Audemars Piguet presents a new take on its women’s Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon, interweaving the eollection’s refined feminine aesthetics and complicated micro-mechanics.
Press Release with Commentary in Italics
Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon
Available in 18-carat pink or white gold, the new Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon combines the case’s shimmering Frosted Gold finish with a contemporary dial composed of multiple layers.
For the first time, the Royal Oak Concept’s case is adorned with Frosted Gold—an ancient Florentine jewellery technique revisited by jewellery designer Carolina Bucci and adapted to adorn the Manufacture’s watches. Tiny indentations are created on the gold surface with a diamond-tipped tool, giving a sparkle effect similar to that of precious stones, like diamond dust. Superposed to the bezel’s polished bevels, this finishing highlights the watch’s design codes, while capturing attention from a distance.
The shimmering case nicely frames the multi-layered dial composed of four juxtaposed circles of increasing size and graded hues of blue emanating from the flying tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock. The graded nuances and sunburst motif further accentuate the dial’s depth and refinement. The flying tourbillon cage also presents a modern design with openworked gold-toned circles topped with an elegant touch of brilliant-cut diamonds. No hour-markers have been included on the dial to enhance the purity of this contemporary design.
Combining tradition and modernity, these watches are powered by hand-wound Manufacture calibre 2964. The flying tourbillon—a high-end complication compensating for the effect of gravity on a watch—is today considered as of one the greatest expressions of watchmaking art. Only a few expert watchmakers retain the necessary skills for its realisation. The movement’s circular motif, visible through the sapphire caseback recalls the dial’s pattern.
The alternation of sandblasting and satin-brushing also echoes the finishes of the Frosted Gold case and sunburst dial. The two highly contemporary models are adorned with a blue “large square-scale” alligator strap for an elegant contrast. An additional blue textured rubber strap with constellation motif, recalling the Frosted Gold case, is also available. Both straps are complemented with a folding clasp adorned with Frosted Gold for a refined look to the slightest detail.
AP has always been at the forefront of mechanical watches with interesting horological significance for the ladies. Not only their bejeweled pieces are very attractive, but many also have great mechanical movements. They pioneered ladies Grande Sonnerie some 30 years ago, and have continued to invest in developing ladies complications.
This new RO Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon is interesting in the combination of the frosted gold technique, which gives the watch a very jewelery like appearance. The juxtaposition of the textured frosting and the polished surfaces give depth to the case, and makes it look a quite large. The movement is very nice, as is usual with AP. The flying toubillon is a nice complication, and not one frequently seen, much less in a ladies watch. The dial design looks also look amazing from the full sized press photographs (we received the photographs as tiff files). The offset concentric ovals arranged in deeper hue as one “descends” into the tourbillon makes the watch look very deep, and 3 dimensional. The movement layout and the way AP has chosen to decorate it is also very interesting, with a print like maze motif on the movement plate.
We have requested for a hands-on session and photography of the watch, and will report back when we have spent quality time with the watch.
Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon technical specifications
Reference: 26630OR.GG.D326CR.01 / 26630BC.GG.D326CR.01
Flying tourbillon, hours and minutes.
Hammered 18-carat pink gold / white gold case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback, crown set with a translucent sapphire cabochon, water-resistant to 20m. /
Multi-layered, graded blue dial with sunburst pattern, pink gold Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.
Hand-stitched “large square-scale” blue alligator strap with hammered 18-carat pink gold / white gold AP folding clasp. Additional shiny blue textured rubber strap.
Hand-wound Manufacture Calibre 2964
Total diameter 29.5 mm (12 ¾ lignes)
Total thickness 6.63 mm
Number of parts 207
Number of jewels 17
Minimum power reserve guaranteed 72 h
Frequency of balance wheel 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)