After the release of the amazing Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Episode 1 we brought you here and the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher we presented you here, our friends from Le Brassus are hitting another home run with the launch of the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 26574. This Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetuel returns to the center stage with four different versions —two in stainless steel and two in 18K pink gold with either silver toned/white dial or blue dial. The reference numbers are as follows: 26574OR.00.1220OR.01 18K rose gold with silver toned dial, 26574OR.00.1220OR.02 18K rose gold with blue dial, 26574ST.00.1220ST.01 in stainless steel with silver toned dial and 26574ST.00.1220ST.02 in stainless steel with blue dial. Continuing with the shift in watch case size that began in 2012, the new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is now 41 mm —instead of the classic 39 mm like the one we featured here—, yet still extremely thin.
The enlarged size has resulted in a “Grande Tapisserie” dial design that greatly increases the overall aesthetics, balance and legibility of the perpetual calendar indications. The layout of the dial includes all of the traditional indications of a perpetual calendar watch: day, date, highly detailed astronomical moon, month and leap year. In addition, the 52 weeks of the year are indicated by an outer chapter ring with corresponding central hand, adding another layer of time measurement.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Perpetuel is powered by the new in-house automatic calibre 5134 based on its predecessor the calibre 2120. However, this new calibre has been enlarged in accordance with the updated 41 mm diameter case size. The highly finished 4.31 mm thick movement is fully visible through the glare-proof sapphire crystal case back. The suspended barrel which helps achieving extra thinness is adorned with circular Côtes de Genève and the wheels are satin brushed. The mainplate is circular grained while all bridges are bevelled and adorned with Côtes de Genève. The 22K gold monobloc rotor is engraved with Audemars Piguet and its external segment is adorned with a tapisserie motif echoing the iconic pattern of the Royal Oak dials. The movement has a total thickness of 4.31 mm and a diameter of 29.00 mm. Composed of 374 parts and 38 jewels, the movement provides a power reserve of 40 hours while oscillating at a frequency of 19,800 vph. The oscillating weight is guided by a peripheral ring rolling on four ruby runners, which reduces friction and wear to the minimum
possible. Moon phase indicator, laser microstructured, laid on aventurine that requires correction every 125 years and 317 days.
The thinner the movement, the more complex it is to adjust and assemble its parts as it requires extraordinary skills to work on components which are sometimes as thin as a human hair. However, all finishing operations are performed by hand in accordance with the highest standards of Haute Horlogerie. “To break the rules, you must first master them.”
A powerful combination of modern aesthetics and prestigious traditional complication, the new 2015 Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is the latest chapter of this incredible journey which began 140 years ago.
Sticker Price $95,700 USD for 18K rose gold and $60,900 USD for stainless steel. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.