Celebrating the 40th birthday of its line of rugged-looking sporty watches, the Swiss maker of luxury timekeepers has revealed their new Audemars Piguet Openworked Extra-Thin Royal Oak Limited Edition 40th Anniversary (Ref. 15203PT.OO.1240PT.01) automatic watch. Well, actually the watch will be revealed in flesh only next January during the SIHH 2012 trade show, but the press release is already here, so here we are.
An AP Royal Oak is supposed to be huge, heavy and expensive, so, compensating for an unusually small size of 39 millimeters (it was considered huge back in the early 1970s when the first Royal Oak was introduced sporting exactly the same width,) the Swiss watchmaker decided to issue the limited edition model in a 950 platinum alloy, which is not only precious, but is also quite dense.
The alloy was used not only for the signature case with the famous octagonal bezel, but also for the massive bracelet, which is secured on the wrist with AP-branded folding clasp.
Audemars Piguet doesn’t say a word about how thick this “Extra-Thin” model actually is, but, judging by the dimensions of the AP caliber 5122 automatic movement that powers the timepiece (like the famous AP Caliber 2121 that powered the original AP RO, it is only 3.05 mm thick and is 28.40 mm in diameter,) the watch indeed has a good chance of being at least a millimeter thinner than the Audemars Piguet Openworked Self-Winding Royal Oak model (refs. 15305ST.OO.1220ST.01 & 15305OR.O0.D088CR.01) that was presented exactly a year ago in November, 2010.
By the way, it looks like the new 40th Anniversary model was inspired by the aforementioned AP Openworked model that, too, featured an elaborately skeletonized dial.
With the new watch, however, Audemars Piguet went even further offering a more modern approach to skeletonization and equipping the mechanism with a transparent calendar wheel.
Yes, the date disk of the timekeeper is crafted from sapphire with date numbers transferred in black.
While the numerals are completely dissolved in the latticework of the skeletonized movement parts, the date window is completely functional since the date aperture features a nice gray background made in metallic sapphire with a vertically drawn motif that mimics the satin-brushed finish of the platinum case.
As you may have already guessed, the watch will be produced in an ultra-limited run of just 40 pieces. The price is expected to be overwhelming for most watch collectors.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 2/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet Openworked Extra-Thin Royal Oak Limited Edition 40th Anniversary (Ref. 15203PT.OO.1240PT.01) automatic watch specification
Price: $140,000 (MSRP)
Movement: AP Caliber 5122, automatic, 28.40 mm x 3.05 mm, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 36
Movement frequency: 19,800 vph
Movement decoration: Hand-decorated bridge with polished bevels, satin-brushed edges, circular graining on the recesses, 22-carat gold monobloc rotor
Functions: Hours, minutes, date
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: 950 platinum
Bezel material: Matches case, fixed to the case with eight polished hexagonal screws in white gold
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Octagonal
Bezel shape: Octagonal
Case size: 39.00 mm
Case height: 8.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Hour markers: Applied, white gold
Hands: Baton-shaped, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: 950 platinum bracelet with AP folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire, antireflective