Audemars Piguet New Collection For 2017 – Highlights From SIHH 2017
The Salon International de la Haute Horologerie (SIHH) is the perfect opportunity for Swiss watch manufacturers to release new updates, collections and watches to the world - and Audemars Piguet have certainly taken the opportunity with both hands.
One release that really caught the world of watch enthusiasts and collectors by surprise was the introduction of the 41mm Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic. Given the style and looks of the original Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, this moves feels like an opportunity to incorporate a modern twist on a classic. The slate grey dial with the iconic ‘Grand Tapisserie’ pattern is beautiful, and is complete with black counters, white gold applied hour-markers and the Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. The watch is finished with a black ceramic bracelet with a titanium AP folding clasp.
The movement is equally impressive, with the automatic mechanical movement powered by calibre 5134. This movement allows for a perpetual calendar function with week indication, day, date, complicated moon phase, month, leap year, hours and minutes. It’s undeniable that the watch is stunning, however, only time will tell whether the watch will prove to be as popular as the 44mm black ceramic Royal Oak Offshore model (which I would believe was the inspiration for this release.)
Audemars Piguet also released a stunning collection of Royal Oak Chronograph timepieces celebrating the 20th anniversary of the original Royal Oak Chronograph that was first introduced in 1997. The collection consists of 4 full stainless steel pieces with a grey/blue dial and a black/white and 4 rose gold pieces - 2 full rose gold pieces and 2 rose gold and leather pieces. The rose gold examples come with a blue/rose gold and a chocolate/rose gold dial.
One of the watches that we think will be a massive hit with enthusiasts and collectors alike is the full rose gold chocolate dial Royal Oak. It is simply incredible and the first time Audemars Piguet have incorporated the rose gold chocolate combination that is popular at Patek Philippe and Rolex.
The watch is 41mm in an 18-carat pink gold case, with glare proofed sapphire sapphire crystal and screw-locked crown. The chocolate dial has the iconic AP “Grand Tapisserie” design with pink gold-toned counters and pink gold applied hour-markers. The watch is finished with the standard finished 18-carat pink gold bracelet with AP folding clasp. I believe the collection and this particular watch will prove to be very popular with many watch collectors and enthusiasts, just for the sheer beauty of this watch.
Following the success of the 2016 launch of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph in a range of bright and vibrant dial colours, Audemars Piguet have now introduced the non-chronograph model in similarly exciting colours. Amongst the colour combinations include white, navy, lime green, yellow and orange. The release was widely expected to take place, given the success of release of the standard Royal Oak Offshore Diver watch and there was rumbling within the Swiss watch manufacturer that the move would take place.
Yet another incredible release by Audemars Piguet was the introduction of frosted gold and steel bracelets for the 39mm and 40mm Royal Oak pieces. The frosted gold and steel bracelets are made by an ancient Florentine gold hammering jewellery technique whereby an artisan beats the gold or steel with a diamond tipped tool. By using this process, tiny indentations are left on the surface of the bracelet that give a sparkle effect similar to that of a precious stones, like diamond dust. The technique is applied to the bracelet, case and bezel and will be available for the 37mm & 33mm Royal Oak watches in rose gold and steel. This is yet another innovation that I believe will be very successful and popular with customers, collectors and enthusiasts.
Last, but certainly not least, is the news that Audemars Piguet have released the Diamond Outrage – the third and final design in the trilogy of one-of-a-kind Haute Joaillerie timepieces. Taking inspiration from the Vallée de Joux in winter, Diamond Outrage’s structure is set with precious stones in a brilliant array of cuts available with white diamonds or blue sapphires. The pieces are somewhat spectacular pieces of art and sometimes you forget that they are watches. The dial is a mirror polished dial with blued gold gilded hands. The bracelet is cast 18-carat white gold entirely set with white diamonds or blue sapphires. The movement is a quartz-powered caliber 2701 movement that allows hours, minutes and date functions on the watch.
Many would say that Audemars Piguet certainly made a bold statement at this years’ SIHH. The Swiss giant hit a subtle balance with a celebration of its past and tradition, whilst also looking to the future with modern designs and materials. What is also commendable to see is that Audemars Piguet are constantly working on customer feedback whilst also re-designing and coming up with fresh new innovations to keep intrigue high. Although I believe this certainly was a successful release, I believe that the black ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, the 20th anniversary Royal Oak Chronograph in rose gold with chocolate dial and the frosted gold and steel case and bracelet pieces will prove to be defining points for 2017.