One of my personal favorite wrist watches, ever, is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. I have owned a couple of them and ended up with the reference 15202 ‘Jumbo’. One of the models I had and still love till this day, is their Royal Oak Chronograph. This year, Audemars Piguet is actually celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak Chronograph.
1997 – 2017 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
What started out as the 39mm Royal Oak Chronograph reference 25860, is today their reference 26331. In 2012, just a few years after the introduced reference 26300, Audemars Piguet did something drastically. They increased the case diameter up to 41mm and did some small changes to the dial. One of them being a somewhat larger typography on the dial (not something I particularly fancy, but many would disagree). This was introduced as the 26320. A beautiful collection of these new 41mm models will be presented to us at the SIHH 2017 this week.
Inside, nothing much changed. Audemars Piguet uses the F. Piguet chronograph movement (with annoying minute creep issue) for this watch and dubbed it AP caliber 2385. It is a column-wheel movement that is being used by various other (high-end) brands as well. Although we’ve been assured by some watchmakers that this is a beautiful movement, and a dedicated chronograph (not a piggy-backing movement as the ROOs have) as well, we still would like to see an in-house chronograph movement from AP at some point. Especially for the price point of these pieces.
For the 20th anniversary, Audemars Piguet focused mainly on the esthetics. New dials with increased size of the sub dials, short but wider hour markers and a re-located date window. On top of that all, Audemars Piguet added some luminescent coating to the hour markers for better readability. The pink gold models are available on pink gold bracelet, but also with a strap.
A couple of new dial variations are made in stainless steel and in pink gold. Awesome combinations of – already – an awesome watch.
Later on, we will bring you more specific details about this watch, including some images we took ourselves.