Audemars Piguet Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon - 41 mm
The emblematic Tourbillon horological complication is closely entwined with the history of Audemars Piguet. Not only has the Manufacture in Le Brassus distinguished itself by creating spectacular tourbillons for pocket watches, but it is also behind today’s exceptional passion for this complication in wristwatch form, since Audemars Piguet presented the first series-produced tourbillon wristwatch in 1986. All of which gives an idea of its profound attachment to this Haute Horlogerie marvel, serving to compensate for gravity’s effects on the escapement.
In tribute to the legendary Royal Oak, the first prestige sports watch (made of steel at the time) launched by Audemars Piguet in 1972, the new Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon is a double nod to the original idea governing the collection – namely a prestigious movement within an ultra-thin case – as well as to the first tourbillon wristwatch introduced in 1986. The new hand-wound Calibre 2924 features a three-quarter bridge on the under side which is reminiscent of the one appearing on that first extra-thin selfwinding tourbillon model. Graced with meticulous finishing and an understated aesthetic entirely in line with the design of the Royal Oak case, Calibre 2924 is one of the thinnest of its kind at just 4.46 mm thick. It was indeed entirely built in such a way as to achieve the two-fold objective of slenderness and sturdiness. The construction principles, including the three-quarter bridge, together with the choice of materials, made it possible to create a blend of resistance and extreme thinness. This movement is also distinguished by its tourbillon carriage made of steel – to strike a perfect balance between finesse and inertia – and by its large balance that further enhances its reliability. The 216-part Calibre 2924 beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz) and is endowed with a 70-hour power reserve.
The seamless integration of the pink gold case and bracelet of the Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon represents another key characteristic of the original 1972 Royal Oak. The 41 mm-diameter case measuring 8.85 mm thick and water-resistant to 50 metres is topped by the collection’s signature octagonal bezel, framing a deep blue dial graced by pink gold hands and hour-markers. This dial is inspired by the “Petite Tapisserie” motif and the original colour of the first Royal Oak created 40 years ago. In addition to the tourbillon appearing at 6 o’clock, this new Royal Oak also displays the hours and minutes, as well as a power-reserve indicator divided into five segments, placed on the back so as not to disturb the pure, understated nature of the dial itself, and clearly visible through the sapphire crystal back.
The Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon model is also available in a steel version with a blue dial.