year’s array of anniversary releases also included the debut of an extra-thin movement. AP’s in-house Calibre 7121 is an exquisite automatic movement that features different decorations, including Côtes de Genève and traits tirés beveling. There are also pink gold bridges and it’s all visible through the exhibition back. Importantly, its slim profile allows AP to give this iteration of the Royal Oak a height of only 8.1mm.
This new white gold case is paired with a matching bracelet and a flat sapphire crystal. For fans of the brand, the rich blue dial is going to be the real attraction. In a brand-first, the blue dial boasts a grained finish, achieved through the use of PVD with a translucent coating. In a nice touch, the date window is a matching blue and the dial features slim baton-style indices. This is a watch for the die-hard AP fan. It’s a limited edition release with an uncommon white gold case and an even rarer-grained dial.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 16202
Case: White Gold
Movement: In-house Calibre 7121
Bracelet: White Gold
Water Resistance: 50M
Price: USD $78,300
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