One of the most popular of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak manifestations, whose size was increased from 39mm to 41mm in 2012, the Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm has been refreshed for 2017. The basics have been kept the same, but with a new range of two-tone dials, as well as a new model that rather unusually, combines platinum and titanium.
The distinctive Royal Oak case and integrated bracelet now comes with a number of contrasting two-toned dials, with the ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern on the base dial. As well, the chronograph counters at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock for elapsed minutes and hours have been enlargened, and the constant seconds counter, made smaller.
Other cosmetic changes include wider and shorter hour markers and hands and a larger lumed counterweight for the chronograph seconds.
The Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm models are svelte, with a case thickness of 11mm. This is in part thanks to how thin the automatic Calibre 2385 is. With a power reserve of forty hours, it beats at 21,600VPH.
For me, it’s the stainless steel models that stand out, but this 2017 range consists of four models in pink gold in blue or brown (with either a gold bracelet or colour-matching alligator strap), three in stainless steel with black, white or blue dials, and the one outlier in titanium and platinum (Ref. 26331IP.OO.1220IP.01). A boutique-only model, the case and bracelet are in brushed titanium and the bezel and centre links of the bracelet, in polished titanium. Its dial is dark grey with the chronograph counters and minute chapter ring in dark blue.
For more details on each of the metal and colour combinations, click here.