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Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked Watch

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked Watch Watch Releases

Easily one of the most beautiful engraved and skeletonized watches at SIHH 2016 is the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked. Classy, handsome, useful, and timeless, the Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked is an easy answer if you are ever asked the question, “what, other than a Royal Oak, would you recommend from Audemars Piguet?”

SIHH 2016 sees absolutely no shortage of skeletonized watches. It was very clear a few years ago that like “ultra-thin” watches, skeletonized (Audemars Piguet prefers the more genteel term “openworked”) watches were experiencing or about to experience a major surge in new products. That surge is here, and my only hope is that at least some of this new generation of hand-decorated skeletonized watches end up being priced in the $10,000-and-under range. With that said, containing copious amounts of hand-decoration and a tourbillon-based movement, the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked is resolutely a timepiece for the upper-end price segments.

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked Watch Watch Releases

One of the reasons that the luxury watch industry has no qualms about producing a lot of skeletonized watches is that the technique so nicely asserts the value of a fine watchmaker. It doesn’t take too much to simply produce and assemble the parts necessary to create a mechanical movement. Companies in China do that every day for next to nothing. What does take a lot of work (in addition to making complicated watches that actually operate) is the meticulous effort and skill needed to finish, engrave, or otherwise decorate a mechanical watch. Thus, skeletonized watches offer without any obstruction a view of exactly where the value in a luxury watch exists. For the reference 26143PT.OO.D005CR.01 Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked, Audemars Piguet didn’t just skeletonize the calibre 2875 movement, but it also richly engraved many of the surfaces.

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked Watch Watch Releases

This combination of an operworked dial with a skeletonized and engraved movement makes for something truly special. With that said, one should not discount the effort required in making the timepiece actually function as a legible wrist watch. Over the movement is a sapphire crystal disc which is for the most part transparent, but given applied 18k pink gold rings and hour markers, as well as anthracite smoked regions to enable legibility on the various subdials. The only sections of the dial which are truly open to the movement are a central ring in the upper subdial which indicates the hours and minutes, as well as the exposed window for the tourbillon.

Thus, Audemars Piguet has been able to fully showcase the beauty of skeletonization while maintaining adequate legibility when trying to read the time, date, or power reserve indicator. On top of that, the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked benefits from additional convenience by being an automatic.

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Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked Watch Watch Releases

The in-house-made Audemars Piguet calibre 2875 automatic movement is produced from 268 parts operating at 3Hz (21,600 bph) with a power reserve of 54 hours. You might notice that conspicuous lack of crown on the case, but Audemars Piguet intentionally designed the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked with a perfectly symmetrical case that includes a “hidden” crown which is inset to the side. With that said, the watch is only water resistant to 20 meters – so I’m just going to say that if you have one of these, please don’t get it wet. That means someone else is doing the dishes. And don’t forget to bring a soft pillow with you wherever you go so that you can remove your watch and set it on the pillow each time you are required to wash your hands. If it is raining outside – you certainly aren’t going outside… at least not with Mr. Jules Audemars on your wrist.

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked Watch Watch Releases

To add to the prestigious nature of this watch, Audemars Piguet has produced the 41mm-wide case in solid 950 platinum. I have to say that it is a bit surprising how much platinum (and the related metal palladium) are showing up in watches at SIHH. For a market that is yelling for more steel watches, I find it interesting to see brands also focus on producing timepieces in the most expensive of metals as well. Then again, for a skeletonized and engraved Audemars Piguet tourbillon, would you expect anything less?

Matched to the platinum case is a gray-colored alligator strap with a platinum folding buckle. This reference 26143PT.OO.D005CR.01 Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Openworked is the type of watch dreams are made of, and while it exists toward the upper end of exclusivity, it is certainly the type of watch I like to have out there for people to aspire to perhaps owning someday. Pricing is $218,300. audemarspiguet.com

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Comments

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  • I was all set to get one but the water resistance was the deal breaker for me. I’m afraid that even breaking out in a cold sweat (caused by worrying about the lack of water resistance), might be too much moisture. Seriously, a beautiful piece of art which also tells the time. Or I assume it will be (as we only see renders here).

  • commentator bob

    AP: Thanks for printing out “automatic”, I would have guessed quartz.

    • commentator bob

      By the way, I do get that it is somewhat novel for a tourbillion to not be manual wind only, but the “automatic” still looks goofy.

  • funNactive

    The face of the watch (I want to tell the time) looks a little small for the overall case size.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    Actually many things they got right on this watch: legibility is surprisingly good for an open worked, and a big thumbs up for the hidden crown. Not a big fun of the colour combination with the different gold colours though.

  • Roman Klime

    It’s just beautiful and splendid!

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