2002 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch
November 19, 2010
In 2002, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Royal Oak model line, Audemars Piguet introduced a limited edition timepiece called the Royal Oak Concept Watch. I took the photograph (above) in 2009 during a tour of the Audemars Piguet Museum and Manufacture in Le Brassus, Switzerland. Only 150 pieces were made (between 2002 and 2004), so this piece is incredibly rare. The original price was around $250,000 but being such a rare and collectible timepiece, from such a respected manufacture, I would guess you would have to pay much more than that for a collector to part with one.
The Royal Oak Concept case is made of a super alloy called Alacrite 602, with a titanium bezel. Alcarite consists of 57% Cobalt, 31% chrome, 5% tungsten with trace amounts of carbon, silicon and iron. (These cases are extremely hard to machine and require 60 hours for each case, versus about 2 hours for the relatively difficult to produce stainless steel Offshore case.)
The watch is powered by a manual wind manufacture movement, calibre AP 2896. Power reserve is 70+ hours. Proprietary electro-erosion formed titanium shock absorbers protect the tourbillon cage from shock, to multiple g's. AP created a proprietary function, called a "dynamograph" that instantaneously displays mainspring torque. Another proprietary system that AP created for this complicated timepiece, is a crown function clutching system with mode pusher and mode indicator. A linear power reserve indicator shows the current amount of power reserve, calibrated by the number of barrel turns (approximately 6 hours of operation per barrel turn).
A sapphire crystal is used on the dial and caseback. Water-resistance is rated at 500 meters. The strap has an ultra strong fiber top with leather back and folding clasp. (Ref. 25980AI.O.0003SU.01)