Luxury brand makes the right moves
Audemars Piguet unveiled additions to its range at this year's SIHH with classic timepieces, sports watches and contemporary collections represented in the watchmaker's characteristic house style.
Three years ago, the luxury Swiss watchmaker presented an escapement which eliminated the need for lubrication on pallet-levers. The movement was the result of 10 years' work and this year it showcased the movement with a new, three-dimensional design, which oscillates twice as fast as normal at 43,200 vibrations per hour. This improves the timekeeping and the reliability of the movement.
The movement was showcased in the classic Jules Audemars collection, specifically in the Jules Audemars Watch with Audemars Piguet Escapement. The platinum watch has a white enamel dial showing the hours and minutes, and the movement's 3D design forms part of the watch dial. The watch is fitted with a hand wound Calibre 2908 and has a power reserve of 56 hours. The finishing on the movement is decorated by hand.
The watchmaker has introduced a chronograph model to the Jules Audemars collection for the first time. The self-winding chronograph represents a new generation of movements and adds a sporty appeal to this classic line. The design is reminiscent of 1920s styles, with a lacquered dial, off-white, or white, and black Arabic numerals and a white gold or pink gold case.
There are three new models in the Tradition collection. The designs are based on a 1923 cushion-shaped pocket watch with a perpetual calendar and a minute repeater. The reinterpretation resulted in an ultrathin, self-winding watch, a perpetual calendar model, and a calendar minute repeater. Each watch features a cushion-shaped case, in platinum or white gold, the first time the manufacture has used such a shape. Other distinctive features include light silver dials, applied pink gold numerals and pink gold cathedral hands.
The iconic Royal Oak collection sees two watches decked in jewels. Royal Oak Tuxedo is a pair of his and her watches with full-set, white gold cases, polished lacquered black dials, diamond-set hand and hour markers, and shiny black leather straps. The men's watch is fitted with an ultrathin, self-winding movement. Designed with black-tie events in mind, the men's watch forms part of a set with cufflinks and shirt buttons. The women's equivalent has a matching choker and earrings.
Also new to the Royal Oak collection is the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. Equipped with a self-winding calibre, the sports watch comes with new dials in silver or anthracite and with stainless steel or titanium cases. Functions include 30-minute and 12-hour counters, and a tachometer.
A new version for women, the Royal Oak Offshore Ladies' Chronograph, combines forged carbon and rubber to create a part-matt, part-shiny dial which sits inside a diamond-set bezel.
Audemars Piguet renewed its Millenary collection three years ago and new models have been added to this contemporary collection, including self-winding versions and special editions.
The Millenary Chalcedony Tourbillon adds to the watchmaker's experiments with materials for its main plate. Previous versions included 2001's rutilated quartz main plate and a moss agate version four years ago.
This year, the bluish chalcedony mineral becomes the latest material used in the series. An openwork chalcedony main plate distinguishes this timepiece which features a skeleton movement with a tourbillon built around the main plate, while diamond-set rings decorate the movement and dial. The watch has a full-set pink gold oval case and stingray leather strap. The Millenary series gets its first chronograph, whose two-zone design features a sky blue tachometric scale against a chestnut brown background. The self-winding watch has a power reserve of 40 hours.
Audemars Piguet added another haute joaillerie version to the collection. The Millenary Precieuse line is characterised by its oval shape and the latest version features gem-set rings which extend to a silk satin strap.
Versions include understated and ornate gem-settings with pink or white gold cases. Matching choker and earrings are also available.