The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 2015
The bad piece of news is that I’m among the last ones to release an article about the 2015 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, but the good piece of news is that it is never too late to talk about a new Audemars Piguet. This freshly-released timepiece is a Royal Oak, the newest version of a watch that, when it was first launched in 1967, it was crowned the thinnest stainless steel Perpetual Calendar in the world. From a watchmaker's point of view, perpetual calendars are among the most interesting, although not among the most prestigious, technical complications ever crafted, so I felt somehow obliged to come up with a new column called “Perpetually Yours”, whose main purpose is to pay homage to this particular achievement in watchmaking.
I’m glad to add a Royal Oak to the long series of watches sporting this specific complication that have been reviewed on Horbiter so far. Unfortunately this is not a proper “hands-on review”, something that I expect to do as soon as possible (that is to say as soon as this timepiece hits the Italian market and I can do a real photo-shooting and an in-depth analysis). Beginning with the first 1967 model featuring a 3,95mm thick caliber (a timepiece that has helped the manufacturer to maintain the business profitable during the quartz crisis era), the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar has been dramatically revamped and upgraded over the years.
For those of you who often hear the term “Perpetual Calendar” but are not too sure what it is all about, this specific complication hides in itself a very complex architecture that has been designed to provide you with information about the current day, the current date, the current month, leap years and moon phases (information about the current year is also available in some cases) taking into account leap years (that is to say that there is no need to adjust your watch's date at least until 2100, when the 4-year-cycle is due to change and you then have to adjust the date manually). The 2015 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is larger (41mm) than the previous model, it is equipped with the new caliber 5134 that, according to official press releases, is larger and, from a technical point of view, an evolution of caliber 2120, despite not being as thin, given its 4,31mm thickness.
The movement features a wide range of prestigious finishes and technical features, such as the suspended barrel that makes the movement stay on the thin side. Moreover this barrel is decorated with a circular Cotes de Geneve motif, wheels are perlage decorated and so is the main plate. Bridges are chamfered and they also sport a Cotes de Geneve decoration.
Last but not least, the oscillating mass of the winding rotor is a single 22 carats Gold block that makes the 2015 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar really stand out in terms of finishes, maybe a bit less (just a bit, please don’t get me wrong) from a technological point of view, given the amount of tiny correctors placed on the case, something that is missing on other brands’ timepieces, where every single operation is carried out through the winding crown (maybe you know what competitor I’m actually talking about). To summarize: another soon-to-be-properly-reviewed great new Royal Oak, which is made in four variations (two of them are in stainless steel and two of them are made in rose gold). The retail price of this item is not available yet, but I will get back to you with this piece of information as soon as it is officially released.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Audemars Piguet)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter