Per­pet­ual qual­ity

Aude­mars Piguet un­veils the new Royal Oak Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar

Virtuozity - - Watch News -

Per­pet­ual cal­en­dars are part of the DNA of Aude­mars Piguet, and in 2015 the Royal Oak Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar re­turns to cen­ter stage with four dif­fer­ent ver­sions (two in steel, and two in pink gold). Con­tin­u­ing the shift in watch case size that be­gan in 2012, the new Royal Oak Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar is now 41 mm, yet still ex­tremely thin.

Even watches from the mid-16th cen­tury be­gan to fea­ture as­tro­nom­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing day, date and phases of the moon, but it was not un­til the 17th cen­tury that bet­ter ac­cu­racy and re­li­a­bil­ity in me­chan­i­cal horol­ogy could be achieved.

The cal­en­dar mech­a­nisms of th­ese early as­tro­nom­i­cal watches are gen­er­ally re­ferred to to­day as sim­ple cal­en­dars or triple cal­en­dars (day, date and month). They usu­ally fea­ture moon phase dis­plays but do not make the ad­just­ment to the leap year, and the date does not au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just to com­pen­sate for the vary­ing num­ber of days in each month.

On the other hand, a per­pet­ual cal­en­dar watch is a com­plex mi­cro-me­chan­i­cal de­vice that has been en­gi­neered to au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just to the vary­ing num­ber of days in each month, and even to the leap year. The watch knows that Fe­bru­ary has 28 days for three con­sec­u­tive years prior to the leap year when the 29th day is added. It is in many re­gards an ana­log com­puter as it cal­cu­lates or com­putes the com­plex­i­ties of the cal­en­dar in­de­pen­dently from the user, tak­ing au­to­matic ac­count of months with 28, 29, 30 and 31 days.

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