With almost 50 years of existence, the Royal Oak has become more than just a cult watch. It has evolved into an entire collection, built around an iconic design, and showcasing most of Audemars Piguet‘s watchmaking savoir-faire. One of the most emblematic complications of AP is, without a doubt, the perpetual calendar. As such, the RO has long been equipped with this complex calendar function and numerous versions have been made. Today, the brand adds a new colour to its collection, with new shades of blue that pay tribute to the original colour used by the watch in 1972. Meet the new blue editions of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar.
First launched in the mid-1980s under the reference 5554, first with non-leap year models, and then with leap year indication, the first generation Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 39mm will remain largely unchanged for close to 30 years, as only discontinued in 2014. But it was only to make room for a new version, which will be launched in 2015, with a new display, a sportier 41mm case, a more modern look and the addition of a week display.
This watch is a great summary of everything AP. First, and obviously, it is a Royal Oak, with the iconic design introduced in 1972. Second, it features what’s probably the brand’s most emblematic complication, the perpetual calendar. Finally, and despite its complications, it remains a fairly thin watch, and we know Audemars Piguet excels in this field. The 41mm case is only 9.5mm in height and takes all the design cues of the RO collection, with its sharp central case, brushed with polished edges, and the signature octagonal bezel with 8 visible screws. It is, as you can imagine, attached to the equally iconic integrated bracelet with a folding clasp.
The main novelty this year for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is a new dial, or to be precise, a dial with new shades of blue… shades that are actually not that new. Indeed, the subdials and the inner bezel of the Grande Tapisserie dial are executed in the iconic blue hue of the original 1972 Royal Oak, a colour referred to as “Night Blue, Cloud 50” in the brand’s archives. The rest of the dial, with its engine-turned square pattern, is showing a slightly lighter blue shared, bringing more contrast and a play of light.
This new dial is launched in two editions of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, either in stainless steel or in 18k pink gold. The other difference between these two watches is the hour markers and hands, which are made either in white or pink gold, depending on the edition. The dial displays multiple indications, most of them being classic for a QP – hours/minutes and 4 sub-dials with date, weekday, month, leap year and moonphase – but also a rarer indication, that of the current week, shown on the inner bezel and pointed by a central hand.
Inside the case is the in-house calibre 5134, which is based on the famous extra-thin calibre 2121. This perpetual calendar movement only measures 4.3mm in height. Beating at an unusual frequency of 2.75Hz, it is also automatic with a central rotor and boasts a slightly short power reserve of 40 hours. Through the caseback, the movement displays nice decorations, with a 22k gold openworked oscillating weight, Geneva stripes, circular graining, circular satin and polished chamfers throughout.
Availability & Price
The new blue editions of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (ref. 26574ST.OO.1220ST.03 in steel and ref. 26574OR.OO.1220OR.03 in pink gold) are launched as part of the permanent collection and thus aren’t limited. The steel model will be priced at EUR 78,900 and the pink gold model at EUR 115,300.
For more details, please visit www.audemarspiguet.com.
Technical specifications – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
Case: 41mm diameter x 9.5mm height – stainless steel or 18k pink gold, brushed with polished accents – glareproofed sapphire crystals front and caseback – 20m water-resistant
Dial: Blue dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, subdials and inner bezel in “Night Blue, Cloud 50” shades – applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, in white or pink gold, depending on the model
Movement: Calibre 5134, in-house – automatic with central rotor – 29mm x 4.3mm – 38 jewels – 374 components – 2.75Hz frequency (19,800 vibrations/hour) – 40h power reserve – hours, minutes, perpetual calendar with date, weekday, month, leap year, week number, moonphase
Bracelet: Royal Oak bracelet, brushed with polished accents, with AP folding clasp, in steel or 18k pink gold
Reference: 26574ST.OO.1220ST.03 steel
26574OR.OO.1220OR.03 pink gold
Price: EUR 78,900 steel
EUR 115,300 pink gold