The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph.
This is a wristwatch that is so known to many of youpersonally, perhaps it doesn’t require much of an analysis — but this really is HODINKEE and you’ll be able to think you are gonna get you. The Royal Oak Chronograph is a watch that has tens of thousands of lovers all over the world, and a few detractors, also. The ROC, as I’ll call it henceforth, is something of a middle ground between two completely distinct Audemars Piguet buyers — the collectors, and, well, everyone else. The Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore families often appeal to very different individuals, but I will get to this shortly. Within this short article, I tackle a mainstay in the AP lineup, and an interesting bit of haute horology, though one without its in-house motion. I will have a look at how this 41mm column-wheel, vertical clutch chronograph wears, and if the issue of where the motion came out of is something worth noting in any way. This is the HODINKEE Week About The Wrist with all the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph, and it is one worth spending a while with.AP is really a unique watch manufacture. It is among the few worldwide haute horology brands which stays in the hands of its founding family, with different members of their Audemars family still sitting on its board. Think about the simple fact that Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Söhne are both owned by the Richemont Group (which owns everything from Cartier and Panerai into Alfred Dunhill, bag maker Lancel, women’s clothing company Chloe, Purdey Guns, and Net-A-Porter), and Patek Philippe, while keeping its independence, has been marketed to the Stern family less than 100 years back. However, the ownership of AP isn’t always the most interesting facet of this 175 year old fabrication — the question that matters is that purchases AP’s watches?
Last year Audemars Piguet unveiled a slew of Royal Oak watches in yellow gold, with a notable omission, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin “Jumbo”. As the Royal Oak marks the 40th anniversary of the first yellow gold model of 1977, that has now been rectified with a pair that will make their debut at SIHH 2017.
The new Royal Oak Extra-Thin watches in 18k yellow gold join the 50-piece limited edition made for Singapore retailer The Hour Glass last year, with both the case and bracelet in yellow gold.
While the version for The Hour Glass had a green dial, the two new additions to the collection are in dark blue and yellow gold respectively. Both dials are finished in the traditional style of the Royal Oak, decorated with Petite Tapisserie guilloche and featuring yellow gold applied markers and hands.
The case diameter is 39mm, the exact same diameter as the 1977 original “Jumbo”, though the sapphire display back means the modern iteration is slightly thicker than the solid back original.
But the movement inside remains the 2121, the slim, self-winding calibre originally developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre but now made by Audemars Piguet.
Price and availability
The Royal Oak Extra-Thin in yellow gold with a blue dial is the ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.01, while the same with a matching yellow gold dial is the ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.02. Both are priced at US$55,400.