I am a huge fan of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches, and every year at the SIHH in Geneva I am looking forward to seeing what they’ve been up to. This year, besides the beautiful titanium & platinum “Jumbo” and a collection of [bold coloured] Offshore watches, it was the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin that almost swept me off my feet.
I’ve tried many [and owned some] Royal Oak watches, but the “Jumbo” is the one that impressed me most. Not only because it is so extremely thin, but also because the design is just perfect. The dimensions are so good, that it is hard to find anything else from the Royal Oak collection with better proportions. In the past, I also owned a 39mm Royal Oak chronograph, and even though I liked it very much (I actually still prefer it over the later/current 41mm version), I sold it because I found myself wearing the “Jumbo” all the time, which is just 8.1mm in thickness. Put in a complication, and the watch will get thicker. Or bigger in general.
This year, Audemars Piguet showed us a Royal Oak that added 2 millimetres to the diameter, but actually got thinner as well. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar is not extra-thin, no, it is ultra-thin. It measures just 6.30mm in height. Incredible! Thinner than the Jumbo, with an amazing complication on top of that.
Completely made of platinum (Pt950), the 41mm x 6.30mm case houses the Audemars Piguet calibre 5133 movement. This movement is only 2.89mm thick and has a diameter of 32mm (14 ¾ lignes). By re-creating and designing the perpetual calendar movement, the engineers at Audemars Piguet achieved to reduce its thickness by 30%. Normally, their self-winding movement with a perpetual calendar is build up in three layers, but for this calibre 5133, they re-designed it in such way, that it just consists of a single layer.
The AP calibre 5133 has a power reserve of 40 hours and consists of 256 parts. As a comparison, the calibre 5134 (self-winding movement with perpetual calendar) that is being used in the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar reference 26597PT.OO.1220PT.01 consists of 374 parts (and measures 4.31mm in height). So that’s about -30% for both thickness and number of parts.
Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak RD#2 in platinum is more than impressive, by its size, thickness and weight. And of course by the beautiful finish of the case, bracelet and movement. You would also almost forget about how beautiful the Tapisserie dial is, with its applied white gold hour markers and white gold hands. So here’s the friendly reminder.
The development of this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 concept watch took their team approximately 5 years. That’s quite an investment to lose some mm’s and, then, not making such a watch available for the public. I am sure they will use this knowledge to come up with something in the future of course. The good thing about this watch not being for sale is that I don’t need to add yet another impossible watch goal on my list. I can just continue to enjoy my Royal Oak 15202ST without envy.
As you know, next SIHH in Geneva will take place in January and it will actually be their last one as well. Audemars Piguet decided to end their collaboration with the SIHH after 19 years in order to focus more on direct relationships with its customers and partners in the future. I am sure their last performance in SIHH will bring us some awesome Royal Oak news of course. Perhaps they’ve even included some of this concept watch into one of their new watches.
In the gallery below you will find some more photos of this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin that Bert took during our meeting with them earlier this year. Enjoy! More information about the Royal Oak RD#2 reference 26586PT.OO.1240PT.01 can be found here.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more