Just when you think Audemars Piguet has done everything they can with the Royal Oak, pigeonholed themselves with one of the most iconic designs ever strapped to a wrist, they quietly go and update it in one of the coolest ways possible. Taking a new approach to 2017’s black ceramic-clad Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, this time AP has left very little to the imagination.
At 41mm the new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked isn’t the largest beast of the pack; it’s nothing compared to some of the Offshores at least. But it’s solid black look and the depth of hue in the ceramic – with contrasting steel screws – make for an intimidating timepiece.
The previous version leaned on that intimidation more than an overly-talkative snitch, with a grey dial and black subdials, with not much else to lighten things up. Here, though, what dial there is has been given a rose gold warmth with rings of the precious metal around the subdial counters and on the hands. The moon phase too appears more detailed, with a dash of extra stars against the night sky.
All of that of course plays second fiddle to the transparent dial. This is one of those cases that proves just how impactful a new dial is. Granted AP has done a lot more than make it blue – or green, brown, whatever the colour of the week is – but it’s still a simple aesthetic change that utterly transformed the watch.
Well, saying it’s just the dial is a little simplistic, though it leads to another slight change. Now the movement is visible, AP have made the most of it with a good amount of finishing on the now-visible front side and the opening up of a few components. If you’re going to put something on show, you’d best make sure it’s worth looking at. The calibre 5134 – with its perpetual calendar set-up and 40-hours of power reserve – very much is.
Needless to say the price tag is a daunting one: CHF 130,000, just about 105,000 good British pounds. Still, there’s some good news… you probably can’t get hold of it any way. There’ll be one hell of a waiting list for this boutique exclusive, whether it’s limited or not.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter x 9.9mm thickness, black ceramic case, sapphire dial, smoked external zone of the counters, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, black inner bezel
Water Resistance: 20m (2 bar)
Movement: Manufacture calibre 5135, self-winding
Functions: Perpetual calendar with week indication, day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year, hours and minute
Power Reserve: 40h
Strap: Black ceramic bracelet with titanium AP folding clasp
Price: CHF 130,000
More details at audemarspiguet.com