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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch Watch Releases

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie utilises an ever more familiar case shape from the Swiss powerhouse and updates the internal workings with something totally new, and totally awesome. What Audemars Piguet have focused on more than any other aspect of this watch, is the sound quality achieved by the sonnerie complication from which the piece takes its name. This is not the first watch Audemars Piguet have released in this vein. Back in 2014, they débuted the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Episode 1 watch, which we reviewed on aBlogtoWatch (you can check out David Bredan’s detailed analysis here). With this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, ready for release just one year later, the brand feel they have produced a minute repeater of superior acoustic intensity with a supremely clear, sustained tone.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch Watch Releases

As with the first iteration of this project, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie places emphasis on sound quality and clarity. Traditionally, when a minute repeater strikes, a background whirring can be heard. This comes from a component called the governor, which is in constant operation during the chiming process. With this watch, this essential component runs in almost absolute silence, reducing the distraction from the chimes themselves. In fact, Audemars Piguet is so passionate about developing the perfect-sounding watch, they’ve filed three patents in the making of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch Watch Releases

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch Watch Releases

Audemars Piguet reference their chiming watches sound study programme which began way back in 2006. In collaboration with the EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), Audemars Piguet invested heavily in sound-measurement facilities to assist their passionate team of watchmakers, artisans, technicians, and academics in their research. One of their major challenges was to overcome the noise diffusion caused by robust casing, which is necessary for a decent level of water resistance. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is resistant to 20 meters, which is actually impressive given the adjustments that have to be made for this kind of watch.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch Watch Releases

When Audemars Piguet released the original version of this watch, they spent time consulting with “an esteemed academic of the Geneva conservatory” to ensure the sound was not just clear, but also pleasing to the ear. And it must be pointed out that the titanium case allows this sound to travel through its walls with much less resistance than other common watchmaking materials thanks to its lower density than gold and platinum.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch Watch Releases

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie watch is powered by a manual manufacture movement, known as the Calibre 2937. Considering its functions, it is surprisingly thin at 8.28mm. The watch operates at a steady 21,600vph, has 43 jewels, and 478 parts, with a minimal guaranteed power reserve 42 hours. The black ceramic screw-locked crown coordinates nicely with the black ceramic and titanium pushers used to operate the complication on demand. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie watch comes on a black rubber strap with a folding clasp in titanium. In addition to the stage-stealing sonnerie, the watch is also home to a tourbillon chronograph with central sweep-seconds hand and a 30-minute counter, which can be found at 3 o’clock. The minutes are indicated by a sweet, double-ended hand that rotates around its central axis and is read according to its coloured tips that correspond to the text on the dial.

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch Watch Releases

I was already a fan of the Concept cases and their unique aesthetic, so that predisposes me favorably towards this watch to begin with. It seems likely that Audemars Piguet will continue to research this field and no doubt attempt to double-down on their efforts here. That being said, price for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is $597,400audermaspiguet.com

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Comments

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  • iamcalledryan

    I have been anticipating this one – and still the detail is too thin for my liking!

    Get me a hands-on video PLEASE!

  • IanE

    Yawn – yet another (rather ugly too) version of the Royal Oak. Notes sound impure to me – maybe better in the flesh of course. And, surely, a sonnerie is silly in the ‘sporty’ RO case – and a joke for the RO design when it only has 20m WR.

    • iamcalledryan

      Perhaps, but to have ANY waterproofing on a chiming watch is something of a feat.

      • IanE

        Of course – so put it in another case where the absence of serious WR doesn’t seem silly!

        • iamcalledryan

          But it’s not like they have put it in a diver’s case. It’s modern looking, WR doesn’t have a monopoly on contemporary design!

          • MEddie90

            I agree, alot of people automatically associate contemporary design with a sports watch which isn’t necessarily the case. Also while 20m resistance is’nt exactly a great swimming watch its still enough to allow for the odd bit of a splash so I wouldn’t say its a watch you wouldn’t use for more casual sporty activities.

          • iamcalledryan

            I have heard that it is not uncommon for owners of chiming watches to sit in the bathroom for hours on end enjoying the acoustics (at least that what they say they are doing). With this one you can have a shower at the same time!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Massive timepiece, massive respect to the team for putting it together, massive price. Massive legibility issues. Massive need to put this on and listen to it. Massive longing. ,

    • wallydog2

      For a massive movement I depend on Metamucil.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I had to googe that………………..ewwww

    • Beefalope

      Massive pile of trash. Let’s call things what they are.

  • Half a million dollar titanium watch with groundbreaking movement, 10 years in development. $20 rubber strap.

  • BrJean

    It probably sounds better than it looks.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      It totally sounds better than it looks.

      • Beefalope

        Well, it looks like something a Hublot designer puked up, so even if it sounds like a Justin Bieber song, it still would sound better than it looks.

  • funNactive

    Love the seconds hand, design & skeleton case.

  • wallydog2

    Does it tell time?

    • iamcalledryan

      in more ways than one.

  • BNABOD

    ” It’s hard to consider this an everyday wear for anyone because of its delicacy and susceptibility to water damage”. True the $597000 would not be the rate limiting factor to wear such a piece….aside from that it does sound pretty good.

  • Mark Baran

    WOW! I just fell off the turnip truck and won the lottery! Now I’m going to waste $600K of my newfound fortune on this POS. But I’m concerned: why didn’t they cover the face in diamonds? Then I would have felt really good blowing away a million dollars……

    • Beefalope

      That’s an excellent point. When Floyd Mayweather buys this crap, he’s going to insist on diamonds, and I’m sure AP will be more than happy to accommodate him.

  • Beefalope

    Besides brand heritage and price, could someone remind me of the differences between Hublot and most of the disgusting garbage that AP puts out? This watch is revolting, and the same meathead who would look at a Hublot or a Richard Mille would consider this trash.

    • Nateb123

      I think you’ve spent a bit too long looking at cases and missed the serious watchmaking AP has done in recent years.

      That said, I’m shocked at how good Hublot sonnerie/repeater watches sound. They tend to have a better sound than some of the most prestigious brands out there, though that is partially because of the tendency to case their watches in titanium instead of gold/platinum.

      • Beefalope

        Tell me: do you like the aesthetics of this watch? You write well and reasonably, so I surmise that you’re an intelligent person and a serious watch lover. That being the case, I’m guessing you find the look of the watch as repulsive as I do. As I’ve said elsewhere here, let’s call things what they are, and this is ugly.

        • Nateb123

          I like it, but I also wear some very chunky, lugless watches from the 70s regularly. Would I buy one? No. I prefer more classical complicated watches

          I think the big shocker when AP releases movements like this in cases like this is that there is a vocal crowd that would prefer they go head to head with Patek. Meanwhile, there is a relatively unexploited Richard Mille/Hublot market that a legitimate brand like AP could almost completely take over with its horological chops.

          It may be shocking to those who love the RO Jumbo, but that market is hardly a bad decision to look to when funding the company’s R&D. Letting Saudi oil princes fund AP’s development, then using those developments to create acclaimed, more accessible watches sounds like a solid plan to me.

          • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

            Let’s just sit and wait for those more accessible and classically designed watches. 🙂

    • MEddie90

      AP has made some technically amazing and impeccably finished pieces over the past few years, combining more traditional watchmaking and modern design. Same can be said for Richard Mille and while I’m not their biggest fan I cant deny that some of the high end Hublot pieces released in recent years show a touch of innovation and inventiveness.

      The reality is aesthetics are really all down to personal taste and while these pieces lack the restraint and subtlety I prefer (not that it matters anyway as its out of my price range) I can still acknowledge and appreciate the technical side of things.

      • Beefalope

        Most of us initially get into watches due to aesthetics. I can appreciate the technical merits here but then would argue that they’ve been wasted because the aesthetics are so tasteless. No matter how technically impressive or how much money I would ever have, I would never buy a watch with terrible aesthetics, no matter how impressive the technical achievements may be. This is not an either/or situation, as countless watchmakers have proven.

        AP has positioned itself with its branding to have most of its watches appeal to a certain segment of the population with more money than brains. Hurray for them. But that doesn’t mean that we have to continue to respect a brand that no longer deserves it.

        • MEddie90

          I am interested in this watch form a purely technical standpoint, I really don’t mind too much about how it looks because its not in my price bracket and if it were i’d much rather go for the journe sonnerie or something similarly styled. If I want to drool over aesthetics there are plenty of other makers who cater to me.

          Whether you like the look or not is all down to taste and while its not my cup of tea (i’m an everything hidden under a clean dial kind of person) I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to call more comtemoprary design or skeletonisation tasteless, especially seeing as skeletonisation is one of the things that put AP on the map in the early days.

          I continue to respect AP and many of their pieces because they show real innovation and craftsmanship, I really don’t care if some of the people buying these pieces are not up to your superior taste level for the same reason I can appreciate a rolex as a well made tool watch in-spite of all the people buying them for brand recognition alone.

      • iamcalledryan

        I agree. Aesthetics are subjective, there are many many people who like this style.

    • Marius

      I agree with you that the design is not that great, but in my opinion, the main difference between Hublot and Audemars is the movement and fit&finish. Audemars uses the 3120 caliber, which, for me, is one of the best automatics around. For their ultra-thin models AP uses the caliber 2120, which is also a superb movement.

      Personally, I don`t really like neither the Royal Oak, nor the Offshore versions. What I find very interesting is the Jules Audemars line, that is very elegant and understated for an AP. The Millenary is another interesting watch, equipped with a top movement.

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