By Harlan Chapman-Green
Apparently the rich are never happy with anything, Audemars Piguet has released some amazing pieces recently such as the two-tone Royal Oak, a fresh taste of class and a combination that hasn’t been seen in a long time. As I was saying, apparently this isn’t enough as Audemars has come up with a new and more expensive variant of their ever popular watch.
The eponymous Royal Oak was created by a small struggling Swiss company known as Audemars Piguet. At the end of the 60s, the quartz watch industry set in. Quartz being the technology that makes watches more accurate, affordable and cheap to buy, it’s still in use by most of the manufacturers today. From inventive companies such as Devon watches to the very top of the chain, Patek Philippe, quartz is used everywhere nowadays. Back in the early 70s, it was realised by a lot of companies that they were going to be in deep trouble as companies such as Seiko could offer watches that were massively more accurate than the ones the Swiss were currently making. The savings and the accuracy meant that, apart from the super rich, people were no longer interested in buying traditional watches. That meant, for most companies, you either suffer the consequences of introducing an all quartz range or you go bust.
Fortunately, Audemars Piguet isn’t your usual sort of company, rather than choose a miserable end or a so-so range they decided to put all their bets on a last ditch attempt at survival in the form of Gerald Genta. They hired him to design a luxury sports watch that would save them from bankruptcy, and luckily, he delivered. The Royal Oak was the first watch to make steel a desirable luxury metal and it stayed there with rivals Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin eventually hiring him to make their luxury lines the Nautilus and the 222 (which later evolved into the Overseas).
This new variant uses the king of precious metals, platinum, as its base rather than the traditional steel. The 44mm wide case which also comes with a platinum bracelet contains an in-house made gem of a movement. The hand wound 2936 movement is made of by 299 individual parts has a power reserve of 72 hours and also features a wonderful looking tourbillon below the two chronograph subdials at 6. Perhaps one of the best feature is the ability to see the spring inside the barrel, watching one wind up one day would be hypnotic, unfortunately that hypnosis will come at a cost, it’s $315,000.
For more info, please visit audemarspiguet.com
HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the odd Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. You can follow him on Instagram Read his articles here