back to top

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

SIHH 2018 sees the Royal Oak brand release a ton of new Audemars Piguet watches. We have picked three here before we cover them hands-on: two belong to the highly exclusive Concept range with a new and refreshing ladies' piece drizzled with diamonds, and a very dark and aggressive looking men's variant with a mysterious pusher in its side. Along with these come a record-extra-thin automatic perpetual calendar model with, rather shockingly, a blue dial. There are also three new Offshore models that we have already covered here.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

Last year was a big year for Audemars Piguet as, after the dust had settled on SIHH 2017, it dawned on us that apart from one – as in, one – high-jewelry ladies' concept watch, every single watch they debuted was a Royal Oak or Royal Oak Offshore. This year, we are promised to see some new stuff – we already got news of a few new Millenary pieces that look like they are from 2011... or 2005. Though, some more finishes and materials might come to what for a number of years has proven to be a design dead-end.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

A heroic scene from 2003's "Worst Foreign Film" Yoga award-winner We Were Soldiers.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

No joke, the brand calls its new watches "OUR HEROES" – which sounds eerily fitting when you picture a single entity (the Royal Oak, with the poor thing having so many skins ripped off it) carrying the entire brand on its shoulders. If anything, I'd much rather see young watchmakers, designers, and engineers be called heroes, but Audemars Piguet isn't unique in crediting the product and the product only – it is in line with industry practices.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

On a personal note regarding not just AP but the approach of the majority of brands, I still find it ironic how such a compact industry wants to present products literally as though they just fell out of the open skies. Having visited countless small and large manufactures, the thing is that basically all "iconic" (I have actually developed a nervous twitch for this word) watches and models and complications and collections that you see are the brainchild of one, but never more than a very small group of people. I guess they have accepted it long ago that their work will always be swallowed by a thousand year old brand without any credit given to them specifically.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

Anyhow, here's something interesting for you: Audemars Piguet say they have "reinvented the calendar watch" with the Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin. I might have called it extra-thin further above – how foolish of me.

The engineering that went into the RD#2 is highly impressive if all you care about is thinness in a watch. The automatic Audemars Piguet Calibre 5133 is a "record-shattering" 2.89mm thin, 32.00mm wide and contains 256 parts in total. The challenge was to re-engineer a three-tier movement into a single level while "combining and re-arranging functions to boost ergonomy, efficiency, and robustness." The brand says this patented system "features a record-shattering 2.89mm central rotor" though I imagine that to be a typo of some sort.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

There is "no compromise on quality," which in the brand's mind equals a 40-hour power reserve and a 2.75Hz operating frequency. Though the thinner a case, generally the more comfortable to wear it is. At this point I'd trade a few millimeters in favor of seeing the corrector pushers be gone from all luxury annual and perpetual calendars. I just don't find anything "heroic" or luxury in taking a pen to fiddle with these pushers every time the 40-hour power reserve runs down. Water resistance is also a basically useless 20m.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

All cased up, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin measures just 6.30mm thick. That's almost 2mm off the Royal Oak Extra-Thin Jumbo, making the RD#2 "the thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar on the market today." It's refreshing to see something in a dressy form factor pushing the envelope. The case is 41mm wide – I imagine not something that will please the purists – and is crafted from 950 platinum. The RD#2 is thin, yes, but it'll have plenty of heft to it on the wrist.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

All in all, this is one fascinating movement wrapped into the love it or hate it 41mm Royal Oak case and a blue dial that resembles the relatively unpopular Royal Oak Dual Times of old. I'd love to chat with the engineers who managed to squeeze 256 parts into a 32mm by 2.89mm space as much as with those who think the Royal Oak looks good in 41.

Three New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches For 2018 Watch Releases

Last, if you were wondering what RD#2 is doing in the name of this watch, it goes back to the 2014 RD#1, a research piece that gave us the Royal Oak Supersonnerie (hands-on here). Apparently, AP didn't want to see this RD# thing gone and it's true it helps separate a particularly new and advanced model from the rest.

About the Author

David Bredan (abtw_david) is a young watch enthusiast based in Budapest, Hungary. He is dedicated to understanding, revealing and discussing as many aspects of fine watch making as possible. Fascinated by the countless admirable details of haute horlogerie, he strives to discover the challenges linked to the manufacturing of fine timepieces and also those related to chronometrical performance. As much as he loves unfolding the mysteries of mechanical timepieces, he also aspires to successfully capture and share the nuances that separate a fine watch and a masterpiece.
What do you think?
  • Interesting (7)
  • I want it! (6)
  • I love it! (4)
  • Thumbs up (2)
  • Classy (1)
Previous Post Casio G-Shock GG-1000-1A5 Mudmaster Watch Review 1 month ago by David Bredan
Next Post IWC Pilot's Watches For 150th Anniversary 1 monthago byZach Pina

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 6410484016

  • IanE

    Mostly, a load of boring crAP. Even if it is ROOd of me to say so!

    • Swipster

      Hah, I see what You did there!

      • IG

        I don’t.

        • IanE

          My APologies, just a couple of APpalling puns.

  • Luciano

    The only good thing about these is the engineering behind the RD#2. Everything else is really, really bad.

  • BNABOD

    RD#2 is decent looking but I can’t help wonder how fragile such a thin movement will be? I also do not understand a water resistance to 20 m for such a sport looking watch which is meant to be living outdoors but most likely will never leave the boardroom. But in 2018, 20m of H2O resistant is just so avant garde………not. Furthermore, to make it even more ridiculously expensive let’s make it in platinum yeah so why the hell not. the idea of thin is to add comfort for the wearer and there are plenty of stainless steel watches in 40-42 that weigh a perfectly reasonable amount but the idea of platinum is to add what exactly? a new level of obnoxious and heft just because? never understood plat on sport looking watches.

    Now onto the new ridonculous RO concept, 237 hours of PR whoa, well Oris has had a few offerings w 10 day power reserve for a while, so there eat it AP. they also do not cost you your entire retirement savings…just saying.

    so in summary 2 epic fails, I am not even going to talk about the information presented herein on the flying diamond horror show .

    • ProJ

      Excellent analysis

      • Spangles

        Wrong

    • Polerouter

      Well, do you often dive deeper than 20m? Most people don’t, and when they do they would probably remove their non diver watch anyway…

      • ProJ

        20m WR doesnt mean it can be submerged 20m below water surface. You need to read the basics about WR rating. Sorry don’t have a link. In general watches are good for mere swimming (not even diving) if they are at least 50m WR.

        20m on a sports/casual watch is crap.

        • Polerouter

          Sorry but that’s just not true. This is a mere legend supported by ADs not wanting to deal with returns… and by unscrupulous brands, probably. But when a serious brand guarantees its watch to 20m, it means it can sustain the pressure at 20m.

          • BNABOD
          • Polerouter

            Wrong, the dynamic pressure is negligible compared to static pressure, an example of calculation here: http://people.timezone.com/msandler/ClassicThreads/WR/20458.html

            And lots of brands now actually teste their watches in water. The only reason why a watch could not withstrand its rated pressure, provided the brand is honest and serious, is after a few years with ageing gaskets.

          • BNABOD

            Ok then go swim with you perpetual calendar platinum watch w push corrector. Take a chance…

          • Polerouter

            Of course, I would probably not, because it is an expensive and delicate watch in precious metal – and also, I could not afford such a watch in the 1st place 🙂
            I was just remarking that complaining about a 20m rating instead of 30 was mostly irrational.

  • JesseSifuentes

    Drooling over the blue dial, ultra-thin perpetual calendar Royal Oak. 10/10.

    • Good Gene 42K18

      The trick is to watch the moon move and there’s your second hand. It takes a lot of focus.

  • PR

    Good article, APs dial design on the perpetual calendar is a yawn fest, completely lazy and uninspired for an otherwise impressive watch and movement.

  • SuperStrapper

    The calendar being The nicest of them says very little as these range from uninspired to hideous.

  • Swipster

    Just waiting for the headlines: “SIHH 2019 – Royal Oak to attend as a stand alone brand – does this spell doom for Audemars Piguet?!”

  • PollyO

    All amazing pieces of engineering and watchmaking. None of which I like in the slightest. AP just leaves me completely cold.

  • Marius

    I notice that many criticize Audemars Piguet for heavily-relying on the Royal Oak line. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that, and, in fact, I find it an extremely clever idea.

    Firstly, you have to keep in mind that Audemars Piguet is an independent brand. Granted, AP owns Renaud & Papi as well as 5% of Richard Mille, but overall, AP doesn’t have the financial backing and support of a large luxury conglomerate such as The Swatch Group or Richemont. As a result, Audemars has to focus, first an foremost, on its most popular, “heavy-hitter” which is the Royal Oak line. If Lange or Vacheron, for instance, bring out new models that suffer losses, then Richemont will immediately absorb those costs. Audemars Piguet, however, doesn’t have this luxury. If AP were to release new models that would prove to be unsuccessful, then their financial position would be seriously jeopardized, as I can assure you that the watch bloggers criticizing them for milking the Royal Oak will not cover those losses.

    Secondly, Audemars Piguet actually has some very interesting watches in their collection. Apart from the Royal Oak/Offshore models, the AP collection also includes attractive timepieces such as the Jules Audemars, the Millenarry, the Tradition line, as well as highly-complicated pocket watches. Watch bloggers keep complaining about the Royal Oak, yet, they only sporadically review an AP which is not a Royal Oak. It’s not AP`s fault that the Royal Oak is so successful, and that nobody seems to be interested in their other watches.

    Lastly, why should anyone care that AP is milking the Royal Oak? Personally, I find the Royal Oak a very interesting, legendary, and idiosyncratic watch, equipped with the very capable 3120 and 2120 calibers. What’s more, the Royal Oak is a timepiece that had a tremendous effect on the entire Swiss industry, when it debuted in the 70`s. Consequently, I don’t see why AP would fix something that isn’t broken. What’s more, knowing that my Royal Oak 15400ST will still be relevant and look good ten, or twenty years from now, is another big plus for me. An iconic design should remain unchanged, otherwise you are entering the Michael Kors territory. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/76818550665bed5161e898bbc232be442c0a9aa542d763d176d2252b3a32860f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/abb5e62bb9b062516de465051a0748b834f7939ea59f17a7d1864c3b9a34331e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d3ea5af19fc8623b8725f9a2bfa7d1d8ad6159c580265f318e0109e5025d0091.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3bc832dfaac444efacd3a5007e20feca1f93db24650832c406f74b868988d0a1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec513e145055dd2e0089b51ae98c447af1081b3f1193d66ce5e21b710acc58fc.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5079a4a4c0b3d0d6075517498bf7df90a951a4371d3221b3f389212da90ebc06.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c1084cd5eb5dc8c2b14da7a7aa93c3b837765430b894f361a2b817491181866d.jpg

    • timsum

      Agreed, Marius. AP is a one hit wonder.

    • Jon Snow

      “…as I can assure you that the watch bloggers criticizing them for milking the Royal Oak will not cover those losses.”

      Quote of the season.

  • Mr. Snrub

    Staff: does the social media share bar really need to stalk me as I scroll through the articles? I think the “share this article” options at the top and bottom of the pages are plenty sufficient.

    Just a suggestion 🙂

  • benjameshodges

    This! This is what I want to read about. So much better than the copy/pasted specs sheets from the Hodinkee articles. Thanks David. P.s. still no in-house automatic chronograph movement?

    • David Bredan

      Thanks for your kind words, appreciate it! Not yet. There’s a chance I scrolled through it in that document but I’d be shocked if there was. I guess the clientele doesn’t care much about that, in which case it’d be a waste of money for them to develop it.

  • Yan Fin

    Congratulations David on a great article. It seems that your writer’s abilities are improving with every new publication, so keep on writing!
    Now, the last 2 watches are of zero interest to me, so my impressions about the Royal Oak Perpetual calendar. Let me mention, I like RO in general, but this one… Pathetic beating frequency, borderline power reserve, but most disappointing are almost unreadable hands to show date, day and month.

    • Jon Snow

      Yes, he might get into the high school newspaper by next year, at this rate. Even with those youthful looks and thin facial hair, his continued tenure at the middle school paper is getting embarrassing.

      • Yan Fin

        Looks like you know your stuff. Got the dress for your prom yet?

        • Jon Snow

          Yes, I cut it out of your mom’s-
          there’s still material left to make three more if you’d like one.

    • David Bredan

      Appreciate the kind feedback.

    • Lxa

      I don’t get what’s the point of the frequency?
      If the watch beat it correctly, it’s really not a point. Beside that the watch is a QP complication, not a chronograph (where the 4hz might be relevant to have 1/4 sec. segmentation on the dial).

      • Yan Fin

        Common perception is : higher frequency movement will keep more accurate time.

  • Playboy Johnny

    I don’t like the ad’s inside of the articles.
    I really don’t like the new format at all.

  • Jon Snow

    What a sublime collection of releases. Entertaining and ironic to see the g-shock fanbase squealing about the design.

    • SuperStrapper

      Well meme’d sir.

    • Kuroji

      Let’s get some Alec Monopoly on that shit.

      • How about a new watch design from AP instead?

        • Kuroji

          I think they guys who did that sort of thing are long gone. It’s just marketers and other suits now.

  • Ranchracer

    Would love it if the bar on the right didn’t cover up the right portion of the article, forcing me to use landscape mode to read every article on my iPad Pro. Common guys, get this new format squared away please.

    • David Bredan

      Our apologies for that. We are aware and are working on a fix, thank you for letting us know.

      • ProJ

        Interestingly I don’t have this on my Samsung

        • David Bredan

          I can’t check right now on all devices, but we did email developers to disable it on all mobile devices.

    • SuperStrapper

      I don’t know that they’re all so common though. No need to be insulting, I’m sure they’re unique and interesting people.

      • Ranchracer

        Uh?

        • SuperStrapper

          Zuh?

          • Ranchracer

            Whuh?

      • Kuroji

        He’s addressing fans of the entertainer Common.

  • Pete L

    The concept GMT tourbillon is interesting but I am sure most outsiders would think it is a very expensive g shock. AP (and I do like some of them) generally seem to just reissue the same watch in different colours. Lazy.
    With the ultra thin perpetual I would not want a £50K (and the rest probably) watch on my wrist that if I banged on a door knob it would bend the entire movement! Appreciate the engineering expertise required to make it but it seems a little pointless when the regular one would easily fit under a shirt cuff.

  • Kuroji

    Cool? You think it looks cool? Worst Linde Werdelin evar.