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Originally a series of highly-complicated, extra-large watches for men, the Royal Oak Concept line up has grown to include a handful of women’s watches, including the brand-new and extremely striking Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon.
Powered by a hand-wound tourbillon movement, the Royal Oak Concept for women combines the traditional, faceted Concept with the granular Frosted Gold finish conceived by an Italian jeweller for Audemars Piguet, along with a distinctive new dial style of stacked, concentric rings.
When this arrived in my inbox I was quite taken by the styling. Thanks to the shapes and simple finishes, the dial and hands have a clean geometric style that works surprisingly well with the angular Concept case. And the tourbillon serves a higher, aesthetic purpose, with the cage continuing the concentric-ring motif of the dial.
With the men’s Concept watches being so large they don’t really fit well on most wrists (especially due to the integrated strap), the women’s Concept at 38.5 mm in diameter probably sits well on most wrists, male or female.
Given AP’s mastery of case finishing and the typically high quality of its dials, I expect the watch will be gorgeous in real life. But also given AP’s aggressively high pricing for its watches, I expect this watch to be extremely expensive (prices were not available at press time).
The most unusual feature of the new watch is the dial design, a first for the Royal Oak. Finished in a metallic blue with a radial brushed finish, the dial composed of four concentric circles that step downwards towards the hands. The tourbillon cage at six o’clock is similar formed by four rings, ending in a circle set with brilliant-cut diamonds.
The circular motif continues on the movement, which is the cal. 2964 developed by Audemars Piguet subsidiary Renaud & Papi, a respected complications specialist. The bridges of the movement are finished with concentric rings in relief on a frosted surface.
Available in white or pink gold, the case is similar in shape to the men’s Royal Oak Concept, with three large facets on the integrated lugs that echo the shape of the bezel. All of the top surfaces are decorated with the Frosted Gold finish – done by hand with a sharp-tipped tool that creates tiny divots in the surface – with mirror-polished bevels and brushed flanks.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon 38.5 mm
Ref. 26630OR.GG.D326CR.01 (pink gold)
Ref. 26630BC.GG.D326CR.01 (white gold)
Diameter: 38.5 mm
Material: 18 pink or white gold with hammered finish
Water-resistance: 20 m
Movement: Cal. 2964
Functions: Hours, minutes, and tourbillon regulator
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 72 hours
Strap: Blue alligator with pink gold folding clasp
Availability: Only at boutiques
Price: Unavailable at time of publication
For more information, visit Audemarspiguet.com.