In the 70s, the advent of quartz shook the foundation of the watchmaking industry, spurring watchmakers to find innovative solutions to the ravages caused by the emergence of this new technology. The Manufacture responded by breaking mechanical records with its world’s thinnest perpetual calendar mechanism in 1978, as well as by releasing revolutionary mechanical watches combining tradition and avant-garde design. Audemars Piguet introduced its first hand-wound “Philosophique” watch in 1982, inviting wearers to question the notion of passing time. This model referred back to the beginning of time measurement devices, which were equipped with a single hour hand until the beginning of the 18th century to simplify energy transmission.
With boutiques firmly established in New York, Las Vegas, East Hampton, Bal Harbour and Beverly Hills, Audemars Piguet will open an exciting new boutique in Atlanta, Georgia. In a natural and auspicious pairing, the brand will partner with The Watches of Switzerland Group for the brand’s latest location in the popular Lenox Square shopping center that will open at the end of July. Since 1959, Lenox Square has been the premier shopping destination for high-end shoppers in the Southeast. Located in the heart of the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Lenox Square offers an unparalleled shopping experience.
Perpetual calendars come in all forms, shapes, metals and prices. However, few brands stand out from the rest as far as their perpetual calendars in terms of history, reliability and prestige. When you are looking for a perpetual calendar the first brand names that pop up would be Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin as these make the ‘holy trinity of watchmaking’. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual —Quantième Perpétuel— ref. 26574 was released at the end of 2015 and since then, it holds ‘watch grail status’.
Since we are the largest source of information on the web for all Audemars Piguet related things, we want to talk about a watch that tends to fly under the radar and that we like to refer to as a rare bird. Slightly less important than the first Royal Oak Offshore ‘The Beast’, the ‘titanium beast’ is still quite rare with very low production numbers. Often mistaken by many as the first Royal Oak Offshore, the titanium reference 25721TI was released seven years after the launch of the original Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25721ST in stainless steel. The reference 25721TI in titanium was only produced for four years and six dials were available at the time.
Experience: Audemars Piguet Automatic Movement Oversized Scale Model. Simply Incredible for the Home or the Office.
If you ever dreamed of what a supersized reproduction of an Audemars Piguet movement would look like sitting on your desk, dream no further. Audemars Piguet has just made available what in our opinion is one of the coolest and most incredible watch related items that a watch collector could own. This actual reproduction of a selfwinding Audemars Piguet movement that is not the 40-jewel calibre 3120 nor the new 38-jewle calibre 4302, is an exact reproduction of an actual AP movement with all of its components —all of them of course supersized more than hundred or a thousand times. Even the jewels, bridges, the architecture and finishes are exactly done in the exact same way.
Insider: Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Perpetual Calendar. Its Aventurine Dial Evokes the Starry Sky from Le Brassus.
The Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Perpetual Calendar is part of the new collection unveiled back in January of this year and which caused major reactions from collectors and the press after its release. The CODE 11.59 Perpetual ref. 26394OR.OO.D321CR.01 shares the same 41 mm case construction as all the other watches in the 11.59 collection with a case that combines a round shape and an octagonal caseband. The octagonal middle case is simply gorgeous but very hard to appreciate unless you are holding the watch and looking straight at the case band. Featuring a blue aventurine dial that evokes the starry sky from Le Brassus, the warm tones of the 18K pink gold case against the highly refractive and almost iridescent midnight blue dial play an exquisite color symphony made to please the most demanding watch collectors.
In an unexpected move, Mr. Patrick Ottomani has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Audemars Piguet North America, effective April 8, 2019. Based in the company’s New York City office, Mr. Ottomani oversees all responsibilities previously held by Antonio Seward and reports directly to Mr. Yves Meylan, Chief Commercial Officer, in Le Brassus, Switzerland. Mr. Ottomani rose through the ranks of the luxury industry with tenures in the hospitality business in London, Paris and Dublin. He joined Berluti as Chief Executive Officer in 1993, when the brand was acquired by LVMH.
Insider: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Camouflage ref. 26401RO and ref. 26400SO. Three Colorful 44 mm Offshores for Spring.
Initially perceived as a controversial watch by many and nicknamed by us as the 'Combat' because of its color scheme and unique camouflage pattern rubber strap, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26400SO.OO.A054CA.01. was the fist 44 mm Royal Oak Offshore to dive into the waters of the ‘camouflage’ look in 2018. This year, three new camouflage iterations were released by Audemars Piguet while the Royal Oak Offshore ‘Combat’ is now officially discontinued. Adhering to the case construction of the Royal Oak Offshore 44 with ceramic bezel and ceramic pushers and crown, the new iterations are all offered with an additional solid color strap —blue, green and brown— for those not crazy about the camo pattern strap.
News: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrono ref. 26338PT 'Unique Piece' Sells for USD 220,000 at the One Night for One Drop Foundation Gala
Despite its estimated value of USD 112,000, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrono ‘Unique Piece’ ref. 26338PT.OO.1220PT.01 sold for almost double its price hammering USD 220,000 at the 7th annual One Night for One Drop event imagined by Cirque du Soleil. Sold along five other lots that included a McLaren 570S Spider by MSO —one of six—, a private jet round-trip to a Turks and Caicos Island Villa on Parrot Cay, a Serengeti Safari-Living Experience in Tanzania, a 7-night getaway at the Château Saint Tropez for 12 Guests, and a luxury 7-night Journey aboard the Residential Yacht, The World; this very special unique piece Royal Oak helped in raising funds and awareness to benefit critical water issues worldwide.
Eye Candy: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance 'Rainbow'. There's a Pot of Gold at the End of Every Rainbow.
With a unique look and following the steps of other watch manufactures like Rolex, comes the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked ‘Rainbow’ reference 15468BC.YG.1259BC.01. This new model cased in a 37 mm frosted 18K white gold case, sports a bezel featuring 32 baguette-cut ‘rainbow-colored’ sapphires totaling 2.24 carats. The sapphires have been all individually cut and set in a breathtaking way. The openworked rhodium-toned dial exposes the golden double balance wheel mechanism at 8 o’clock, which happens to be visible on both sides of the watch.
Rare Bird: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 5402ST 'Blacked Out'. The Watch that Belonged to Karl Lagerfeld Himself?
A very sad day in the world of luxury, fashion and glamour as Karl Lagerfeld passed away today February 19, 2019. Karl Otto Lagerfeld was a German creative director that led design at Chloé, Chanel and Fendi amongst others. In his early days as the mastermind of the fashion house Chloé, where Lagerfeld worked until 1992 —with a short 8-year hiatus in the 80s—, the are numerous pictures that were taken by Daniel Simon at Gamma-Rapho where Karl Lagerfeld is wearing nothing else than a ‘blacked out’ Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 5402ST A-series.
Insider: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26480TI. Is this the Next Generation of the 42 mm Offshores?
With all the attention focused on the new CODE 11.59 collection, many of the other Audemars Piguet new watch releases flew under the radar and such is the case of the new Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26480TI.OO.A027CA.01 released at the SIHH 2019. This new watch sporting a 42 mm case in titanium is a perfect hybrid between the previous generation of 42 mm Royal Oak Offshores and the 44 mm ones. Sporting a totally new designed set of crown guards, pushers and crown, the new Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26480 shows a more robust and modern look. In addition to the redesigned case elements, the dial, flange and hands also received a face lift.
A couple of weeks ago we shared with you our overall perspective on the new Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 collection here. If you haven’t read that article, we recommend that you do. While not all the watches in the new CODE 11.59 collection were our cup of tea, there are three that stand out and one of them is the Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked. This new watch is not only unequivocally AP all the way but a watch within this polarizing new collection were the DNA from the brand permeated through the whole design of the timepiece the right way.
SIHH 2019: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 26574PT Ice Blue. Live Pictures of the 50-Piece Limited Edition.
With most of the Midwest under below freezing temperatures and the polar vortex in full, there’s no better watch to bring some heat and ice —at the same time— to our readers in Chicago —our old stomping grounds and the city that saw WCL come to fruition— than with a new iteration of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar quietly unveiled at the SIHH 2019. Just another one of those very special watches that we got to see and shoot for you. After the release of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar for Latin America ref. 26584OR.OO.1220OR.O1 —one of the hottest watches in 2018—, now comes this version in solid platinum sporting an ice blue dial with navy blue accents. The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 26574PT.OO.1220PT.01, joins the other four Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars fitted with a 41 mm case and the new automatic calibre 5134.
SIHH 2019: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin Black Ceramic ref. 26522CE. Live Pictures & Pricing.
After the success of the black ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, Audemars Piguet brings back the heat this time with the intense blackness of this limited edition of 100 pieces of the Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin. An incredibly sexy watch in person, the black ceramic is satin-finished and polished just like any metal Royal Oak. Cased in a generous 41 mm case, this time the Tourbillon Extra-Thin featured a sunburst pattern on the dial radiating all the way from the cage of the tourbillon to the perimeter on what is called the “Tapisserie Evolutive” pattern.
SIHH 2019: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44 'Pride of Germany' Limited Edition. Live Pictures & Details.
While the attention was centered on the new CODE 11.59 by Audemars Piguet as well as some of the new Royal Oaks released by the brand, there’s a pair of new watches that barely anyone got to see and that we were able to even shoot for you. The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44 ‘Pride of Germany’ comes in two iterations and is the first time that AP releases a ‘Pride’ edition in a 44 mm case. The first one, an 18K rose gold model with black ceramic bezel ref. 26416RO.OO.A002CA.01 and the second one, a full black ceramic —case and bezel— model ref. 26415CE.OO.A002CA.01. Without a doubt, our favorite iterations of the Royal Oak Offshore 44 line.
As soon as we saw the first pictures that were leaked of the new CODE 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection, we decided to respectfully wait until we saw the watch in the metal before we could pass any judgement. While our first impressions based on those pictures were not positive, the right thing to do for WCL was to wait for the dust to settle and not comment anything until we had perused the new watches long enough to provide an unbiased point of view and our honest impressions.
SIHH 2019: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 15500. Live Pictures, Pricing and Detailed Explanation of Nuances.
With the release of the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 15500 with a 41 mm case, the 41 mm Royal Oak reference 15400 is now officially discontinued. While many felt that the reference 15400 was not perfect, to us it was a very well balanced Royal Oak in terms of overall proportions and design. When the Royal Oak reference 15400 first came out in 2012, collectors of the brand were critical about the fact that the AP calibre 3120 seemed relatively too small for a 41 mm case size —as it was originally launched for the 39 mm reference 15300—, and that due to that, the date aperture was positioned too far to the left needing a small hash marker to its right.
SIHH 2019: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin White Gold ref. 15202BC with Pink Toned Dial. Live Pictures & Pricing.
First released in 2012 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 5402, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin Jumbo ref. 15202 is the closest one can get to the original Royal Oak from 1972. After several iterations have been released of this watch in stainless steel, 18K rose gold, 18K yellow gold with green dial for The Hourglass and more recently in 18K yellow gold with two different dials, the saga of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin continues this year at the SIHH 2019 with an 18K white gold case and a pink gold toned dial.
Continuing with the release of Frosted Gold watches, Audemars Piguet presents the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked ‘Rainbow’ reference 15468BC.YG.1259BC.01 with a 37 mm frosted 18K white gold case and a bezel featuring 32 baguette-cut ‘rainbow-coloured’ sapphires —2.24 carats—, all individually cut. It’s a breath-taking setting for the rhodium-toned openworked dial and golden double balance wheel mechanism, visible on both sides of the watch.