02.02.2022 - Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak introduces its golden anniversary novelties

It’s not every day you become a golden oldie! 

Well now it’s the turn of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. The brand is releasing a whole host of novelties – 42 in total – to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The collection was inaugurated by the debut of the original ‘Jumbo’ back in 1972, which is up there with some of the most iconic luxury timepieces of all time.

Every new Royal Oak model for 2022, with the exception of existing perpetual calendars, will come with a special oscillating mass with a cut-out saying ‘50 years’ which will be visible through the caseback.

But rest assured, most of the changes are small tweaks to make watches more refined or mechanically more modern. Genta’s original design remains very much unchanged, still with the sporty feel and integrated bracelet, octagonal bezel and eight little screws.

Here are a few of our favourites from the line-up this year: 

Reference 16202

It’s time for the Royal Oak reference 15202 to move aside. Its bigger brother, the next generation 39mm ‘Jumbo’ Extra-Thin has come to town. But this time with a new self-winding and extra thin fully in-house calibre 7121 to replace Calibre 2121.

On its release 2121 had been the thinnest automatic movement at only 3.05mm with central rotor and date indication. The 7121 is slightly bigger at 3.2mm but has a rapid date-corrector and a larger barrel capable of more precise timekeeping over the power reserve of 55 hours.

Reference 16202’s features include bidirectional winding, an extra-thin low-energy date-setting mechanism and a balance wheel with fitted inertia blocks to prevent friction.

Models are offered in stainless steel, 18-karat pink gold, yellow gold and platinum – which has a green dial and is sold exclusively through Audemars Piguet. Petit tapiserrie dials are offered on the pink and yellow models.

Reference 15550

Next up for a revamp is an update of the 37mm automatic version reference 15450.

It has a newly-shaped case, lighter bracelet with an updated dial, as well as new mechanics.

It features the “bleu nuit nuage 50” dial with “grande tapisserie” pattern and has white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.

The new reference also ditches the calibre 3120 for the 5900, with a much thinner profile but retaining the 60-hour power reserve. Again, the movement is visible via the caseback and is adorned with the ‘50 years’ rotor, which is exclusive to production this year.

Reference 16204

If you love to see the inner goings on of a watch, you’ll love the new 39mm Jumbo” Extra-Thin Openworked Ref. 16204.

Available in pink gold or stainless steel, it boasts the selfwinding extra-thin calibre 7214 at just 2.7mm. It has an openworked architecture, which has been created with extreme precision. There are 324 hand-polished V angles that can be viewed on the dial and caseback.

But that’s not the end for the new Royal Oaks as the Swiss brand has said 2023 will also see a launch of something “very new in the concept case”.

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