HANDS ON : Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra Thin

A number of months ago we introduced the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin. Containing the 2.89mm thick Calibre 5133, a movement that made its inaugural appearance in the record-breaking RD#2, it is a 41mm sized case with a thickness of 6.3mm.

Its case is a mix of polished and satin-brushed titanium, with a polished 950 Pt bezel and bracelet that is satin-brushed titanium with polished 950 Pt links, and a titanium folding clasp. The screw-down crown is also titanium.

To read the specs on the watch go to my earlier post, as linked above. As I noted at the time, the movement was thinned down by merging the perpetual calendar functions into a single layer. The end-of-the-month cam has been integrated to the date wheel, and the month cam has been combined to the month wheel.

What I want to add today to my earlier post is just a few comments about how this watch is even more impressive ‘in the metal’ than it is on paper.

It may be one of the brand’s hallmarks, but to me blue satin-finished dial is more fitting for this watch than Grande Tapisserie. Not just for general legibility (something also addressed by the use of larger sub dials), but also because it means that the overall impression of the watch is more sleek and streamlined this way, with a dial that isn’t as busy.

My mental figure-based understanding of its thickness was one thing but in handling it, how Audemars Piguet have managed to flatten a perpetual calendar movement into such a wafer thin form really stands out as a technical achievement as well as just being remarkable to see. It is a worthy finalist in the ‘Mechanical Exception’ category of the GPHG 2019 awards.

The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is a very good looking watch. Elegant, impossibly thin, but with quality showing from the bracelet to the case finishing and dial. Very much a dressy luxury sport watch in large part because of it being ultra thin, it is comfortable to wear and still carries some presence on the wrist. Even if you are someone who is ambivalent towards Royal Oaks, it is a watch worth seeing, as there is much to admire about it.

 

[My thanks to The Hour Glass Australia, at which I took these photos during the GPHG 2019 travelling exhibition]



Categories: Audemars Piguet, Hands-on, Sydney, Watch exhibition, Watch movements, Watch Profile, watches

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