Continuing with our coverage of the SIHH 2017, we now bring you the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronographs that were released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak Chronograph. For its third facelift since its launch in 1997, the reference number has changed 26320 to 26331. For these new Royal Oak Chronographs, Audemars Piguet has decided to enlarge the hour and minute chrono registers at 9 and 3 o'clock, reduce the size of the running seconds subdial at 6 o'clock, shorten and widen the hour-markers while adding more lume to them and update the typeface and transfers on the chronograph totalizers. While all these changes make the dial of the Royal Oak Chronograph more interesting, one thing we dislike is the proximity of the date aperture to the 5 o'clock marker.
Along with all these changes, Audemars Piguet has added eight new models to the Royal Oak Chronograph collection now under reference 26331. The new models include the following: a Royal Oak Chronograph in Titanium and Platinum ref. 26331IP.OO.1220IP.01 we talked about here, four new 18K rose gold references, and three stainless steel references. The new Royal Oak Chronographs continue to measure 41 mm in diameter, are still powered by the same calibre 2385 that powers all other Royal Oak Chronographs and that is based off of the legendary Frederic Piguet calibre 1185 and still fitted with a solid case back.
The new references are as follows:
- 26331OR.OO.1220OR.01 - Royal Oak Chronograph in 18K rose gold on bracelet with blue dial and pink gold-toned counters. Price $56,600 USD.
- 26331OR.OO.1220OR.02 - Royal Oak Chronograph in 18K rose gold on bracelet with brown dial and pink gold-toned counters. Price $56,600 USD.
- 26331OR.OO.D315CR.01 - Royal Oak Chronograph in 18K rose gold on blue alligator strap with blue dial and pink gold-toned counters. Price $38,300 USD.
- 26331OR.OO.D821CR.01 - Royal Oak Chronograph in 18K rose gold on brown alligator stap with brown dial and pink gold-toned counters. Price $38,300 USD.
- 26331ST.OO.1220ST.01 - Royal Oak Chronograph in stainless steel on bracelet with blue dial and rhodium-toned counters. Price $24,300 USD.
- 26331ST.OO.1220ST.02 - Royal Oak Chronograph in stainless steel on bracelet with black dial and rhodium-toned counters. Price $24,300 USD.
- 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03 - Royal Oak Chronograph in stainless steel on bracelet with silvered dial and black counters. Price $24,300 USD.
- 26331IP.OO.1220IP.01 - Royal Oak Chronograph in Titanium and Platinum on bracelet with slate grey dial with blue counters. Price $42,699 USD.
The pictures below are of our four favorite new Royal Oak Chronographs ref. 26331.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the new Royal Oak Chronograph ref. 26331 wears true to its size and exactly like the previous reference 26320. As a matter of fact the new ref. 26331 is 11 mm thick versus 10.8 mm for the ref. 26320 —not sure where the difference is coming from and AP could not elaborate on the matter. The new Royal Oak Chronographs are definitely a great addition to the Royal Oak collection and their new dials are meant to appeal to a wider customer base that prefer two-tone dials on their chronographs. Well done AP but when will an in-house chronograph for the Royal Oak Chrono will be released?
Sticker Price $24,300 USD for stainless steel, $56,600 USD for 18K rose gold on bracelet, $38,300 USD for 18K rose gold on strap and $42,699 USD for titanium and platinum Boutique Edition. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.