Today, watches such as the Royal Oak perpetual calendar skeleton (a standard in AP’s collection and one of the finest perpetuals on the current market, in my own estimation), the Royal Oak Equation of Time, the revolutionary Chron-AP, and also this Millenary Minute Repeater demonstrate that AP is without a doubt a top-tier manufacture. AP’s in-house self-winding caliber 3120, located inside the fundamental Royal Oak 15400, can also be one of the best base moves in the world. All these are the things that keep AP pertinent to “real” watch lovers that occasionally get lost in the buzz round the other kinds of AP buyers.And then there is your typical well-to-do watch buyer. For mepersonally, the best analogy for this other type of AP buyer is advised using a singular scene in one episode of one television show that has been popular for a period of time some years back. I’m talking about Entourage, and I wager the vast majority of you know exactly to which scene I’m referring.Ari Gold receives a good gold Royal Oak chronograph (not as the opinion I will review down under) by his own then-soon-to-be boss, who explains it as “One of the best watches in the world.” The camera then pans to the good gold watch from its box, and Ari is in disbelief regarding the present — and consequently, AP is introduced into a whole group of potential new customers, the guys who see Entourage. From this moment on, you see a number of the personalities on the display wearing APs. Many at the time considered Audemars Piguet had compensated for the placement, but in discussions with AP through the years, it had been revealed to me that not a single dollar was traded. Rather, a particular manufacturer on the series proved to be a large AP customer, and insisted it be a Royal Oak presented to Ari. Entourage did a great deal for AP, but it was not this one placement that defines the “other” kind of AP customer. It will give you a good idea of where AP is popular, and that’s in Hollywood, music, and sports, with all the young and moneyed.
While ceramic has been a favourite material at Audemars Piguet for the Royal Oak, it has not been used for a Audemars Piguet White Watch Replica bracelet, until now. Just announced at SIHH 2017, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is ceramic from end to end, with the case, bezel and every link of the bracelet in black ceramic.
The case is 41mm in diameter, just like the standard model, but the finishing of the case and bracelet takes significantly more time than for the steel or gold equivalent. While a steel model takes some six hours to machine, polish and put together, the ceramic version takes 30 hours.
To match the ceramic case, the dial is a dark grey with black sub-dials, decorated with the chequerboard grande tapisserie guilloche that’s synonymous with the Royal Oak.
Historically an important complication for Audemars Piguet, the ceramic perpetual calendar is powered by the calibre 5134, a movement based on the extra-thin calibre 2120/2121 found in the original Royal Oak of 1972.
In fact, the calibre 5134 is evolved from the calibre 2120/2802, the movement used for the 39mm Royal Oak perpetual calendar that was in production for some 30 years. The key difference in the new calibre being the addition of a 52 week indicator.
Price and availability
The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic (ref. 26579CE.OO.1225CE.01) is priced at SFr85,000. It should be available in the second half of 2017.