Audemars Piguet have a way of translating their concepts into mainstream production pieces, and this is a watch that many, probably, would’ve expected from the brand that is steeped in history when it comes to tourbillons. As we’ve previously stated, for better or worse, the Royal Oak will always be a staple of the AP collection but sometimes it’s nice to see some variations, even if it’s within the Royal Oak collection. Recently we managed to get our hands on one of the, arguably, most eye-catching Royal Oaks we’ve seen in the past 12 months.
Towards the end of 2020, Audemars Piguet introduced the 41mm Royal Oak featuring a flying tourbillon, which is available in three different variants (my personal favourite being the titanium version). However, as you’ve probably noticed, AP were on a bit of a green dial vibe this year (as were many other brands), and so they decided to also release a green dial variant of their new flying tourbillon.
Audemars Piguet are no strangers when it comes to tourbillons and even tourbillons in Royal Oaks aren’t that recent either, with one first gracing the scenes back in 1997 as a 25th anniversary model. That said, this new RO flying tourbillon does toe the line of said 90s piece in a contemporary 41mm format.
This Audemars Piguet RO Flying Tourbillon features a rather unfamiliar tapiserie dial, which has been done in a sunburst pattern or as AP like to call it “Evolutive Tapisserie” that has been finished in a rich green hue. Like that of the CODE 11:59, the Audemars Piguet has been rendered in a galvanic growth 18-carat gold (a process AP have said is quite similar to 3D printing). The brand’s name is positioned below noon, with the flying tourbillon cage proudly on display at 6 o’clock.
This Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon is powered by the self-winding calibre 2950 that ticks at 3 Hz and provides 65 hours of power reserve, which keeps everything moving as smoothly as possible. While we haven’t featured any here, it is important to note the 2950 calibre used in the new Royal Oak was originally launched in the CODE 11.59 line. As things go, flying tourbillons are kind of a flagship complication for AP and as such are a little more unique than others. Unlike a conventional tourbillon, a flying tourbillon eschews the upper bridge, affording views of the escapement, regulating organ and cage in motion.
It perhaps goes without saying that the calibre 2950 embodies the distinctive features and extensive finishing techniques that define a luxury sports watch. Featuring a bidirectional rotor expertly engraved with the coat of arms for the Audemars and Piguet families, it is finished in true haute horlogerie standards with all edges and screw heads bevelled and polished and the familiar Côtes de Genève on the bridges.
This AP Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon in titanium is expectedly excellent, measuring 41mm in diameter, with enough depth to accommodate a sapphire exhibition case back – allowing the wearer to admire the movement. The Genta designed case and bracelet of the Royal Oak is second to none, with a combination of brushed surfaces and polished bevels that showcases the par excellence of the manufacture.
This green dial variant of Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon is available in 3 different guises: an 18-carat pink gold case with matching hour-markers and hands – limited to just 10 pieces. The model shown in these images is limited to 50 pieces and is crafted entirely from titanium. The third model is limited to 15 pieces, combining a titanium case with an 18-carat white gold bezel set with 32 baguette-cut emeralds (~2.41 carats), each individually cut, faceted, and set by hand.
The Royal Oak is perhaps one of the most distinctive watches around. With its masculine octagonal shape, exposed screws, and integrated bracelet, it is easy to recognise from afar. The Royal Oak has an air of timelessness to it, which is by and large because of one defining factor: good design. Good design is timeless, but this new flying tourbillon does have a touch of the fancy-fancy that maybe breaks some rules, yet it still looks just as elegant.
The new green hue Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon, as mentioned, is available in titanium, 18-carat pink-gold and a combination of titanium and white-gold with emeralds. The price ranges from £138,500 to in excess of £200,000. For more information, visit the Audemars Piguet website.