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Audemars Piguet’s New CEO Teams Up with Tamara Ralph to Launch Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon Tamara Ralph Limited Edition

Last year saw long time CEO of Audemars Piguet, François-Henry Bennahmias, step down from his position, with his final project at the company being the Cactus Jack collaboration with Travis Scott. However, shortly after the final project of the outgoing CEO we now have the first project of the incoming CEO, Ilaria Resta. The new watch is another collaboration, the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon “Tamara Ralph” Limited Edition.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon Tamara Ralph Limited Edition

It’s worth noting that the new watch is explicitly a ladies’ watch, which is clearly intentional. AP has a new female CEO collaborating with a female designer, Tamara Ralph, to produce a distinctly feminine watch. Of the collaboration Resta said “Tamara’s endless quest for perfection perfectly echoes our watchmakers’ dedication to pushing their craft to the limit. We are delighted to start 2024 in collaboration with such an inspiring woman and it is only the beginning!”

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon Tamara Ralph Limited Edition
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon Tamara Ralph Limited Edition

Designer Tamara Ralph

I think this bold, feminine timepiece makes a lot of sense for Resta because in the last few years Audemars Piguet’s flagship releases have been something of a boy’s club with the Black Panther and Spider-Man springing to mind immediate, along with the aforementioned Cactus Jack. Assuming Resta wants to showcase a new creative direction and to leave an immediate mark on the company, then the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon “Tamara Ralph” Limited Edition is certainly the way to do it.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon Tamara Ralph Limited Edition

The watch itself is a 38.5mm diameter RO Concept in frosted gold. The shape language of the case is very familiar with the highlight being, of course, that octagonal bezel which pays homage to Gerald Genta’s original design. It also maintains that signature integrated strap style Genta helped to popularise with a square scale alligator strap.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon Tamara Ralph Limited Edition

However, while the case is somewhat familiar, the dial is entirely new. It features a series of offset concentric circles in shades of gold and bronze set in layers leading down towards the tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The tourbillon itself is set with three rings of diamonds adding an haute joaillerie element to the piece. Technically we’ve got all three of the main “haute” industries on display here, with the haute horology of the movement, haute joaillerie of the decoration and haute couture inspiration supplied by Australian fashion designer Tamara Ralph.

Powering the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon “Tamara Ralph” Limited Edition is the Calibre 2964, a manual winding movement with a 72-hour power reserve. When viewed through the exhibition sapphire caseback, you can see that the movement has been decorated with a series of concentric circles as well, emulating the pattern seen on the dial.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon Tamara Ralph Limited Edition

The watch is a limited edition of 100 pieces and is price on demand. So, what do I actually think about the watch? Well, it’s very bold and as much as people like to talk about unisex design and how anyone can wear any watch (which is true – never let a label stop you wearing something you love) the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon “Tamara Ralph” Limited Edition is overtly feminine by intention, so it’s not for me. It’s a big swing and that’s exactly what you want to see from a new CEO, even if it ends up being as contentious as Bennahmias’ somewhat controversial designs in the long run. Next I want to see what Resta is capable of when looking after the more classic interpretations of the standard Royal Oak.

Price and Specs:

Model: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon 'Tamara Ralph' Limited Edition
Ref: 26630OR.GG.D626CR.01
Case: 38.5mm diameter x 11.9mm thickness, 18k hammered pink gold
Dial: Multi-layered dial with shades of brown, bronze and gold, sunburst satin finishing
Water resistance: 20m (2 bar)
Movement: Audemars Piguet calibre 2964, automatic, 17 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 72h
Functions: Hours, minutes, tourbillon
Strap: Bronze alligator leather with pearly finish effect and 18k pink gold AP folding clasp with additional brown alligator leather strap with pearly finish effect
Price: Price on request, limited to 100 pieces

More details at Audemars Piguet.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.