SIHH 2017: Royal Oak Chronograph
January 20, 2017
This year at SIHH, Audemars Piguet launched an entire refresh of their existing Royal Oak Chronograph line that includes new two-tone dials, inside the 41 mm diameter case. In total, there are eight new styles. Three stainless steel with steel bracelets, with a black on white, white and black and silver/gray on blue, four pink gold with either blue or brown dial on either gold bracelet or leather strap, and one titanium and platinum model with a blue on a gray dial.
A Frederic Piguet 1185 caliber, referred to as AP caliber 2385 powers the line, as was the case in the past. The movement is an integrated vertical clutch actuated column wheel chronograph but it is made by Audemars Piguet’s Vallée de Joux neighbor, Frederic Piguet (which Blancpain bought out) because the phenomenal caliber 3120 with a chronograph module attached (as used on the larger Royal Oak Offshores) is just too big for the svelte Royal Oak Chronograph case.
The chronograph movement is also used in Blancpain and Vacheron Constantin timepieces, so it is in no way exclusive. But once you put it inside a beautiful Royal Oak case, you forget all about where it came.
The new dials are surely a much-appreciated refresh from the mostly monotone look of the existing Royal Oak Chronograph line. The entire collection can be seen on Audemar Piguet’s website.
Personally, I think the dials on all three steel versions, are stunning. And the boutique-only model – which features a brushed titanium case and bracelet, combined with a platinum bezel and polished bracelet center links, complemented by a gray dial with blue counters – is absolutely exquisite.