Audemars Piguet releases a new model 16202ST Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin that looks pretty much identical to the previous 15202ST apart from the new movement. While the old caliber 2121 has its charms, the new movement is technically superior with a higher beat rate and longer power reserve. The new model also comes fitted with an anniversary rotor and retails at the same price as before; although this point is pretty much moot considering how sought after it is.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin 16202ST
The Case and Dial
The stainless steel case measures 39mm by 8mm, 0.1mm thinner than the 15202ST. Other than the measurements on paper, it is otherwise hard to discern visible differences between the 2 models. The iconic Royal Oak design is derived from the famous Octagonal bezel with screws and the integrated style bracelet. Faceted links with a mix of brushed and polished surfaces create a fascinating reflective display that makes the Royal Oak bracelet one of the most attractive designs in existence.
The blue sunburst Tapisserie dial is fit with applied hour markers. They are lume filled as with the two hour and minutes hands. Apart from the Audemars Piguet logo at 12, an additional AP raised logo is applied at the 6 o’clock position. This configuration of without the seconds hand and the additional logo makes the model discernible as the Extra Thin from the regular automatics.
Equipped with a date feature as well, the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin is the quintessential daily wearer. Its thinness also makes it significantly more comfortable on the wrist.
While perhaps too precious for a beater, its simplicity and classic design is no doubt the reason why it is some of the most in demand sports watches today, perhaps second only to the Patek Nautilus 5711.
The rest of the case is pretty straightforward; the watch comes with a folding butterfly clasp bracelet, and a see-through caseback that reveals the movement.
The Extra-Thin is priced higher than the regular automatics, but for good reason. Its thinness and iconic AP logo elevates its stature significantly, and despite or as a result of its higher price, it is also in much higher demand than the regular automatics.
The watch now comes with the upgraded Caliber 7121, a higher beat 28,800 vph compared with the previous Caliber 2121 at 19,800 vph. The higher beat rate is also accompanied with a longer power reserve, at 55 hours compared with 40 hours.
The rotor now comes with ball bearings for reduced wear, and the balance wheel is fit with inertia blocks. Additionally, the new movement is now equipped with a quick-set date feature.
That said, the discontinuation of the older 15202ST with the caliber 2121 has only made the older model much more collectible. The watch retails at USD$33,200, but is hard if not impossible to find at MSRP.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin is possibly the grail watch for many stainless steel sports watch collectors. In terms of execution, nothing has changed, and if any, it has only gotten better. The new in-house movement is potentially a significant improvement for stability, performance and accuracy.