Audemars Piguet Royal Oak models are among the most coveted watches in the entire world. Owners of the various references already make other collectors green with envy, but the new 2021 Royal Oak Collection will make onlookers envy the green. Somewhere Conor McGregor’s #NewWatchAlert spidey sense just started tingling, because this new collection of five watches (four of which are limited editions) has definitively locked in green as the color of 2021. While all the watches have green dials, Audemars Piguet has done a great job of offering a wide spectrum of case metals – ranging from lightweight titanium all the way to hefty noble platinum.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin / 39 mm 15202PT.OO.1240PT.01
The Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin has always had a special place in the hearts and minds of collectors due to the purity of its dimensions and aesthetic. Its design harkens all the way back to the original Royal Oak that Gerald Genta disrupted the industry with in 1972. However, this new model could very well be the end of an era for the Royal Oak Jumbo, as during our call with the AP Social club to discuss the upcoming novelties, Francois-Henry Bennahmias and Michael Friedman cheekily drew attention to the fact this year marks the 49th anniversary of the watch and that for its 50th next year perhaps some changes are on the horizon.
In the meantime, we are blessed with a 39mm Jumbo “Extra-Thin” cased in platinum with a platinum bracelet – each exquisitely hand finished. The stunning smoked sunburst dial emits a brilliant emerald green in its centre that fades to an abyss like black as you reach the outer dial. The dial utilises the familiar Jumbo “Extra-Thin” layout, with the Audemars Piguet branding at 12′ and applied logo at 6′. The logo, hours and minutes hands, and hour indices are all applied in white gold with the hands and indices filled with SuperLuminova®. Being an extra-thin model, the case remains a slender 8.1mm thick and will slide like butter beneath a shirt cuff. The 50 metre water-resistant watch also has a screw-down crown, so you can flex the watch at both the beach and in the boardroom.
Inside this sporty and slender Royal Oak Jumbo “Extra-Thin” remains the historic Audemars Piguet caliber 2121 developed with JLC. The movement, only 3.05mm thick, helps maintain the super thin profile of the watch and provides approximately 40 hours of power reserve. It is impeccably finished, as one would expect from an AP watch, and the skeletonised solid gold rotor affords you a much better view of the movement when off the wrist.
Of the five watches in the new 2021 Royal Oak collection, this Jumbo “Extra-Thin” is the only model that is not a limited edition.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph / 41 mm 26331BA.OO.1220BA.02
The green and gold Rolex Daytona is hiding under the bed in fear of this monster. This new Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph, a limited edition of 125 pieces, is issued in yellow gold with a matching yellow gold bracelet. The 41mm case is 11mm thick, admirably thin for a chronograph watch, and is paired with a more traditional green dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern. The applied AP logo at ’12, hands, and applied hour indices are all fashioned in a case matching yellow gold and as a sporty watch the hours, minutes, and hour indices are all filled with SuperLuminova®. The date wheel perfectly matches the dial, its aperture situated between the 4′ and 5′ hour indices. Within the three snailed registers of the chronograph you have the elapsed hours at 9′ (12 hour scale), running seconds at 6′, and elapsed minutes at 3′ (30 minute scale).
Beneath the solid yellow gold caseback is the Audemars Piguet caliber 2385, a 5mm thick self-winding movement based on the renowned Frédéric Piguet 1185 ebauche – the thinnest automatic chronograph movement when it was originally introduced. It has a classic beat rate of 21,600 vph and will run for approximately 40 hours off the wrist without a wind. While not visible from the back, the movement is well decorated with ample perlage and a hint of Côtes de Genève and has a solid gold decorated rotor for more efficient winding. The vertical clutch column wheel movement has butter smooth engagement of the chronograph functions, and has the added benefit of being able to run constantly with far less (if any) wear and tear to the movement.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Watches
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon / 41mm 26534TI.OO.1220TI.01
Ironically, of the 2021 Royal Oak Collection, the most complicated models are the only ones offered in daily wear catering titanium. The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon is 41mm in diameter and offered on a case matching titanium bracelet. While an incredibly unforgiving metal to manufacture, the high AP standard of external finishing remains upheld. The dial is absolutely stunning, with its intricate green Tapisserie dial further enriched with a sunburst pattern. This radial or arabesque take on the famed pattern adds a touch more elegance and flair and draws the eye towards the flying tourbillon – which I will discuss more in a little bit. The 26534TI.OO.1220TI.01 is offered as a limited edition of 50 pieces.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon / 41mm 26532IC.EE.1220TI.01
The 26532IC.EE.1220TI.01 shares the majority of its design with the 26534TI.OO.1220TI.01 above. The titanium case is 41mm in diameter and a slim 10.4mm thick, with a titanium bracelet to match. It also makes use of white gold hands and indices filled with SuperLuminova®. The clear differentiator is its white gold bezel (in favour of titanium) that hosts 32 baguette-cut emeralds (~2.41 carats), each individually cut, faceted and set by hand. White gold is the most robust form of gold due to its incorporation of rhodium, therefore creating the most secure stage for the emeralds to shine. The green emeralds further drive home the gorgeous green aesthetic and only work to increase the already ample light play of the exquisite externals. The 26532IC.EE.1220TI.01 is a limited edition of 15 pieces.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon / 41 mm 26533OR.OO.1220OR.01
The rarest of the trio is the 26533OR.OO.1220OR.01, a limited edition of 10 pieces. In this incarnation of the green dialled Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon the watch is rendered in a full rose gold case and bracelet. To match the external metal, the dial has hands, applied indices, and even its balance wheel fashioned in rose gold. Like the other two watches within the threesome, with whom it shares its dimensions and layout, it also features a green Tapisserie with a radial sunburst pattern and hands and indices filled with SuperLuminova® for added visibility in the dark.
While highly complicated pieces, each of the three watches are secured with screw-down crowns and are water-resistant up to 50 meters.
The Audemars Piguet Self-winding Flying Tourbillon 41mm movement: AP caliber 2950
Each of the three Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon watches utilise the Audemars Piguet caliber 2950, an automatic flying tourbillon movement developed in-house by AP. Unlike a conventional tourbillon, a flying tourbillon eschews the upper bridge. This means there is no bridge securing the flagship complication on the dial side, resulting in a purer aesthetic and a much better view of the escapement, regulating organ and cage in motion. Interestingly, of all the movements utilised in these five watches of the 2021 Royal Oak collection this latest generation caliber 2950 has the longest power reserve at 65 hours. The movement is intricately hand beveled and finished, with bridges featuring arabesque Côtes de Genève to match the radial sunburst pattern of the green Tapisserie dial.
Audemars Piguet 2021 Royal Oak Collection pricing and availability:
The Audemars Piguet 2021 Royal Oak collection will be available beginning in April 2021, pricing TBC.