There’s been an increasing trend of brands releasing watches under the radar without any fanfare leaving customers to scour the website and play a game of spot the difference to discover new releases. The largest culprits of this style of release are IWC and Audemars Piguet so it’s not that surprising to discover that Audemars Piguet have quietly created a new Royal Oak Grande Complication White Ceramic Piece Unique.
While at first impression the most visually impressive aspect of the Grande Complication is the dial, I actually want to start by taking a closer look at the case. It’s a 44mm piece in the signature Royal Oak design with an octagonal bezel, visible screws and an integrated bracelet, all made from white ceramic. However, what makes it stand out as something particularly special is the brushed finish across the flat surfaces.
It’s unusual to see ceramic finished in this way as it’s typically given a flat, matte finish that emphasises the smoothness of the material. Although AP has used brushed ceramic previously for the Blue Ceramic Perpetual Calendar . The combination of the brushed surfaces and white colour of this model make it almost look like incredibly shiny, highly reflective brushed steel, at least in the images. I really want to see it in person to examine it under different lighting conditions. However, considering it’s a piece unique, 1-of-1, there’s not a lot of chance of that happening.
Looking at the dial properly now, it’s a skeletonised display consisting of a rattrapante chronograph and a perpetual calendar with indicators for hours, minutes, split-seconds, moonphase, leap year, months, weeks, date, days of the week, 30-minute timer and small seconds. On top of all that, it’s a minute repeater as well.
The movement powering all those complications is the Calibre 2885 automatic movement with 45-hour power reserve. The fact that it has a relatively high power reserve despite all those myriad functions is seriously impressive. Of equal, or even greater, impressiveness is that the entire piece was hand-crafted by a single master watchmaker in the Audemars Piguet workshop.
This is one of the coolest haute horology Royal Oaks I’ve seen in a while. The white, brushed ceramic case is awesome and the sheer amount of detail and information to be found on the dial is frankly mind boggling. It’s no wonder that this is a 1-of-1 with price on request.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Grande Complication White Ceramic
- Ref: 26605CB.OO.1248CB.01
- Case/dial: 44mm diameter x 15.1mm thickness, white ceramic case, skeletonised dial
- Water resistance: 20m (2 bar)
- Movement: AP calibre 2885, automatic, 52 jewels, 648 parts
- Frequency: 19,800 vph (2.75 Hz)
- Power reserve: 45h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, chronograph, week indicator
- Strap: White ceramic bracelet
- Price/availability: Price on request