Building on the past, Audemars Piguet’s 2022 offering takes the Royal Oak designed by Gerald Genta to a new heights as the collection turns 50
The Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet is arguably the most iconic of all luxury timepieces and its arrival was also a turning point for the popularity of the industry. For one, upon release in 1972, the Royal Oak designed by the mighty Gérald Genta broke prevailing aesthetic codes. Its large body made of hand-finished stainless steel, its octagonal bezel secured with apparent hexagonal screws, its highly stylized integrated steel bracelet and its extra-thin self-winding mechanism ushered in the beginning of a new era in fine watchmaking that was in tune with changing lifestyles of its day.
Over the years, the Royal Oak gave rise to a full-fledged collection with new sizes, materials, styles and movements. Fast forward to the present, 50 years on, and over 500 Royal Oak models have been created, turning this watch combining sportiness with ancestral know-how into a cult icon within and beyond watchmaking.
This year, to celebrate the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary, the Swiss haute horlogerie manufacturer proudly unveils its 2022 offering which undoubtedly takes the Royal Oak to a new heights.
The Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin in 39mm
The newest generation of the 39mm Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin (ref. 16202) sees another evolution with the release of four new models endowed with a variety of materials and dial colors to celebrate 50 years of innovative designs. The collection comprises four models in stainless steel, platinum, as well as 18K pink and yellow gold—materials that have played an instrumental role in transforming the Royal Oak into an iconic collection. Powered by the Manufacture’s new self-winding extra-thin movement, the Calibre 7121, the four timepieces are also fitted with the dedicated Royal Oak’s “50 years” oscillating weight matched to the hue of the case.
The Royal Oak Self-winding 37mm and The Royal Oak Chronograph in 38mm and 41mm
In a constant dialogue with the world that inspires it, the Royal Oak has seen countless evolutions over the years and reached icon status. This year, Audemars Piguet launches new 37mm self-winding hour, minute, second and date models as well as new 38 and 41mm self-winding chronographs. Although retaining the aesthetic codes of the original timepiece from 1972, these new references present slight evolutions in terms of the case, bracelet and dial design, furthering the collection’s contemporary appeal. These evolutions also align with the brand’s continuous improvement approach which has enabled the Manufacture to consistently push further the limits of design and mastery across generations. Interestingly, an array of Royal Oak anniversary models will also be launched throughout the year.
The Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Openworked
Audemars Piguet introduces a brand new generation of the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Openworked (ref. 16204) on the occasion of the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary. Available in either stainless steel or 18K pink gold, this watch houses the Manufacture’s new dedicated selfwinding extra-thin openworked movement, the Calibre 7124, as well as the Royal Oak’s “50-years” anniversary oscillating weight visible through the sapphire caseback. In a way, the watch’s highly contemporary design reflects the Manufacture’s ever-more creative reinterpretation of age-old techniques attuned to the Royal Oak’s uncompromising spirit.
The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked in 41mm
Yet another release marking the collection’s 50th anniversary, Audemars Piguet unveils its very first Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked at 41mm. As the name implies, this stainless steel timepiece is powered by the brand’s first-ever selfwinding flying tourbillon openworked mechanism, the Calibre 2972. This latest in-house movement also builds on Audemars Piguet’s long expertise in both openworked and tourbillon mechanisms, pushing the contemporary aesthetics to new heights.
The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon in 41mm
Audemars Piguet has further revealed three new variations of its 41 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon. Available in stainless steel, titanium and also 18K pink gold, these new models add to the first three unveiled back in 2020 and present the design evolution developed for this jubilee year. All three are driven bythe Calibre 2950, the Manufacture’s latest generation self-winding movement combining a flying tourbillon with a central rotor.
The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin
Finally, we come to the latest research and development breakthrough from Audemars Piguet, which is the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin. Design-wise, this 39mm stainless steel anniversary model, measuring 8.1mm in thickness, represents the first “Jumbo” in history to be equipped with a self-winding flying tourbillon. The watch is equipped with the Manufacture’s new self-winding ultra-thin flying tourbillon movement, Calibre 2968, measuring just 3.4 mm thick and adorned with a novel combination of traditional and contemporary hand-crafted decorations. More importantly, this model will be complemented in September by a second 37 mm version for the slimmer wrists, enriched with a dial of a different hue.
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