Perhaps one of the most striking watches Audemars Piguet has released lately, the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Perpetuel —Perpetual Calendar— in black ceramic just released at the SIHH 2017 is crazy sexy. This new reference 26579CE.OO.1225CE.01 joins all the other new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars released in 2015 and 2016. Our first impressions of the watch from the press release were not very positive, however, in person this watch is absolutely stunning. Just thinking about the amount of work that went into creating this watch is almost unfathomable. Just to put things in perspective, making this watch takes six times longer than making the same watch in its stainless steel version. Fitted with a black ceramic case with the exact same finish as the stainless steel or gold versions, the new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic is not only hard and very durable but extremely light weighing a total of 126.9 grams. In comparison, the stainless steel version of the Quantieme Perpetuelle has a total weight of 164.4 grams.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 26579CE in black ceramic is fitted with a 41 mm case machined from a solid block of ceramic and not from a mold. The dark grey dial features 'Grande Tapisserie' and is a true chameleon depending on lighting conditions.
The layout of the dial includes all of the traditional indications of a perpetual calendar watch: day, date, highly detailed aventurine moon phase indicator, month and leap year. Additionally, just like on the 120th Anniversary Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel ref. 25810OR.OO.0944.OR.01 the 52 weeks of the year are indicated by an outer chapter ring with corresponding central hand. A nice touch that other perpetuals in this price point don't offer. Actually having that extra hand, adds a very sporty touch to the watch. If Bamford used to make money making black PVD APs, their business is over since now you can get the real deal in non-scratch black ceramic.
The white lettering along with the red '31' and the aventurine disc for the moon phase, make this perpetual calendar extremely sporty, yet ultra elegant at the same time.
The Case & Bracelet
The case and bracelet features the same satin brushed finish that AP is very well know for and the grain of the finish is simply outstanding. We can only imagine how hard it was to create the bracelet in ceramic as this bracelet is one of the most complex bracelets in terms of construction in the market as every single link on it is different to one another. The bracelet is equipped with a deployant double folding titanium buckle.
The Movement & Case Back
The titanium display case back allows for full view of the calibre 5134 inside this beauty. The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Perpetuel in black ceramic 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. One other thing that is important to note, is that this is not a modular perpetual calendar calibre as the 2120/2800 but a completely redesigned one-piece calibre based off of its predecessor the 2120.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the new Audemars Piguet Perpetual Calendar Black Ceramic ref. 26579CE wears slightly smaller and more like a 40 mm piece on a 7.25" wrist. From what we heard, Audemars Piguet will produce around 100 pieces a year to limit the supply of this new watch.
Sticker Price $93,000 USD —black ceramic at the price of gold but well worth it. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.