The Pristine Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 34mm in White Ceramic
AP’s integrated-bracelet sports watch gets an unusual update in pristine white ceramic, accompanied by a delicate 34 mm mid-sized case.
Being perhaps the most reputable watchmaker of luxury sports watches with an integrated bracelet, Audemars Piguet (AP) sure knows how to make its eye-catching Royal Oaks even more striking. The brand has unveiled several all-ceramic models in the past few years, enhancing the impeccable finishing of the case and bracelet with the natural high sheen of ceramic.
Although the Le Brassus watchmaker has released quite a few ceramic Royal Oaks, most of them were done in black ceramic, with only a handful in other colors, such as blue and white. For instance, the brand has only introduced three white-ceramic Royal Oaks to date: one being a perpetual calendar released in 2019, another being a one-off grand complication ref. 26605CB, and finally, there is the Only Watch 2023 edition that was just announced last month.
Therefore, the brand’s latest addition is certainly unusual and will undoubtedly please fans of integrated bracelet sports watches. AP has just unveiled the Royal Oak 34 mm in white ceramic. Not only is this a rare bird – it’s the fourth-ever white ceramic integrated bracelet sports watch from AP – but it’s also the most accessible of all four to date, being a time-only model without any complications. Notably, the watch is accompanied by a versatile, mid-sized 34 mm case.
Striking White and Rose
As the latest Royal Oak is entirely clad in white, from the case to the bracelet and dial, AP has cleverly given the watch a little extra flair by sprinkling some rosy details here and there. For instance, the screws on the famous octagonal bezel are made of 18k pink gold, as are the hands and hour markers. These touches provide the watch with just enough contrast, creating a warmer tone for a more versatile wearing experience, while remaining subtle enough not to detract from its pristine, all-white look.
Moving on to the highlight, which is the case and bracelet. While AP has offered a couple of Royal Oak Offshore models in white ceramic, this is only the brand’s fourth watch with a white ceramic bracelet. One of the reasons is that ceramic is significantly harder than metal – remember that ceramic watches are practically scratch-resistant – requiring a far more painstaking process to finish.
Importantly, the white ceramic bracelet is crafted to the same impeccable standards as its metal counterparts, with no corners cut. It features a satin finish on the top and polished bevel along the links. Due to the shiny nature of ceramic, the result is more flashy and striking than traditional metal bracelets.
Inside the watch is the cal. 5800, which debuted in 2020 in a similar 34 mm Royal Oak. It’s worth noting that it is quite rare for AP to pair a basic, time-only (okay, I get it, there’s a date) movement with a ceramic case and bracelet. So far, there has only been a base model in black ceramic, which was introduced in 2021, making the latest model one of the most affordable options in ceramic.
The cal. 5800 is based on the VMF 3002, made by Vaucher, a sister company of Parmigiani Fleurier. As expected from Vaucher, which supplies high-end brands, including Richard Mille, the cal. 5800 is constructed with thinness and excellence. Notably, it boasts a free-sprung balance with variable inertia weights, a feature rarely found in lower-priced watches.
The finishing of the movement is in line with the modern AP style, which means clean, precise, but workmanlike. All visible parts have been decorated, such as Cotes de Genève on the movement plate and polishing on the countersinks, although they are largely finished by machine, giving the watch a sleek and contemporary look. Fortunately, this is softened with a luxurious, solid gold rotor.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 34 mm White Ceramic
Movement: SXH5; automatic; 50 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Case: 34 x 8.8 mm; white ceramic and 18k pink gold; water resistant to 50 m
Strap: White ceramic bracelet
Availability: Only at boutiques
Price: USD 53,000
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|Movement||Self-winding caliber BR.CAL-301; 42-hour power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date|
|Case||41mm; CuAI7Si2 bronze; water resistant to 100m|
|Dial||Sunray brushed with applied, gold-plated indices|
|Strap||Black calfskin; satin polished bronze folding clasp|
|Limited Edition||Limited edition of 50 pieces|