A quick stop at this amazing boutique is all it takes to be in the presence of some of the most amazing timepieces recently unveiled at the SIHH 2015 by Audemars Piguet. The Audemars Piguet Boutique Milano is nested in one of the most upscale retail areas of the city right on Via Montenapoleone 6, next to Santoni and Camper —two of our favorite shoe brands.
Walking down from Via Manzoni where the Montenapoleone metro station is located —right next to the Armani Hotel—, makes for a nice walk surrounded by the splendor of high end clothing and watch boutiques. As soon as you arrive at the boutique, there are two AP brass plaques flanking the entrance. Even though the boutique is very small, there's no way you can miss the black awning with gold 'Audemars Piguet' on it. If you are coming from Giacomo Mattiotti you are just a block away. With a very inviting decor and a window display full of novelties from the SIHH 2015 —including a white gold limited edition Royal Oak Offshore nicknamed 'Goliath— the boutique is awaiting you.
Once in, the now traditional Vallée de Joux and Le Brassus inspired decor will welcome you along with the ultra friendly staff lead by Simone Benvenuti —interestingly enough his last name in Italian actually means welcome.
Just like in all the other Audemars Piguet boutiques, the Vallée de Joux theme is flawlessly executed with the chandelier at the entrance, the polygonal wood and the big screen showing footage of the manufacture and the Vallée de Joux. As you sit down and take a sip of that nice and warm espresso they just prepared for you, get ready to be transported straight to Le Brassus. Even though the boutique is relatively small, when compared to other AP boutiques, the inventory and stock of special pieces is up to par with some of their larger boutiques.
As we continued to sip our espresso and the watches started to come out from the showcases, we knew we were in for a real treat. At the boutique, even the napkins match the decor of the first glass wall to the right of the entrance.
The first special watch to make its appearance, was that Royal Oak Offshore with orange and blue counters fitted with an orange hornback strap that caught our eye before we walked in. Actually, before picking up the watch from the tray we thought it was just a stainless steel reference; well, we were wrong. This particular Royal Oak Offshore is a limited edition of only 12 pieces in 18K white gold. This watch goes under reference 26217BC.OO.D607CR.01 and is as hard to get as you can only imagine. Now, if your lucky number is '10', this watch has your name written all over it.
Then, as if that watch wasn't impressive enough, Simone surprised us with the 'real big dogs' unveiled at the SIHH 2015. The only ones missing, were the Royal Oak ref. 15400 'Two-Tone' reviewed here and the new Royal Oak Offshore Diver with Silver/White Dial reviewed here. Per Simone, these pieces should be arriving very soon. Now, may we present you the stunning new Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph ref. 26347TI.GG.D004CA.02 with its amazing 44 mm titanium case, openworked slate grey dial with satin-brushed slate grey counters on grey rubber strap.
Then we took a look at the new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph reviewed here. With its amazing new in-house calibre 2897 —which has been especially developed to be the beating heart of this watch and comprised of 335 parts—, it stands out that the movement features a peripheral oscillating weight made from satin-brushed, 950 platinum. The calibre and its oscillating weight are also visible via a special aperture at the one o’clock position on the dial side as well as underneath the clear flange. This fascinating timepiece is only available in a limited edition of 50 pieces under reference 26550AU.OO.A002CA.01. in a stunning 44 mm forged carbon case.
Then, as if all these amazing timepieces were not enough, Simone surprised us with the ultra rare limited edition to 30 pieces of the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chrono in titanium and ceramic ref. 26387IO.OOD002CA.01. This limited edition watch is a collector’s piece, but not for the sort of collector who keeps his watches in the safe. This watch has been designed for challenges and fresh horizons. It is destined for the wrist of a man who accepts no limits but those he sets for himself. For some weird reason, this exceptional Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chrono with its silver-toned dial, openworked at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock with blackened gold counter and Arabic numerals with greenish luminescent coating reminds us of the simplicity of the 'old school' Offshores and in particular of the discontinued stainless steel Rubber Clad featured here.
Lastly, just like the cherry on top of the cake, the boutique also had in stock the white ceramic Royal Oak Offshore Diver ref. 15707CB.OO.A010CA.01 reviewed here and the white ceramic Royal Oak Offshore 44 mm Chronograph ref. 26402CB.OO.A010CA.01 reviewed here. Just so that you guys know, it looks like only 300 Divers in white ceramic were ever made and this might well be one of the few ones left in the world.
After such a special afternoon and after getting some of the best restaurant recommendations from our friends at Audemars Piguet, we headed straight to 'Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone' for an amazing lunch that we will be featuring here very soon.
Once again, thank you Audemars Piguet Boutique Milano for your amazing hospitality and for the amazing book we hauled all the way back to America. Another wonderful watch experience in the life of a watchlifestyler.
For more info Audemars Piguet click here.