Sitting here with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Blue Ceramic makes me surprisingly reflective. On paper it’s the ultimate trendy watch. It’s a Royal Oak for starters, but more than that it’s a perpetual calendar, it’s made from ceramic and it’s bright blue. It should knock my socks off. But does it?
Picking it up, I can’t deny that like every Royal Oak the design is utterly iconic. 41mm case with octagonal bezel and matching octagonal screws. Classy enough to be respected by the watch community and outlandish enough to be lauded by rappers and celebrities, it’s a fine balancing act that Audemars Piguet are incredibly good at.
Of course, for this edition the case is made from electric blue ceramic. On a technical level, achieving such a rich colour with ceramic is immensely impressive – as we discovered for ourselves at the IWC factory in Schaffhausen. Any variance in temperature during the manufacturing process will result in the ceramic becoming dull or splotchy.
However, between the material’s lightweight properties and matte finish, it does leave the Royal Oak feeling a bit like a toy. You could almost imagine that it’s an AP version of the Omega MoonSwatch, the Royal Swoak. Especially because the Grand Tapisserie dial and perpetual calendar functions are in a matching shade of blue. I find it hard to reconcile this perception with the fact that this is a piece of haute horology.
Flipping the watch over reveals the automatic Calibre 5134, by way of the exhibition caseback. The caseback itself is particularly good looking, perhaps because it’s one of the few elements on that watch that isn’t blue, instead rendered in titanium.
The blue-ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar has a 40-hour power reserve, which seems low but considering that it’s a perpetual calendar there are rather a lot of functions that need powering. Specifically, there are indicators for minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and leap years, as well as functions for the date and moonphase. All of which won’t need adjusting for around a century, if kept wound.
My head acknowledges that this is a fun take on the RO Perpetual Calendar Concept, my heart says it’s not for me. Partly I think that’s because Audemars Piguet have already had a great year with the on-going celebrations of the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary.
Between this and the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin, the “Jumbo” is one I’d rather have. That being said, it is a privilege to get hands on with a remarkable piece of watchmaking like this considering that with its CHF 129,000 (approx. £117,000) price tag, it’s not one to realistically add to your collection.
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Price & Specs:
- Model: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Blue Ceramic
- Ref: 26579CS.OO.1225CS.01
- Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 9.5mm thickness, blue ceramic case, blue Grande Tapisserie pattern dial, blue ceramic bezel with 18k white gold studs, blue ceramic screw-locked crown, titanium caseback
- Water resistance: 20m (2 bar)
- Movement: In-house calibre 5134, automatic, 374 parts, 38 jewels
Frequency: 19,800 vph (2.75 Hz)
- Power reserve: 40h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, perpetual calendar (day, date, week, month, astronomical moon and leap year indications)
- Strap: Blue ceramic bracelet with titanium AP folding clasp
- Price/availability: CHF 129,000 (excl. taxes)