2022 marks the Fiftieth birthday of Gerald Genta’s market-defining Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, which was only recently refreshed with iterative updates throughout the enduring assortment. Among the many newly launched items is the follow-up to what’s arguably probably the most fascinating — and rarest — member of the gathering with the brand new Royal Oak 16202 “Jumbo.” The unique built-in bracelet sports activities watch with a dial framed by that instantly recognizable octagonal bezel, the Royal Oak is just like the Grand Canyon — that uncommon factor of magnificence that really lives as much as its lofty fame. For me, the “Jumbo” has all the time hummed with the glow of a real halo piece that really nails wearability by getting proportions excellent. Changing the outgoing 15202 isn’t a straightforward job, however by holding the slim case unchanged whereas including a brand-new motion (and a few very cool new dials, as effectively), AP left me swooning with the brand new Royal Oak 16202 “Jumbo” Fiftieth-anniversary watches.
I doubt I’ll get many, if any, possibilities to see these particular Fiftieth anniversary Royal Oaks within the metallic once more, so particular because of the Audemars Piguet boutique in New York Metropolis and Optimist Consulting for arranging the shoot.
There are 4 new iterations of the Royal Oak 16202 Jumbo: metal case on metal bracelet with Bleu Nuit, Nuage Fiftieth anniversary dial; yellow gold case with yellow gold bracelet with smoked gold dial; pink gold case with pink gold bracelet with smoked grey dial; and, lastly, the massive daddy platinum case on platinum bracelet with smoked inexperienced dial. I bought to go hands-on with the previous two variants listed, that are the metal and yellow gold.
Anybody conversant in the outgoing 15202 will acknowledge that there aren’t any main adjustments or overhauls right here however moderately iterative updates that don’t mess with a longstanding basic. (This isn’t to say that each one 15202 are the identical, as there have been occasional updates made over time however none warranting a brand new reference). Probably the most important improve is the brand new Calibre 7121 motion, which replaces the seminal outgoing Calibre 2121 that had been round, effectively, so long as the Royal Oak. The 7121 is barely bigger than the 2121 (29.6mm-wide/3.2mm-thick from 28.4mm-wide/3.05mm-thick) and has 268 parts, as in comparison with the 247 parts of the outgoing 2121. This 1.2mm width and 1.5mm thickness improve within the motion ends in efficiency boosts throughout the board whereas, simply as importantly, not rising the dimensions of the case one bit.
Identical to the 15202, the case of the brand new Royal Oak 16202 “Jumbo” measures a great 39mm-wide and eight.1mm-thick (with 50m of water resistance). The Calibre 7121 positive factors a brand new oscillating weight with ball bearings that make the most of two in-house reversers, in addition to the addition of inertia blocks to the stability wheel to assist with shock-proofing. It operates at 28,800 vph with a 55-hour energy reserve and now (lastly!) has a quick-set date perform.
No shock that the hand-finishing on the motion is superb with Geneva Stripes, round graining, and traits tirés beveling all through. These Fiftieth-anniversary Royal Oaks have particular rotors, which will likely be switched out for the usual non-anniversary manufacturing items on the finish of 2022.
Audemars Piguet R&D Director Lucas Raggi confirmed the brand new Calibre 7121 will likely be used as a base for upcoming actions, saying, “Calibre 7121 has been constructed with the experience of our engineers and watchmakers, specializing in each easy and complex mechanisms. This cross-department collaboration resulted within the creation of a sturdy and highly effective extra-thin self-winding motion that seamlessly suits within the slender structure of the Royal Oak “Jumbo” case, paving the way in which for a brand new era of in-house AP actions.”
Past the brand new motion, the 16202 has some very refined new dial updates. Whereas the format of the dials stays fortunately unchanged, there are some new strategies at play right here, particularly with the metal variant. Since its inception in 1972, the basic metal Royal Oak has are available in that recognizable petite tapisserie dial with Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50 (“Evening Blue, Cloud 50”) blue dial. This blue coloration was developed by Stern Frères again within the early days of the Royal Oak, achieved through the use of a really delicate galvanic tub methodology on the dial which was then completed with a layer of varnish combined with black coloration (n° 50). Now, AP makes use of a PVD methodology that’s extra streamlined (and fewer delicate, I assume) to attain what’s the very same blue dial.
The “smoked” gold and grey dials nonetheless use the galvanic tub methodology, with coloured varnish sprayed onto the outer edges of the dials till the specified impact is achieved. Whereas I didn’t get to see the smoked grey or smoked inexperienced dials, I did spend fairly a little bit of time gazing on the smoked gold dial. It’s an absolute stunner with matching gold hour markers, fingers, and AP insignia. In fact, the deservedly iconic in-house Petite Tapisserie dials are magnificent within the metallic. The platinum mannequin foregoes this for a sunburst smoked inexperienced dial, which is consistent with the outgoing 15202, the first-ever full platinum Royal Oak.
It doesn’t should be mentioned that, like with all Royal Oaks, these new Jumbos are going to be in excessive demand and really troublesome to acquire. That mentioned, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 16202 “Jumbo” in metal (Ref.16202ST.OO.1240ST.01) is priced at $33,200; each the yellow gold (Ref. 16202BA.OO.1240BA.01) and rose gold (Ref. 16202OR.OO.1240OR.01) are every priced at $70,500; and the platinum (Ref. 16202PT.OO.1240PT.01) is price-on-request although, I’m pretty sure it’s proper above the six-figure mark. Once more, these are the particular Fiftieth-anniversary references, so we’ll need to see what, if something, Audemars Piguet will do in a different way with the usual manufacturing fashions. You may study extra at audemarspiguet.com.