Last year, Audemars Piguet presented the Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Episode 1 and we brought you our live pictures and hands-on here. This year, at the SIHH 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève, the Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Episode 1 presented last year, turns into a reality and a regular production timepiece for this manufacture. The new SIHH 2016 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is one of those watches that we like to call 'what dreams are made of'. For lovers of minute repeaters, not only this is a Tourbillon Chronograph, but in our opinion what should've been labeled the 'world's loudest water resistant minute repeater'. Going hands-on with the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie ref. 26577TI.OO.D002CA.01 is no joke. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is simply a powerful precision wrist sound box that is not only super loud and clear, but water resistant to 20 meters.
Sonically developed through an ongoing acoustic study program in collaboration with the EPFL —Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne—, it took three years to transfer that technological study into a watch concept. The result is scientifically defined sonic targets for watchmakers to measure and attain the ‘perfect’ minute repeater sound at a volume level never achieved before.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is equipped with a super-light titanium case measuring 44 mm x 16.5 mm, a titanium bezel, titanium solid case back with openings working as a resonance chamber, black ceramic pusher guards and screw-down crown. The finish of the case is ultra matte on the top —thanks to the sand blasting process the case has gone through— and satin-brushed finished on the case band. The octagonal bezel is satin-brushed on the top and its mirror polished edges provide ultimate light refraction and eye-catching glare.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is fitted with a skeletonized satin-brushed black dial with yellow accents —instead of orange as in the Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Episode 1 prototype we brought you last year—, the watch features a 30-minute chronograph with retrograde indicator at 3 o'clock, a tourbillon at 6 o'clock and the loudest minute repeater ever.
The skeletonized hands are made of white gold and feature small portions of luminescent material. The yellow chronograph seconds hand, provides the ultimate sport look and visual contrast against the black skeletonized dial.
The beating heart inside the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is the manual wound in-house calibre 2937 composed of 478 parts, 43 jewels, tourbillon, 30-minute chronograph and minute repeater on two gongs. The movement provides a power reserve of 42 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph. The movement is protected by a special titanium case back, designed to work as an acoustic resonance chamber thanks to the openings on its sides. The watch remains water resistant as a second case back —underneath the exterior one— maintains the watch perfectly hermetic up to 20 meters.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears bigger than its actual size and more like a 47 or 48 mm watch —on a 7.25" wrist. While we typically have no problem wearing bigger watches, this piece does feel big and bulky on the wrist. But really, who cares about size when it comes to an horological feat like this one. Regarless of its size, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie feels very light thanks to its titanium case construction and with a wrist presence is just out of this world. If you can afford this watch and you are an AP lover, this is a must have. This new piece is a milestone in Audemars Piguet’s rich history of creating inventive, masterful and unique concepts. Furthermore, it breaks the rules of chiming watches by mastering sound acoustics. Kudos to Audemars Piguet for this release at the SIHH 2016.
Sticker Price $597,400 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.