The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar from Audemars Piguet has come in many different finishes since it debuted in 1955, including everything from stainless steel to yellow gold and jet black ceramic. The Swiss watchmaker is adding to that list of finishes, creating a titanium finished Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar made in conjunction with watch collector Austen Chu. The limited edition model is being done as a tribute to Audemars Piguet’s “enduring history with China,” and will be limited to just 88 numbered examples.
The watch is described by Audemars Piguet as a “combination of sporty and refined aesthetics.” The titanium case is accompanied by a titanium bracelet, yet the whole thing still weighs only 104 grams. If the titanium bracelet seems a bit ostentatious, you can swap it out with the included red rubber strap or the grey hand-stitched alligator strap. The watch is powered by a caliber 5134 movement and has a frequency of 2.75Hz. It has 38 jewels and has a 40-hour power reserve. For the face, Audemars Piguet created a slate grey dial with a “Grande Tapisserie” pattern. The subdials and inner bezels are done in black while the hour markers are white with red accents. The watch is also packed with Chinese symbolism. The red represents luck, joy, and happiness in Chinese culture, and the number 8 is considered to be lucky (so having 88 examples made must make the watch twice as lucky?).
For Chu, the watch is particularly special. The collector already announced that the first Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar was auctioned off for charity (it brought in $300,000) to benefit environmental relief in China. He also shared that “from a little boy in grade school staring at a Royal Oak in a store window fantasizing about owning one one day, to actually collaborating on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak China Limited Edition is simply a dream come true. Not only is this the first fully titanium Royal Oak Perpectual Calendar ever made, but it is also amongst the lightest Royal Oaks ever made.” You can join Chu in owning one of these watches—like lucky 8 or 88—for $78,300, but you’ll have to go to Audemars Piguet’s boutique in Mainland China to get one.