INTRODUCING: The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillons – in 38.5mm! INTRODUCING: The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillons – in 38.5mm!

INTRODUCING: The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillons – in 38.5mm!

Zach Blass

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept collection is a safe space for AP to explore new complications and designs, a playground where the holy trinity brand really differentiates itself from its peers. I can confidently say that AP, when compared against Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, excels within the trio by creating more adventurous timepieces that speak to modern tastes and styles – all while incorporating traditional methods and techniques. Normally Royal Oak Concept watches run a tad larger, but this week Audemars Piguet has further developed the Concept collection within a more modest diameter. Without further ado, let’s explore the new entries into the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon 38.5mm collection.

If you know me, you know my wrists are not the largest. Like many of you, I opt for more classic diameters whenever possible because they really flatter my wrist much more. It is not so much the fact they are smaller in diameter, but typically speaking a smaller diameter results in a smaller lug-to-lug – a far more crucial measurement when it comes to fit. This is why I am really excited about this new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon collection. We now have six more entries into the 38.5mm size within the collection, sending a clear message that AP wants to further develop within this more compact diameter and that they see potential for this size down the line. The new collection is comprised of six different references, with 20 metre water-resistant 38.5mm x 11.6mm white or pink gold cases set with various amounts and colours of diamonds, sapphires, and gemstones.

Audemars Piguet explains: “The new timepieces are decorated with a variety of brilliant – or baguette-cut gemstones. While four models are paved with graded blue sapphires, two feature multicoloured gemstones creating a rainbow effect. Finding the right stones, colours and contrasts was a crucial step in the design of each piece and no easy task for timepieces set with as many as 468 brilliant – or 208 baguette-cut graded gems.”

The majority of the collection utilizes graded blue sapphires. Two of the four pair diamond-set dials with the sapphire-set cases, but the remaining pair actually have sapphires set on both the dial and case. Each of the latter two are covered with an astounding total of 208 baguette-cut graded blue sapphires cut in 144 different sizes to match the curves of the Royal Oak Concept case and the architecture of the dial and movement components. The two rainbow models incporporate 12 different types of multicoloured gemstones: rubies, tsavorites, emeralds, topaz, tanzanites, amethysts and various coloured sapphires.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon

While the openworked dials feature different settings of diamonds, sapphires, and gemstones, the layout remains consistent throughout. You’ll notice a pyramid motif throughout the dial, almost floral in aesthetic with petal like placement around the dial. The star of the show, at least mechanically speaking, is the flying tourbillon complication at the 6′ position – incredibly set with brilliant-cut gemstones considering it is a small feather-light component. AP has also provided a rare view of the coiled mainspring thanks to its openworked barrel visible at 11 o’clock.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon

Powering the six new entries is the in-house hand-wound calibre 2951. AP displays their mastery of movement decoration with satin-finished bridges with polished angles and white lacquered decorations. The featured complication, the flying tourbillon, works to improve the watch aesthetically and technically. It not only compensates for the effect of gravity, therefore enhancing the watch’s accuracy, but it does so all without an upper bridge to anchor it – providing a clearer view of the lively complication. The calibre 2951 ticks away at a more classic 21,600 vph and offers a “weekend-proof” 77 hours of power reserve.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon 38.5mm collection pricing and availability:

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon

All Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon 38.5mm models announced this week are listed as price upon request. The two models set with baguette-cut sapphires will be available in select Audemars Piguet points of sale in 2022. Please inquire with your local Audemars Piguet boutique for more information on pricing and availability.