Editor’s note: With so much attention and speculation surrounding the all-steel variants of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak 15400 and now 15500, it’s easy to forget that the Holy Trinity watchmaker also offers their most prized timepiece in two-tone steel and 18k Pink Gold. And while it’s easy to comprehend why the stainless steel variants are so highly revered, there’s something of an old-world charm about the way the two-tone iteration goes about its business — it’s antiquated … but in a good way. A couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to slide one of these mixed metal marvels onto our wrist, and these were our first thoughts.
I’ve been saying for years that two-tone is making a comeback. And with the release of the Audemars Piguet Two-Tone Royal Oak, it looks like the market is finally catching up to my prediction. This watch is everything you would expect from the Genta-designed icon: classic and casual, and one of the best bracelets ever made, but this time with the added sparkle of 18k gold.
The combination of silver grand tapisserie dial, solid pink gold bezel, crown and centre links, amid brushed and bevelled stainless steel, is compelling. It’s a watch for Gordon Gekko in a post-GFC world: flashy, but not too flashy; superior to all-steel, but not rubbing your face in it; big, but not over-muscled. It’s one of those magical designs that manages to walk the line between classic and bling. And as you’d expect from a Royal Oak, it’s a dream on the wrist. The integrated bracelet, in particular, feels like butter on the wrist; it melts on, cool and smooth.
AP has been refreshing the roots of the RO line in recent years, and it’s good to see the classic two-tone combo, which was originally available on the smaller 5402, get a version in the slightly tweaked (read slightly larger) 15400 reference.
AUDERMARS PIGUET TWO-TONE SELFWINDING ROYAL OAK 15400 SPECIFICATIONS
- Selfwinding Manufacture: Calibre 3120
- Total diameter: 26.60 mm (113⁄4 lines)
- Total thickness: 4.26 mm
- Number of jewels: 40
- Number of parts: 280
- Minimal guaranteed power reserve: 60 hours
- Frequency of balance wheel: 3Hz (= 21,600 vibrations/hour)
- CASE: Stainless steel case, glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback, 18-carat pink gold bezel, links and screw-locked crown, water-resistant to 50m.
- DIAL: Silver-toned dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.
- BRACELET: Stainless steel and 18-carat pink gold bracelet with stainless steel AP folding clasp.
- FUNCTIONS: Hours , Minutes, Centre seconds, Date
- REFERENCE: 15400SR.OO.1220SR.01