OK, we’re calling it: 1976 was one of the best years in history – for so many reasons. For a start, that’s when Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life was released. It was also the year Rocky and Taxi Driver hit cinemas, and superhotties Benedict Cumberbatch and Audrey Tatou entered the world. In conclusion: a very good year. Audemars Piguet would agree. It was 1976 when they unveiled the brand new ladies’ Royal Oak (four years after the men’s model hit the market) – which means that this year she, just like those icons above, is hitting the big four-oh. And, thanks to the celebratory Royal Oak Frosted Gold edition, we’re happy to report she’s showing no signs of slowing down in middle age. Designed by renowned Italian jeweller Carolina Bucci, the watch comes in white gold or rose gold versions, which has been hand-beaten all over with a diamond-tipped tool. The result? The surface takes on a frosted texture, shimmering as if it’s been seasoned with fairy dust. It comes in two sizes, 33mm and 37mm – though we’re considerably more excited about the larger of the two, as it’s powered by an in-house automatic movement – the caliber 3120. Although this is… Read More
Best known for the iconic Gerald Genta designed Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet are one of Switzerland’s most respected and capable maisons.
Once a month, we write a full page feature about watches for The Australian newspaper’s super glossy WISH Magazine. WISH is a bit of an institution in Australia. It’s a go-to source for all things luxury, with most products and experiences handpicked by the ever-stylish Editor, David Meagher. And even though our heart might be digital as a publication, we still bleed ink. Print remains the kick it always was. In the April Edition we covered Hublot, Breitling and Audemars Piguet. For the full story, click here. Breitling for Bentley B05 Unitime Midnight Carbon Breitling and Bentley have been travelling companions since 2003, and the partnership allows the traditionally aviation-inspired watchmaker to flex its automotive muscles – infusing the power and prestige of the British marque into Breitling’s already bold designs. Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire Hublot’s latest precious timepiece isn’t crafted from carbon fibre, gold, or even platinum. No, the entire case of the latest Big Bang model is hewn from solid sapphire. This tough, scratch-proof mineral is second only to diamond in hardness. The pros of this for the wearer are that it’s unlikely to be marked when you bang it on the car door, or rest it on your desk while… Read More
STORY IN A SECOND: When the first Royal Oak was released in 1972 in steel it was a revelation. Now, in 2016, there’s a milder ripple of surprise, but surprise nonetheless, to see it return in the least on-trend of golds, yellow. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is one of the enduring giants of horology. Since its release in 1972, the iconic Genta design has spurred industry trends, copycats, controversies, and has inspired a renaissance in luxury sports watches, introducing them to an entirely new generation. The Royal Oak was the first luxury steel sports watch, but, in the lyrical words of the brand, the “steel body concealed a heart of gold”. That said, a few years later, in 1977 a yellow gold version was released and now, almost 40 years later, the original precious metal is back. Audemars Piguet has just announced a number of new yellow gold Royal Oak models. A standout is the Royal Oak Chronograph reference 26320BA. The 41mm 18-carat gold case is home to the archetypal, pantograph-manufactured ‘Grande Tapisserie’ dial in a choice of either silvery grey, or a new, paler blue, a colour which offsets the vibrant yellow gold. Powered by the bulletproof Calibre 2385, the… Read More
The story in a second: Audemars Piguet have developed a cool new calendar complication, but the watch it’s showcased in fails to deliver as a complete package. I had two questions when I was first handed the new Audemars Piguet Millenary Quadriennium. Firstly, what is a Millenary Quadriennium? And secondly, does it have anything to do with the Millennium Falcon? The Millenary collection isn’t what immediately comes to mind when you think of Audemars Piguet. In fact, the unusual oval case shape looks like a watch from a completely different company. The long-running Millenary collection is a space where AP explore a more neo-classical aesthetic than the resolutely contemporary Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore lines. The philosophy behind the watch is that it a modern interpretation of a classic timepiece (it is much like the MB&F Legacy Machine in this regard). As you’d expect from AP, this watch has excellent movement finishing, particularly on the large, exposed, proprietary escapement, with big balance wheel and beautifully hand-finished bridge. This escapement has bitten into the off centre dial. A dial that looks decidedly traditional with its roman numerals and exposed screws. The sub seconds dial takes another chunk out the main… Read More
Not content with kicking the year off with SIHH the Richemont group have added the all singing all dancing Hong Kong based Watches & Wonders to their lineup (Not that AP are part of the Richemont family – they’re just buddies). This is a good thing for Australian watch lovers for whom the grueling long haul flight to Geneva, and the exclusivity of SIHH, is a little off-putting. It’s also good because it means we get shiny new models in the latter half of the year, like this slamming new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph – reference 26550AU.OO.A002CA.01. (takes deep breath). Long and unwieldy model name aside this new AP ROO STC (see what we did there) is an impressive piece of kit. Limited to 50 pieces, it’ s the first ROO Tourbillon to be powered by the automatically winding caliber 2897. The 44mm case is made from Forged Carbon, with a ceramic bezel and chronograph pushers, and titanium crown guards. It’s also surprisingly thin for an an automatic tourbillon, coming in at 14mm thick. Technically it’s an impressive construction, and in line with the sort of hi-tech material fusion that the ROO line (the ROO is kind of like… Read More