For the first new watch that it is unveiling in advance of SIHH 2016 in January, Audemars Piguet goes for what many would consider old-school horological luxury — releasing a new version of its Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in classical yellow gold.
In 2016, Audemars Piguet brings the enduring lustre of yellow gold back to the forefront. Launched in 1972, the Royal Oak was the first luxury watch to treat stainless steel, and meticulously craft, polish and decorate it, like a precious metal. As the copy on the first campaign mentioned: “A Tribute to Steel” and then the following one: “Steel at the price of Gold”. Using steel in such a manner was a risk, yet ultimately a game-changing triumph. The revolution it launched opened a new and extremely creative chapter for Audemars Piguet, during which it explored traditional and unconventional materials in great depth: platinum, carbon, alacrite, bronze, rubber, ceramic, titanium, tantalum, etc. Now, Audemars Piguet breaks the rules again by returning luxury watchmaking to its most elemental material: 18K yellow gold, the universal emblem of indestructible beauty, energy and light. Since man first learned how to extract it from the earth, yellow gold has not just symbolized wealth and power. It has been its source. For centuries, too, much of the alchemical magic of watchmaking has been held in its warm, eternal embrace.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar we reviewed here, celebrates now the timeless allure of yellow gold —this year released in 18K rose gold or stainless steel— by combining it with the most classic and romantic complication. Housed in the perpetual beauty of yellow gold, the self-winding watch’s new calibre 5134 is fully visible through the glareproof sapphire crystal case back, but the warm, natural glow of precious gold has been brought fully to the fore. The contrast between the 18K rose gold oscillating weight on the Audemars Piguet calibre 5134 and the 18K yellow gold case is remarkable. This calibre is based on its predecessor, the calibre 2120, however it has been enlarged to perfectly fit the updated 41mm case size.
The yellow gold version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (Ref. 26574BA.00.01) will be delivered on an 18k yellow gold bracelet with an AP folding clasp. Its luxurious presentation box comes with a built-in watch-winding mechanism.