As brutal as it is, the new Audemars Piguet Openworked Self-Winding Royal Oak (refs. 15305ST.OO.1220ST.01 & 15305OR.O0.D088CR.01) leaves a peculiar impression. The first association that comes to mind when looking at a version in stainless steel (ref. 15305ST.OO.1220ST.01), is a kind of weird. It’s like you are looking at a Terminator T-800 combat cyborg wearing lace and silk and keeping the signature straight face about it.
The version in rose gold (ref. 15305OR.O0.D088CR.01), on the other hand, is more to the point since it brings in images of noble knights and their deceitful suzerains. The lace is still here, but so is gold and, hey, knights did wear plumes and jewelry and other stuff that was deemed luxurious during the Middle Age!
Also, the combination of rose gold, brown natural leather and anthracite-colored parts of the dial and movement helps the Royal Oak to show off its beauty, which is hidden below the dull-gray plate mail armor of the stainless steel case and the chunky bracelet made of the same metal.
As you can see in the photos, the transparent dial provides a perfect view at the meticulously crafted Calibre 3129 automatic movement with all its bridges and the mainplate straight satin-brushed and subjected to galvanic anthracite treatment.
AP’s signature 22-karat rose gold winding rotor is also skeletonized in the shape of the corporate logo.
The movement in question is based on the well-known Calibre 3120 base movement that also powers the last year’s even more brutal Millenary Quincy Jones limited edition and the Royal Oak Offshore diving companion from the same period.
AP doesn’t go into details, but it looks like the only difference between the two is that the Caliber AP 3129 lacks the AP 3120’s date module. The power reserve of 60 hours is still here, though, as is the stop-seconds function, which makes it easier to set the time more precisely.
The really nice thing about this timekeeper is that it is presented in a pretty compact body. Being just 39 millimeters wide (the setting crown is not included) and also surprisingly thin at less than 10 millimeters (the choice of proportions makes the case of the gadget a bit too thick to my liking, although for sheer ergonomics the case looks almost ideal,) the Oak will look good even with a tight-cuffed shirt and, unlike many other “sporty” watches, you can even wear it with a formal dress!
Photos: Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet Openworked Selfwinding Royal Oak specification
Price (MSRP): $37,000 (Stainless steel) / $52,000 (Rose gold)
Movement: Caliber AP 3129, 253 parts, in-house, diameter: 26.60 mm, height: 4.26 mm, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Functions: Hour, minutes, stop-seconds
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case: Stainless steel (Ref. 15305ST.OO.1220ST.01) or Rose gold (Ref. 15305OR.O0.D088CR.01)
Size: 39.00 mm
Case height: 9.38 mm
Dial: Anthracite, open-worked (skeletonized)
Hands: 18-karat Rose Gold or Stainless Steel
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Hand-sewn “large square scale” brown alligator leather strap with AP folding clasp in 18-karat pink gold, OR Stainless steel bracelet with steel AP folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective