Back in Black

Aude­mars Piguet’s new­est Royal Oak time­piece is go­ing to be an in­stant clas­sic 130

Indonesia Tatler - - Style Watches -

n 1955, aude­mars piguet crafted and man­u­fac­tured the world’s first-ever per­pet­ual cal­en­dar wrist­watch with leap year in­di­ca­tion. The per­pet­ual cal­en­dar is a re­minder that all of time mea­sure­ment de­rives from as­tron­omy and nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring cy­cles. There were nine time­pieces crafted at the time, all in 18ct gold. The Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar has since become a core part of Aude­mars Piguet’s iden­tity.

Aude­mars Piguet has since launched sev­eral per­pet­ual cal­en­dar wrist­watches, among which was the 2016 Royal Oak Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar. Com­bin­ing yel­low gold and the iconic de­sign of Gérald Genta, it was an inim­itably com­plex and beau­ti­ful watch. To­day, Aude­mars Piguet is en­rich­ing the il­lus­tri­ous line with yet an­other in­stant clas­sic. More than 600 hours of re­search went into the de­vel­op­ment of this new wrist­watch. Decked out com­pletely in hand-fin­ished black ceramic, the new­est Royal Oak Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar is a sight to be­hold.

The sig­na­ture “Grande Tapis­serie” pat­tern makes a re­turn on a slate-grey dial. It is com­ple­mented by black coun­ters, white gold ap­plied to hour mark­ers, Royal Oak hands with lu­mi­nes­cent coat­ing, and a black in­ner bezel. Day, date, month, as­tro­nom­i­cal moon, and leap year in­di­ca­tion hold pride of place on the dial, while the week of the year is dis­played on the dial’s outer chap­ter ring. The as­tro­nom­i­cal moon is de­signed to be photo re­al­is­tic, con­trast­ing it with the rest of the black com­po­nents.

Housed in an as­sertively sized 41mm case, the self-wind­ing watch’s larger self­wind­ing cal­i­bre 5134 is fully vis­i­ble through the glare­proofed sap­phire crys­tal case­back. The black ceramic case is wa­ter re­sis­tant to 20m. The bracelet that holds the case is black ceramic with titanium Aude­mars Piguet fold­ing clasp.

Black ceramic is vir­tu­ally un­scratch­able, with­stands high tem­per­a­tures and ther­mal shocks, and is con­se­quently re­sis­tant to age­ing. Be­fore it can be ma­chined and handfin­ished, the ceramic needs to be uni­form, com­pact, and ul­tra-hard. It goes through nu­mer­ous op­er­a­tions that de­mand ex­treme pa­tience and skill. It takes 30 hours to ma­chine, pol­ish, hand-fin­ish, assem­ble and con­trol the black ceramic bracelet—while it takes only six hours to com­plete the same process on a stain­less-steel bracelet.

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