Presented at SIHH 2010, the new Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar wristwatch comes in the same slightly oversized body as the 2008 year model, but has the original platinum alloy replaced for a bit more ahem affordable rose gold. Although not as outrageously expensive than its predecessor, the new watch still costs like a fully loaded crossover SUV.
Just like the aforementioned original Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars 30th Anniversary Perpetual Calendar that was first presented in 2008 when, as the name implies, the Swiss watchmaker celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its first ultra-thin movement, this new edition of the watch is powered by the same AP 2120/2802 ultra-thin automatic caliber featuring a full-fledged perpetual calendar complication with leap year.
Sharing its space with the “months” sub-dial at 12 o’clock, the leap year indicator uses a red pointer to, um, point at the respective year’s place in the four-year cycle.
While owners of normal annual calendars still have to manually correct their timekeepers once in four years, this perpetual calendar makes your life even more comfortable by automatically taking into account leap years.
Of course, due to natural limitations of the technology, you will have to correct the calendar, but only just once, on the 1st of March, 2100, if you plan to live that long.
Yes, thanks to so many indicators fighting for your attention, the timekeeper’s dial looks a bit overloaded with information, however, the problem is partially solved by the person who was responsible for the exterior of this beautiful device. As you can see, all elements of the dial are deliberately simple: the hands are the usual leaf-shaped, polished rose gold pointers, while the dial and sub-dial feature very subtle textures that significantly increase legibility and contrast, but, again, don’t strain your eyes with fancy, but distracting guilloche motifs.
The only thing that stands out here is the colorful moon disk, but that one, too, is done in an extremely tasteful manner. If you ever find yourself in the middle of a “why pay thousands for a fancy watch when you can get a Timex for, like, fifty bucks”, just use this beautiful gadget as an example of an industrial design that you will never see on a cheap trinket.
Although many contemporary automatic perpetuals come in deliberately massive cases, this new Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar has its rose gold body measuring only 41 millimeters in diameter and just over 9 millimeters thick!
This, of course, comes courtesy of the gorgeous AP 2120 ultra-thin self-winding movement. Equipped with their in-house cal. 2802 perpetual calendar module that added some 1.5 mm to its overall thickness and now comprising 355 components and featuring 60 hours of power reserve, the movement is only 4 millimeters high, which makes thinner as two clay poker chips staked together!
The refreshed watches will be available in two color combinations. The most appealing to yours truly is the Ref. 26390OR.OO.D093CR.01 model that features an 18-carat rose gold case combined with a chocolate brown dial. The other one (Ref. 26390OR.OO.D088CR.02) comes in the same rose gold case but has its dial silvered.
Besides being more visually appealing, the first model with chocolate dial is also more legible, since its dark-brown dial provides good contrast to the hands and hour indexes made of rose gold.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar watch specification
Price range: $76,000
Movement: Caliber AP 2120/2802, automatic, 355 parts, 38 jewels, 19,800 vph, 4.0 mm high, 28.4 mm in diameter, Swiss Made
Complications: Perpetual calendar, date, leap year, month, day-of-month, moonphase
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case material: Rose gold
Bezel material: Rose gold
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire crystal caseback
Case size: 41.0 mm
Case height: 9.15 mm
Dial: Silvered (Ref. 26390OR.OO.D088CR.02) or Chocolate brown (Ref. 26390OR.OO.D093CR.01)
Hands: Rose gold
Strap: Hand-stitched, crocodile strap with square scales, 18-carat pink gold AP folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, with anti-reflection coating
Water resistance: 20 meters