On the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak in 1997, Audemars Piguet unveiled the smallest iteration of its famed octagonal watch: the Mini Royal Oak ref. 67075, which measured a diminutive 20mm. The petite proportion of the so-called Mini Oak was made possible due to the super compact and ultra-thin Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 2601 quartz movement nestled inside. For 2024, the Mini Oak is back, but a touch filled out, dressed up, and more power-efficient. Available in white, yellow, or pink, the brand new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini Frosted Gold Quartz watches are right on trend for this current cycle of small watch mania. 

Mini Royal Oak ref. 67075BA from 1997

The modern Mini Oak watches measure 23mm in diameter and a mere 6.6mm thick. Although slightly larger than their ’90s ancestor, that’s still a tiny watch. In fact, the 23mm Royal Oak Mini is the smallest watch in AP’s current catalog. Like the first Mini Oak, the new versions are crafted entirely in 18k gold (but now in three shades) — from case to bracelet.  However, they shine even brighter thanks to the frosted gold finish, the Carolina Bucci-led decorative technique (based on an ancient Florentine jewelry-making practice) that Audemars Piguet has been using since 2016 whereby micro indentations are made with a diamond-tipped tool. The result is a gold surface that sparkles as if it were laden with precious gems. Some elements of the case, bezel, and bracelet, as well as the entire winding crown, aren’t frosted gold but rather feature either brushed or polished finishes, creating a striking contrast in texture.

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Commenting on the new Mini Oaks, Ilaria Resta, Chief Executive Officer of Audemars Piguet, said, “These mini creations pay tribute not only to Audemars Piguet’s long tradition of miniature and jewelry watches, but also to the women who have left their mark on the history of the brand, including Jacqueline Dimier to whom we owe the first Royal Oak for women, and Carolina Bucci, the mastermind behind the Frosted Gold finish.”

Another textured element is the characteristic Petite Tapisserie pattern on the dial, in a color that matches the rest of the watch. Aside from the pattern, the dial is kept simple with just a pair of hands for the hours and minutes pointing to applied indices, all of which are luminous.

In keeping with Mini Oak tradition, the contemporary Royal Oak Mini Frosted Gold watches are quartz-powered, relying on Caliber 2730 with 94 months of battery life. Audemars Piguet mentions that the movement is furnished with a “switch” that can deactivate the battery temporarily by pulling out the crown. Also according to AP, the movement is finished with “refined decorations” but we’ll have to take the brand’s word for it since the quartz caliber is hidden away under the solid gold caseback. The new Mini Oak watches are water resistant to 50 meters.

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Chroma Gold

In addition to these Mini Oaks and the unconventional [RE]Master02 recently released, Audemars Piguet also announced a new proprietary material called Chroma Gold, which is a multi-colored gold alloy created using Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technology. Though AP has only presented a prototype using this new-fangled metal so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if a Mini Oak will be dressed in this tri-colored pattern gold alloy in the near future.

On paper and in photos, these Mini Oak watches speak to me; I’ve always had a soft spot for tiny gold watches (so cute!), and I am a big fan of the Royal Oak silhouette. I look forward to trying these on soon, especially the yellow-gold version. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini Frosted Gold in yellow gold (ref. 67630BA.GG.1312BA.01), pink gold (ref. 67630OR.GG.1312OR.01), and white gold (ref. 67630BC.GG.1312BC.01) are priced at $34,400 USD. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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