Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 50th anniversary: The new models (Part 2)

The models host a slew of design changes, amongst which is a new ‘50 years’ oscillating mass visible through the caseback.

Created by legendary timepiece designer Gérald Genta, the Royal Oak is said to be the world’s first luxury steel sports watch. As this iconic line turns 50, the Swiss watchmaker has released new iterations, which includes a remodelling of the iconic Jumbo Extra-Thin and a new movement.

Also Read | Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 50th Anniversary: The New Models (Part 1)

Royal Oak Selfwinding, Ref. 15550 and Ref. 15551

The new Royal Oak Ref 15550 is a 37mm timepiece, which takes inspiration from the original 1972 Royal Oak, and gets a steel body with an array of dials, including the iconic colour of Bleu Nuit Nuage 50 (Ref 15550ST.OO.1356ST.02). There are five versions of this model – one with an 18K pink gold bezel with a silver-toned dial (Ref 15550SR.OO.1356SR.01), a light blue dial (Ref 15550ST.OO.1356ST.02), a silver-toned dial (Ref 15550ST.OO.1356ST.01) and a grey dial (Ref. 15550ST.OO.1356ST.03). The date window stays at 3 o’clock.

The watch now comes with the Calibre 5900, a movement with much thinner dimensions and a frequency of 4Hz. Despite the increased frequency, the power reserve has been retained to 60 hours. The movement, visible through the caseback features a special rotor engraved with ‘50 Years’, exclusive for the 2022 lineup. The new movement and the structure of the caseback makes this watch quite thin, now measuring 9mm, in comparison to other Royal Oak variants, and gets the same 50 metre water resistance with a screw-lock crown.

There are six models in the Selfwinding Ref 15551 line, which get a more ‘precious’ treatment in white gold and pink gold - there's one with a stainless steel case, bezel set with 40 brilliant-cut diamonds, light blue dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern (Ref 15551ST.ZZ.1356ST.01); Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50 dial and stainless steel case set with diamonds on the bezel (Ref. 15551ST.ZZ.1356ST.02); grey dial with steel case and diamonds on the bezel (Ref. 15551ST.ZZ.1356ST.03); silver-toned dial with pink gold case (Ref. 15551OR.ZZ.1356OR.01); 18K pink gold case with 'Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50 dial (Ref. 15551OR.ZZ.1356OR.02); and khaki green dial with pink gold case (Ref. 15551OR.ZZ.1356OR.03).

Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Extra Thin, Ref. 16202

Replacing the much popular Ref. 15202, the new Ref 16202 gets the new in-house new selfwinding extra-thin movement, Calibre 7121, replacing Calibre 2121. The line comprises four models at 39mm sporting a Petite Tapisserie dial in stainless steel with Bleu Nuit nuage 50 dial (Ref. Ref. 16202ST.OO.1240ST.01); platinum with smoked green dial (Ref. 16202PT.OO.1240PT.01); as well as 18K pink gold case with a smoked grey dial (Ref. 16202OR.OO.1240OR.01) and yellow gold with smoked yellow gold dial (Ref. 16202BA.OO.1240BA.01).

The watches have a sapphire crystal caseback, and similar to the above model, the Calibre 7121 also features the ‘50 years’ oscillating weight. It took Audemars Piguet five years to develop Calibre 7121. This new movement is 3.2mm thick in comparison to the outgoing Calibre 2121 that was 3.05mm thick. The balance wheel is fitted with inertia blocks that have been directly inserted within the balance wheel to avoid unnecessary friction. In addition, Calibre 7121 is equipped with a patented extra-thin low-energy date-setting mechanism. This calibre also gets a 22K oscillating weight that matches the case.

Also Read | Royal Oak 50th anniversary: The models that paved the way

Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Extra-Thin Openworked, Ref. 16204

Donning the new selfwinding extra-thin openworked movement Calibre 7124, is the Ref. 16204 Extra-Thin Openworked available in 39mm stainless steel (Ref. 16204ST.OO.1240ST.01) or an 18K pink gold variant (Ref. 16204OR.OO.1240OR.01). The pink gold variant donned the hour markers and hands also in pink gold.

This new calibre replaces the outgoing Calibre 5122 and what makes it stand apart is the openworked design where both the mainplate and bridges have been fabricated using a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining. This timepiece has 324 hand polished V angles and can viewed on both the dial and the caseback. The stainless steel version gets a rhodium-toned openworked movement, and a rhodium-toned 22K pink gold ‘50 years oscillating weight, while the 18K pink gold features different tones from the slate grey openworked bridges to the light grey mainplate.

 All images: Courtesy Audemars Piguet




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