Audemars Piguet has added a new, smaller size to the Royal Oak Chronograph collection.
In addition to the redesigned, 41 mm x 11 mm Royal Oak Chronographs introduced in 2017, for 2019 they’ve created a 38 mm x 11 mm version. And if you’re wondering why the thickness is the same, it’s because caliber 2385 is used in both the 41 mm and 38 mm RO Chronos.
Reducing the diameter of the case required a complete redesign of the “Grande Tapisserie” patterned dial to ensure both readability and aesthetics. In total, there are four new references. The stainless steel model is available with either a silver-toned dial and blue counters or with a ruthenium-toned dial and rhodium-toned counters. The 18K gold model comes with either a silver-toned dial and pink gold-toned counters or with a silver-toned dial and counters.
The hour markers are applied by hand and come in either white gold or pink gold, depending on the version. The hands and “AP” logo are also in either white or pink gold.
The hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, and date functions are driven by 3Hz automatic caliber 2385 (26.2 mm x 5.5 mm) which has 304 components, 37 jewels, a 40-hour power reserve, and a unidirectional winding 18K pink gold monobloc rotor. This movement is based on a Frederic Piguet caliber 1185 and so while it’s not an “in-house” movement per se, it’s based on one and has an integrated chronograph (as opposed to a module) with a premium column wheel and vertical clutch configuration.
If you’re wondering why the new in-house chronograph movement (caliber 4401) built for the AP Code 11.59 collection was not used in the Royal Oak Chronograph, it’s because measures 32 mm in diameter which is too large, so that alone precludes it from being used. Although that’s not to say they won’t use the gained know-how and existing architecture to create future in-house chrono calibers for the Royal Oak line.
The water-resistance rating is 50 meters. Retail is $23,800 in steel and $52,700 in pink gold.
Photos by Audemars Piguet.