Audemars Piguet is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Gerald Genta’s iconic design, the Royal Oak. We’ve already had a look at the Openworked Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon and the updated “Jumbo” Extra-Thin and now AP have taken the haute horological complication of the former and the design of the latter and fused them together into a new watch. It’s the Royal Oak RD#3, AKA the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin.
The name, Royal Oak RD#3 stands for Research and Development Number 3, hinting at the haute horological innovation that’s gone into this watch. Namely, this is the thinnest, most compact flying tourbillon Audemars Piguet have ever produced, and the first on a “Jumbo”. Previously flying tourbillons have only featured on Royal Oaks with diameters of 41mm or greater, however the “Jumbo” Extra-Thin is only 39mm with a height of 8.1mm.
In fact, the case and dial are identical to the stainless steel Ref. 16202 that was launched as part of the Extra-Thin collection earlier this year. It even has the same blue Tapisserie pattern that references the original 1972 version. The only difference between the RD#3 and Ref. 16202 is the swap from a date window at 3 o’clock to a flying tourbillon at 6, courtesy of a new movement.
That movement is the self-winding calibre 2968. As mentioned, it has the smallest profile of any AP flying tourbillon movement with a 29.6mm diameter and 3.4mm height. In order to accommodate the tourbillon at this size, several components have been adjusted and rearranged with the most impactful being the addition of a peripheral drive for the tourbillon, which is a first for AP. It has a 50-hour power reserve and is wound by AP’s 50th anniversary commemorative rotor.
Audemars Piguet’s celebration of this important year in the Royal Oak’s history – you can check out that history here – is set to continue and if this release is anything to go by, they’re only going to get more exciting and more exclusive. And on the topic of exclusivity, the RD#3 is price on demand only, although it’s not a limited edition so you might encounter one in the wild if you’re lucky.
Price & Specs:
Model: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#3 “Jumbo” Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin
Case/dial: 39mm diameter x 8.1mm height, stainless steel case, blue dial with “Petite Tapisserie” pattern
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Calibre 2968, automatic, 33 jewels, 226 parts
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 50h
Functions: Hours, minutes, flying tourbillon
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price/availability: Price on request
More details at Audemars Piguet.