Post-SIHH 2018: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon Watch With Sunburst Tapisserie Dial

By Jovan Krstevski

Audemars Piguet’s entry to SIHH 2018 are three new Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon models, they’re fresh colors as we’ve been told. Two of them are covered here, a classic steel model and an 18ct pink gold model. Note that we only see purely aesthetic changes here so it may not be very exciting to some, but this is AP we’re talking about, surely that’s interesting enough. These are also main production lines so no specialty or limited editions. However being AP, we somehow expect low production to maintain the brand prestige.

The Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon first came to the market in 2012, as a tribute to the Royal Oak 40th anniversary. Since then, AP’s purpose was to capture the original Royal Oak design from 1972 and infused it with elevated horology concepts of today. Fast forward, the brand managed to succeed and since then, AP has introduced several variations to the Royal Oak including a 2016 pure platinum model and a 2017 combination of titanium and platinum model.

This year we’re going to see the original materials in the Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon: 18ct pink gold and stainless steel. The models feature a comfortable 41mm x 8.95mm cases complete with AP’s coveted bracelets in the same material.

On the pink gold model, a familiar blue dial is seen replete with pink gold applied hour markers. On the other hand, the steel model features a purple dial replete with white gold hour markers. As such the colors are indeed fresh and we haven’t seen them in this popular collection. We can only imagine how these colors will bring more punchiness to an already impressive classic Royal Oak.

Aside from the fresh dial colors, the dial patterns are also new. Audemars Piguet’s signature “Tapisserie” guilloche style, now looks like a sunburst pattern, it’s very punchy in our opinion. Think of the design like an explosion from the tourbillion which is very cool by the way.

We like AP for trying something new, and as expected, not everybody would love the new colors and the new pattern. Hardcore Royal Oak fans may have some reserves too but if you really like AP’s main goal in regards to the Royal Oak right from the start, then we suspect you’d be more forgiving and understanding. The new look is lively, punchy while remaining relatively classical.

Both models showcase exhibition sapphire caseback revealing the hand-wound Calibre 2924 powering the watches. This in-house movement is also seen in the previous models. It measures just 4.46mm with 25 jewels and 21,600 v/ph frequency. Its power reserve is impressive at 70 hours from full wound. Tracking the power reserve is also convenient using the indicator at the caseback. Somehow, AP has modified the original design of the bridges to provide a better look of the moving parts and the Geneva Striping which also features the same sunburst pattern as the dial.

The new models of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon is nothing new but they do introduce some fresh concept, the colors are just one of them which certainly proves that the brand is basically preparing for some more changes in the future. Either way, they showcase AP standard, and as such, collectors and fans are all on the same boat at the end of the day.