Discover the novelties at the annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, which offers a little something for everyone
Women lamenting the lack of ladies’-only mechanical timepieces will find much to love at Audemars Piguet. Over the past three years, the Swiss watchmaker has been focusing its efforts on the fairer gender with timepieces that are feminine and yet defiantly true to the brand’s rebellious nature. Jasmine Audemars, member of the board of directors and descendant of the founding family, explains that it is no longer true that women are not interested in watch movements. She says, “Currently, ladies’ watches represent around 30 per cent of the watches we sell. We would never be 50-50 because I think we are more historically a men’s watch brand but around 35 per cent would be good.”
With those figures in mind, the launches this year were well balanced between men and women. We saw exciting additions to the women’s Millenary Openworked collection, which underwent a revamp in 2014. Featuring a back-to-front movement, where the balance wheel can be seen dial-side, it beautifully juxtaposes form and function.
Our highlight, though? The Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked. Here, the brand bends the rules of movement construction by tweaking the engineering of the watch’s regulating system: the balance wheel and balance spring. The balance wheel is often affected by external factors, such as the movement of the wrist and the temperature, thus negatively impacting accuracy and precision of the timepiece. By adding an additional balance wheel to the organ, Audemars Piguet promises an additional 30 per cent of accuracy—no mean feat. To view the movement in all its glory, the brand has skeletonised the movement and presents it within an openworked dial.