Audemars Piguet 2024: All the novelties from Royal Oak to Code 11.59 to Offshore

Audemars Piguet opens the door to an incredible new era with an array of stunning novelties.

Audemars Piguet has just announced its 2024 semester 1 novelties from its incredible new AP House Milano, located in the heart of the Italian fashion capital. In addition to the scene-stealing John Mayer Perpetual Calendar, there’s a lot to like coming out of Le Brassus.

The Allure of Camouflage Gold and Sand Gold

“This year, our focus is on shapes and materials” says Aurélia Jouhanneau, the director of communications for AP. This is before she performs a rap celebrating AP‘s extraordinary history material in innovation to massive applause.

And while the brand demonstrates its fearlessness on the dial of the John Mayer Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, it is also taking that same sense of uninhibited ambition in the creation of all-new alloys. By running current through a mix of powdered gold, Audemars Piguet has invented a new sintering process that has successfully created camouflage pattern gold out of rose, white and yellow gold, which has yielded one of the most breathtaking series of watches I’ve seen in a long time.

These Camouflage Gold Royal Oak prototypes were unfortunately not available for photo shoot but, trust me, they are simply incredible.

Says Olivia Crouan, AP’s chief brand officer, “The result is a visual signature that can be identified from across the room. It’s camouflage so it’s super contemporary and fun and daring.

“But at the same time, it is created through our own proprietary process for an all-new alloy of gold, which is [not only] incredibly important from a material innovation perspective, but also a demonstration of our underlying commitment to authenticity and quality.”

Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked 41mm in Sand Gold
Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked 41mm in Sand Gold

Another taste of AP’s focus on material innovation is a stunning 41mm openworked self-winding flying tourbillon rendered in stunning Sand Gold. This is white gold where the silver has been removed and, in its place, palladium has been added.

The result is a gold that transforms every millisecond as light hits it. The color of the watch is constantly shifting between a cool gray reminiscent of titanium and a light rose champagne hue. The challenge with this watch, of course, was to apply a matching sand gold color to the bridges of the movement, but the result is a watch that is both subtle and breathtaking, depending on what kind of light you are in.

The Scene-Stealing Royal Oak Watches in Gold

The Royal Oak story continues with three gold models. The first is a white gold 39mm openworked Royal Oak, which is a masterpiece of monochrome beauty.

Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Openworked 39mm
Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Openworked 39mm

Next is a 41mm yellow gold chronograph with a dial featuring a smoky yellow gold color combined with a petite tapisserie motif reminiscent of 2022’s highly successful 16202 in yellow gold, with the same smoky dial. The final version is perhaps the sleeper hit of this collection.

It is a magnificent-to-behold 37mm Royal Oak featuring Carolina Bucci’s signature frosted finish, created using a Florentine hand hammering process, combined with a smoky yellow gold dial, this time without any tapisserie motif. Instead, this watch has a plain gorgeous dial that brings to mind the green dial Royal Oak in platinum made for AP House.

The Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon in Steel and Burgundy

But there is also a steel Royal Oak that is attracting attention. It is a burgundy dial, steel 41mm self-winding flying tourbillon.

You may have seen the burgundy dial before in previous editions, such as the burgundy dial Royal Oak made out of bulk metallic glass and the burgundy dial, titanium and platinum Minute Repeater Supersonnerie made for the Singapore market. On that subject of material innovation, bulk metallic glass is one of the coolest new materials in creation.

It is metal which is cooled at such a rapid rate that its molecular structure does not form like normal metal but is in a random pattern. The result is a material that has two huge advantages over normal steel.

The first is that it is much harder and, at the same time, it has much greater elasticity. In tests, it appears that bulk metallic glass may have even greater scratch resistance then ceramic, specifically because of this elastic quality, meaning that when, for example, a hard object like a knife touches its surface, it is capable of deflecting and then coming back into shape.

Steel was the original material for the groundbreaking Royal Oak back in 1972, and it is fittingly used here for this sumptuous flying tourbillon.

Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon “Tamara Ralph” and Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin, RD#3

Audemars Piguet has also launched two stunning women’s watches. The first is a 37mm RD#3 Flying Tourbillon with a diamond-set bezel.

What is important to know about the RD# 3 is that it is a tourbillon with a balance wheel that features an extremely high amplitude, meaning that the angle of its swing from one direction to the other is much greater than that of other watches. This is done by redesigning the escapement and roller table.

Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin (RD#3) 37mm
Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin (RD#3) in 37mm

The advantage of this is that you get much more stable power and, in fact, the RD #3 is the base caliber for the movement inside of the RD# 4 or Universelle, which features a host of complications, such as a grande sonnerie, a perpetual calendar and a split seconds chronograph, on top of the existing movement. This is an apt demonstration that the engine of the RD#3 is impressive indeed.

Even when the perpetual calendar is jumping at, say, midnight at the end of the year, the high amplitude of the balance ensures that there is sufficient power so that precision is not affected. It’s cool that AP is able to fit this impressive platform, with all its technical prowess, into a smaller 37mm case.

To call the 37mm tourbillon a women’s watch would be incorrect, as we have seen many men adopting this size. It is elegant, extremely wearable and brings a whole other stylistic dimension to the Royal Oak family without compromising the high technical value.

Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon “Tamara Ralph” Limited Edition 38.5mm
Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon “Tamara Ralph” Limited Edition 38.5mm

The next collaboration is a Royal Oak Concept made in collaboration with fashion designer Tamara Ralph. This is a watch that features a visual illusion; you have the layers of depth that act like steps leading to the tourbillon aperture.

I love the 38.5mm size of this watch and should point out that, in my opinion, it will be perfect for a more aggressive lightweight and technical carbon fiber style Royal Oak Concept. I love the current Royal Oak Concept Split Seconds Chronograph GMT that was launched last year, but on my wrist, it’s just slightly too big. For AP to start using the 38.5mm case as a platform for more technical watches would be incredibly cool.

CODE 11.59 and Royal Oak Offshore

All the new Code watches feature the embossed guilloché pattern on the dial that was introduced last year, and that nicely lifts the aesthetic appeal of this watch.

The Code 11.59 officially celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, and represents an important alternative shape to the Royal Oak. The most appealing of the new Code family is a light blue dial watch with a rose gold case.

Another appealing timepiece is the 43mm Offshore with a smoky navy blue dial and matching navy rubber strap and rubber-clad bezel. It’s a great watch; just to my mind, a bit too big for contemporary tastes.

Just because a watch is meant to be sporty doesn’t mean it has to be oversized.

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding 43mm
Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding 43mm

On the subject of diminishing sizes, who amongst us would be down for a relaunch of the incredibly cool Royal Oak Offshore Triple Calendar at 39mm in diameter? Personally I think that this would be an incredible mid-sized showcase for the Offshore family.

This watch should feature the integrated bracelet from the vintage model as this would allow real ease of wear, especially in summer, when I think that the Offshore would reign supreme. Imagine it in white ceramic!

To my mind, the 42mm Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph designed in 1993 is the perfect size for the chronograph model. But I do feel as if a mid-sized watch would offer a really cool alternative and a watch that could easily be worn by both men and women.

MORE STORIES ABOUT AUDEMARS PIGUET

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John Mayer collaborates with Audemars Piguet on a new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
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