Released without much fanfare and as understated as it gets, comes the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin Westime Special Edition. This rare bird in a limited edition of only 25 pieces is dedicated to U.S. watch retailer Westime, a longtime AP partner. Featuring an 18K pink gold case that is fully harmonized by the salmon pink gold-toned dial this watch is sublime, exceptional and elegant. The Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin Westime Special Edition we have here is as special as all other Royal Oak tourbillons and almost as rare as the Royal Oak Automatique Tourbillon 25th Anniversary ref. 25831 because of its limitation.
The first Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon ref. 26510OR.OO.1220OR.01 was released in 2012 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak and the idea behind it, was to create a new model that would take the design of the first Royal Oak Jumbo from 1972 in an extra flat manual wound Royal Oak Tourbillon execution.
Currently available in stainless steel, platinum or 18K rose gold, two special editions stand out. The first one, the Royal Oak Openworked Tourbillon Extra-Thin ref. 26511.PT.OO.1220.PT.01 in platinum released in a 40-piece limited edition to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak and the second one, this rare bird limited to 25 pieces.
To make this feature even more interesting, it is relevant to mention that the photography we did of this particular watch took place at the Audemars Piguet Museum. After we kindly asked our good friend Eddy to remove his watch for a few pictures, we then laid the watch on a century old watchmaker bench and next to a few 100+ year old watchmaker tools and Audemars Piguet watch parts including the escapement and pallet fork you see next to the watch.
Additionally, right behind the watch, there is an antique 'rose-engine' machine like the one that Audemars Piguet utilizes to create the stunning 'Petit tapisserie' motif on the dial of the Royal Oaks. An operation that takes over an hour to perform, the guilloché work on the dial features an interwoven pattern of peaks and troughs which catch the light and underline the geometric profile of the watch, especially on a salmon rose gold-toned dial.
The Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon is fitted with a 41 mm 18K rose gold case with a thickness of 8.85 mm, maintaining all the characteristics that made the Royal Oak a watchmaking legend, including its 50-meter water resistance. But what makes the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin Westime Special Edition ref. 26515OR.OO.1220OR.01 an incredible looking watch is its stunning salmon rose gold-toned dial with 'petite tapisserie'. Without hesitation, this could very well be one of our favorite dials ever fitted on the Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin.
The Movement & Display Case Back
For this particular watch the engraving 'Special Edition' has been included on its display case back. Regardless of the lack of individual limited edition numbering, this watch is as special as it gets. Offering a real treat for the eyes, the manual wound calibre 2924 appears in full view. This highly finished manual wound in-house calibre is composed of 216 parts and 25 jewels. Beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph, the watch features a 70-hour power reserve. The movement features an extra flat tourbillon cage and a differential power reserve with indicator on the back side of the calibre.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears slightly smaller than its actual size and more like a 40 mm piece on a 7.25" wrist. A perfect daily wearer thanks to its sporty yet very elegant design. Regardless of its heftier price tag —approximately $15K more— when compared to the regular production 18K rose gold, this rare bird takes the winning prize with its salmon colored dial.
Sticker Price $180,400 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.