April 8, 2014
by Ariel Adams
The high-grade rubber strap is textured and completes the white-with-deep-gray titanium theme. In fact, the titanium color is what really grounds this Royal Oak Concept as a men’s watch. There is very little, if anything, feminine about it. After all this time, the movement (both front and rear) looks attractive and visually engaging. The symmetrical design of its layout and bridges continues to encourage praise even if it is a design that we have seen before.
The movement is known as the caliber 2930 and is in-house made at Audemars Piguet. As the name of the watch promises the movement contains both a tourbillon and second time zone even though it is not a true GMT watch-and this latter point is perhaps a huge source of confusion, so I will explain. GMT watches are able to indicate the time (often via a second time zone) in 24 hour format. Whereas on this watch, the second time zone uses two discs with a window at 3 o’clock that indicates the time in a 12 hour format. Why does it have two discs? Both are in a 12 hour format and one is black (for PM times) and one is white (for AM times). Thus, you do get a second time zone with AM or PM time, or you can sync it with the local time to use as an AM/PM indicator-but this isn’t a GMT watch with the 24 hour time.
As of this writing, the Audemars Piguet website has conflicting information about the caliber 2930. Not even previous versions of the Concept have a 24 hour indication of the time, so I am quite confused about this point which goes a bit beyond the use of the “GMT” term. It might just be a disconnect between the marketing and product teams at the company-which does happen from time to time. Admittedly trying to properly categorize high-end timepiece functions can be tricky. The best description of the watch can be determined here in its user manual.
In addition to the time with hours and minutes, the dial has a function selector for the crown. This is a fun little feature that tells you whether the crown is set to wind the movement, set the time, or in a neutral position. The manually wound movement does have a long power reserve of 237 hours, which is close to 10 days, and it operates at 3Hz. Unfortunately Audemars Piguet removed the power reserve indicator which did have a place on the first two generation Royal Oak Concept watches, but this new model has a much sexier design. There are always sacrifices to be made with design.
Even though the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon is a piece of high-end horology, it is still water resistant to 100 meters and able to be worn on a regular basis. For me that is the definition of a very high-end sport watch. The newest generation of these watches are beautiful, and their rarity makes them mysterious as well. In white this ref. 26580IO.OO.D010CA.01 is not part of a limited edition, but as normal with these products it will be hard to come across. It was a treat to check it out. Price for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon in white ceramic and titanium is $213,300. audemarspiguet.com