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Introducing: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Watch

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin

All too often a cool concept comes along, makes a splash and then immediately disappears under the water, never to emerge again. Thank god that’s not what happened to Audemar Piguet’s Royal Oak concept, the RD#2, which debuted last year. After a little extra development, the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar is back and into production with the Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin.

Despite the restrictions of needing to make this an actual production watch, the thinness remains the same as the original concept at just 6.30mm. That’s a moon phase, day, date, month, leap year and local time in a watch way thinner than whatever you’re wearing right now – and in a Royal Oak case at that.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin

One of the biggest changes between the concept and this new version is the case. Previously it was a fully platinum beast, making it one of the heaviest ultra-thin’s you could find. Now the precious metal has mainly been swapped out for titanium with a few platinum touches here and there. Needless to say, it wears a lot more comfortable.

It’s not just the wearability that’s changed either but the legibility. The concept has a classic petite tapisserie you see on many a Royal Oak, lovely but not the easiest thing to read so many counters off. Now, that guilloche been swapped for a more minimal matte finish, creating a much cleaner, clearer dial.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin

Inside it all is the new 5133 calibre, a completely redesigned ultra-thin calibre that strips out every unnecessary component possible, no mean feat in something as complex as a perpetual calendar. It boasts a 40-hour power reserve, though like any perpetual calendar you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t wind down. Setting them is a pain.

Despite swapping platinum for titanium, the new Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin still commands a heft investment, priced at CHF 140,000 (just over £110,000). Still, for any world record-holding timepiece that’s not so bad; for a world record-holding Royal Oak it’s all but expected.

Price & Specs:

Model Name: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin
Ref: 26586IP.OO.1240IP.01
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter x 6.30mm height, brushed titanium, polished 950 platinum bezel and links, titanium screw-locked crown
Movement: In-house Audemars Piguet Cal. 5133
Power Reserve: 40h
Frequency: 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
Functions: Hours, minutes, perpetual calendar with day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year, night and day indication
Water Resistance: 20m (2 ATM)
Strap: Satin-brushed titanium bracelet with polished 950 platinum links and titanium AP folding claps
Price & Availability: CHF 140,000 (excl. taxes), boutique piece only

More information at Audemar Piguet’s website.

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.