The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Equation of Time (refs. 26603ST.OO.D002CR.01 & 26603OR.OO.D092CR.01) is the very first AP RO in all of the 38 years of the model’s history to be presented with a perpetual calendar and the equation of times, the astronomical complications usually reserved for “dressier” APs.
This is an interesting trend we are witnessing. Together with Officine Panerai, Audemars Piguet is the second major brand to present an inherently sporty watch with astronomical complications that were always in the realm of more refined and elegant timepieces, like, say, the gorgeous Girard-Perregaux 1966 Annual Calendar and Equation of Time introduced exactly a year ago.
Either this is a completely logical development of the mechanical species in the Darwinian sense or is just another step towards their inevitable demise (do they stuff all these complications into brutal and simple chronographs because interest in them is waning?) only time will tell.
As for now, this is one of the most complicated AP Royal Oaks, which is powered by their famous AP 2120 base caliber.
Claimed to be the world’s thinnest automatic movement with a central rotor, the caliber is also one of the most precise when it comes to perpetual calendars and moon phases. The movement is so accurate that you will have to correct the calendar only once: on March 1, 2100. The moon-phase module is also accurate enough to require only one correction in 122 years and 44 days.
As to the rest of the technical specs, it is a pleasure to note that the watch is delivered in a relatively compact case.
Available either in 18-carat rose gold (26603OR.OO.D092CR.01) or more affordable stainless steel (26603ST.OO.D002CR.01,) the body of the new timepiece is only 42 millimeters in width and less than 11 millimeters in height: a real breath of fresh air in the world where an automatic “sporty” timekeeper often measures more than 44 mm in diameter and at least 15 mm in thickness!
As for the pricing, the version in 18-karat rose gold is expected to sell at around $130,000, while the version in stainless still will set you back for some $100,000. I guess the best expression that describes my feelings about the combination of impressive features and prohibitive pricing is a ‘wow’. I mean, like, literally: wow.
As far as availability is concerned, I can only say that taking into account that the collection was officially presented just a couple of days ago at SIHH 2010 trades show, it is probably still at a ‘prototype’ stage of development with first production examples coming to a store near you closer to Thanksgiving or something like that.
Photos: Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Equation of Time (refs. 26603ST.OO.D002CR.01 & 26603OR.OO.D092CR.01) specification
Price range: $100,000 in Stainless steel / $130,000 in Rose gold (MSRO)
Movement: Caliber AP 2120/2808, automatic, 423 parts, 41 jewels, 19,800 vph, 5.35 mm high, 28.4 mm in diameter, Swiss Made
Complications: Perpetual calendar, date, leap year, month, day-of-month, moon phase, sunrise/sunset indicators at 3 and 9 o’clock
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: 18-carat Rose gold (26603OR.OO.D092CR.01) or Stainless steel (26603ST.OO.D002CR.01)
Shape: Round, Octagonal bezel
Transparent back: Yes, sapphire crystal
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 10.45 mm
Strap: Hand-stitched, crocodile strap with square scales, 18-carat pink gold or stainless steel AP folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflection coated