HANDS-ON: The New Creations Of Audemars Piguet
A couple of days ago, I took a little trip to one of my favorite (and best looking) watch boutiques in the city, Audemars Piguet. Since it’s establishment in 1875, Audemars Piguet, has become one of the most innovative, brilliant watch manufacturers in all of horology. While I was in the shop, I took a look at some of the new arrivals that came directly from SIHH 2014. One thing I have to mention, the watches are literally as white as the snow in the Swiss Alps. How could this be possible? Well, they are composed of a super high-grade white ceramic that, unlike other ceramic watches on the market, is nearly indestructible due to its steel-like hardness (nine times harder than stainless steel to be exact).
The first watch I had the privilege in seeing was the Royal Oak Offshore Diver (photograph at top). She, or he, was a beauty. As all AP’s do, this watch features a precisely crafted in-house movement and is cased in a neat, flawless case. The thickness of the case measures 13.90 millimeters and width measures forty-two millimeters. This may seem like a large watch, but it is actually quite small in comparison with other luxury sports watches.
Next up was the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. This classic chrono has taken a turn for the cold. Like its relative, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver, this guy also comes in a high-grade white ceramic, something exceptionally rare in fine watchmaking. This timepiece is not as strong underwater as the Diver, but can still survive up to one hundred meters. The silver “Mega Tapisserie” dial is a true masterpiece and really belongs in the MAMCO (the MOMA of Geneva).
The last of the white ceramic models is something out of space-age movie, except it’s a whole lot cooler. This is the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon, potentially the greatest sports watch in the history of sports watches. A tourbillon and GMT function squeezed into a white ceramic case? No, I’m not imagining it. This mechanical wonder is a little bit on the larger side of the list, as it is forty-four millimeters, but that doesn’t bother me at all. If you’ve got a nice bank account, and want something extraordinary on your wrist, then this is the watch for you.
Luke Rottman (Executive Editor: thewatchadviser.com)