It’s been a while now where at every SIHH or Baselworld, I’m left feeling somewhat uninspired as more often than not, new releases from manufactures have been…how do you say, a bit boring. Unexpectedly though, this year as I was casually looking through the new releases at SIHH 2018 I saw something that caught my attention, big time. In fact, I was so excited to see it that I wanted to call my AD as soon as possible to book a piece (more on this later). The watch I’m talking about is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar RD#2.
Anyway, while a perpetual calendar in a Royal Oak is nothing to write home about, this new release is the thinnest automatic perpetual calendar, not in just any Royal Oak model ever, but the thinnest in the world. It took Audemars Piguet 5 years to develop this and the newly unveiled Calibre 5133 measures at a crazy 2.89mm! Housed in a specially made 950 platinum Royal Oak case, the watch itself is only 6.3mm!
To give you some perspective, the current Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Ref. 15202, which is a time only automatic watch, is a whole 2mm thicker! This is taking into consideration that the 15202 is already an impressively thin watch! Whereas the likes of Patek Philippe decided to use a micro rotor in their perpetual calendars to make it thinner, it is very impressive what Audemars Piguet have done with a full central rotor.
Essentially, with a full rotor, the watch is a three layer movement with the base calibre, the perpetual calendar module and the central rotor, but the goal of Audemars Piguet was to take it as close to a single level as possible. Despite this, the watch is no slouch in regards to power, with a respectable 40 house power reserve.
Other than this, it comes with your usual Royal Oak characteristics, with a very nice blue grande tapisserie dial, white gold applied hour markers and hands, and their classic perpetual calendar layout with moon phase at 12 o’clock.
It’s nice to see the shift in watchmaking back to a more traditional path. Where in recent times, it has all been about who can make the largest, loudest and most noticeable watch, Audemars Piguet has finally decided to pull the reins in and focus on what watchmaking has been about for a long time. That is of course, pushing the boundaries and trying to create the most complicated movements as thin as possible. That to me is real craftsmanship and skill, anyone can make a big watch as it affords you a lot of space, but to make a movement this thin? Not so easy.
Anyway, back to me saying I want to order this watch, well, after excitingly reading the release all the way to the bottom, it turns out this is only a concept piece and not for sale to the public. Damn. Regardless, these RD (Research & Development) pieces are intended to show what’s to come in the future, and to be honest, I cannot wait to get my hands on a production piece. I just have to wait patiently.
For more information on this new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar RD#2 conecpt, visit the official website here.