Only a handful of watch brands excel in the art of skeletonization and Audemars Piguet is one of them without a doubt. The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked ref. 26347OR.OO.1205OR.01 just released at the SIHH 2017 is a perfect example of the caliber of work they do in this field and a watch worth talking about. While this watch didn't get much press coverage a few weeks ago since the AP Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic —reviewed by us here— took the center stage in Geneva, we feel that is about time that we present you our hands-on review of it.
The Case & Dial
Fitted with a very robust 44 mm case in 18K pink gold with the traditional satin-brushed finish that only AP knows how to do, the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked ref. 26347OR is built like a tank with a case thickness of 13.2 —almost as thick as a Royal Oak Offshore and with a total weight that gets close to a pound —to be precise 343.2 grams.
As far as the dial, this new watch features an openworked ruthenium-toned dial with ruthenium-toned registers, pink gold applied markers, pink gold Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating and a ruthenium-toned flange with minute track in black. The Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked ref. 26347OR features a tourbillon cage at 6 o'clock, a 30-minute chrono register at 3 and a running seconds register at 9 o'clock.
Powering this new AP Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked is the AP manual wound calibre 2936 composed of 299 parts and 28 jewels. The calibre is relatively small —with a diameter of 29.90 mm— when compared to the diameter of the watch case. The movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph and provides a power reserve of 72 hours when fully wound. Fully visible via the display case back and the dial side, the movement is exquisitely finished and a true work of art. At the bottom, one can admire that column-wheel mechanism and the solid gold bridges throughout. Additionally, this calibre features a semi-instantaneous jump of the chronograph minute hand within an interval of approximately half a second in order to facilitate time measurement reading.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked ref. 26347OR.OO.1205OR.01 wears slightly bigger than its 44 mm size and more like a 45 mm timepiece on a 7.25" wrist. The wrist presence is immaculate but one needs to be OK with wearing a watch that is so heavy on the wrist. Definitely not a perfect daily wearer but one of those watches that is so special that one reserves for special occasions and anniversaries.
Sticker Price $285,000 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.