The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept was first launched in 2002 as ref. 25980AI.OO.0003SU.01 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of the iconic Royal Oak in a limited edition of 150 pieces. That first Royal Oak Concept, was fitted with an ultra rare sculpted-shaped case made of Alacrite 602 with a hardness of 430 vickers and a titanium bezel. The Alacrite 602 is a super-alloy composed of 57% cobalt, 31% chrome, 5% tungsten and the remaining 6% of carbon, silicon and iron.
While the first Royal Oak Concept did feature a tourbillon, it didn't come with a GMT function. Alternatively, it was equipped with a dynamograph, a power reserve indicator showing the number of turns of the barrel and a Kevlar aramid fiber strap. In 2008, Audemars Piguet presented the Royal Oak Carbon Concept Tourbillon Chrono and in 2011 they launched this Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon ref. 26560IO.OO.D002CA.01 reviewed here and that belongs to a close friend and watchlifestyler that we like to call 'The King of the Midwest'. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon ref. 26560IO.OO.D002CA.01 is fitted with a titanium case with black ceramic bezel, with a tourbillon and a GMT dual time function.
This watch just like the first Royal Oak Concept, features a sculpted-shaped case measuring 44 mm in diameter and a thickness of 16.05 mm but this time, made of lightweight and ultra hard titanium. To enhance its ultra sporty and avant-garde look, the watch is fitted with an integrated black rubber strap —instead of the Kevlar aramid fiber strap on the first Royal Oak Concept— with deployant buckle that matches its black ceramic bezel and crown just perfectly.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon ref. 26560IO.OO.D002CA.01 features an openworked dial with a second time-zone indicator at 3, a crown position indicator at 6, a tourbillon at 9 o'clock, a black anodized aluminum bridge shaped like an hourglass in the center of the dial, white gold skeletonized hands and a black anodized aluminum flange. To round out the amazing design of this watch, Audemars Piguet fitted this timepiece with a convenient pusher at 4 o'clock to that advances the dual time zone disc as necessary. The GMT display provides an instant reading of the time in a second time-zone with two superimposed discs, making it easy to tell the time. The first, on which the figures are inscribed, completes one turn in 12 hours. The second, just below, completes a turn in 24 hours and has 2 colored areas: a white half for daytime and a black half for night-time. While some of the H-serial Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon watches feature a dial that only says AP and the word 'Swiss' below, this I-serial example features the newer dial with AP and the Audemars Piguet wording above it.
An impressive feat in its own right, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon’s manual wound movement —calibre 2913—, is fully visible via the display case back. To guarantee the best visibility and to fully appreciate this work of art without any unwanted reflections or glare, Audemars Piguet treated both the front and back sapphire crystals with a superb anti-reflective coating. The Audemars Piguet calibre 2913 features a twin barrel mechanism that ensures a 10-day power reserve —when fully wound— while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph and a tourbillon cage that rotates every 60 seconds. The tourbillon cage is comprised of 85 components and merely weighs only 0.45 grams. An experienced watchmaker spends almost three days assembling its 85 components —two full days just to install the cage— and two full weeks to assemble the movement that is composed of 291 parts and fitted with 29 jewels.
On the wrist, what can we tell you. The watch wears true to its size and with unparalleled wrist presence. If you are accustomed to the best things in life, you know your Ferrari F12 Berlinetta needs a watch on the wrist that is up to par. This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon is definitely at the level and priced almost as high as the forceful machine with the 'cavallino rampante' —prancing horse.
Sticker Price $202,100 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.