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Why you’ll love Audemars Piguet’s newest Openworked Royal Oak watches

Audemars Piguet debuts trio of new Royal Oak models

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak black ceramic
Audemars Piguet

Like peanut butter and jelly, most things come in pairs, but what about threes? It’s a short list, with the likes of The Three Little Pigs, and the Three Musketeers, but not much else. Audemars Piguet clearly wants to change this as they’ve recently introduced a trio of Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked models.

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked models

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak yellow gold
Audemars Piguet

The brand previously introduced a 37mm edition as well as several other 41mm models, and now their newest drop features 41mm models in steel, black ceramic, and 18K yellow gold, all with highly contrasted dials. They feature twin balance wheels, as the name would suggest, not only for precise timekeeping but also for aesthetic purposes — which these days are as important as the tech specs for prospective buyers. Although they weren’t a pioneer in double balance mechanisms, Audemars Piguet took an innovative approach by arranging two balance wheels and hairsprings on a single axis, ensuring weight distribution.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: A brief history

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak stainless steel
Audemars Piguet

Rolex is often the first brand horology fans think of when they imagine a more luxurious sports watch, but in 1972, Audemars Piguet gave one of the world’s most famous brands a scare when they debuted their own luxury sports watch that featured an integrated bracelet; the iconic Royal Oak. Rather than the circular design featured on most watch cases, the Royal Oak, designed by Gérald Genta, was allegedly inspired by a diver’s helmet. Continuing with the maritime tribute, the name “Royal Oak” itself pays homage to a series of eight ships from the British Royal Navy.

When the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak first debuted at the Swiss Watch Show, it wasn’t all that well received. But then, neither was the work of many famous artists who were later celebrated (Van Gogh, anyone?). The design of the Royal Oak with exposed screws and the octagonal bezel was so unusual that it immediately stood out, for better or worse, and it’s now been embraced by the watch world several times over.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak models: Aesthetics

The new trio of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked watches are not overly large, with a thickness of just 9.7mm. The eyes are automatically drawn to the intricate dial, which is complemented by glare-proofed sapphire crystal. Inside, the watch holds the self-winding calibre 3132, which contains 245 assembled parts, 38 jewels, and a 45-hour power reserve.

In addition to the balance wheels being very obvious, the gear train and mainspring are also clearly visible through the dial and caseback. With skeleton watches, legibility is always a main concern, but on these new Royal Oak watches, the hour and minute hands, as well as the hour markers on the flange, have luminescent strips.

The real beauty in the steel and black ceramic models is their pink-gold skeletonized dials, as well as the matching rose gold screws that harmonize so beautifully with the hue of the movement. The yellow gold version is nothing to scoff at, though, with an anthracite-toned mechanism that certainly depends on personal taste.

How much do the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak models cost?

Audemars Piguet Royal oak black ceramic
Audemars Piguet

The black ceramic version, which is limited to 150, costs 88,000 CHF ($97,360). The yellow gold version is also the same price, while the steel model is 66,500 CHF ($73,574).

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Sarah Veldman
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
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