Although the watch is part of AP’s sporty Royal Oak collection, it has an elegant look, especially the version with rose-gold case and alligator strap shown here. The classic dial underscores the watch’s dressy side and tends to overshadow the watch’s sportier features. The case is surprisingly thin, just 9.4 mm. Only the four steel correctors appear out of place on the gold case, and their placement between the case’s middle section and bezel poses some risk that the wearer’s finger could slip when setting the date. The hexagonal crown pulls out to just one position, for setting the time. The fact that the watch has no hack mechanism is not immediately apparent because the watch has no seconds hand. The time is easy to read, even in the dark, thanks to the luminous material on the hour and minute hands and hour markers. Audemars Piguet’s finishing quality is top-notch. The variety and complexity of satin and polished finishes on the watch’s case are impressive, as are other details like the hand-sewn strap and the folding clasp featuring the brand’s initials.
The movement was also decorated with great attention to detail. The gold, skeletonized rotor is hand-engraved and the flanks of the gear teeth are polished, as are the screw heads and beveled edges. Fine regulation is done by means of weights on the balance wheel, and the escape wheel has a shock absorber. Consisting of the ultra-thin 2120 (2.45 mm thick) and a perpetual calendar module, the movement is just 4 mm thick. (When the 2120 was introduced, in 1967, it was the world’s thinnest movement with a central rotor.) In light of the watch’s technical features, its price of $59,000* is understandable. Perpetual calendars from Patek Philippe and A. Lange & Söhne are similarly priced. Complications from major manufacturers almost necessarily have a hefty price.
Functions: Hours, minutes; perpetual calendar with date, day, month, leap year, moon-phase
Movement: Cal. 2120/2802, automatic; 19,800 vph; Gyromax fine regulating system; power reserve = 40 hours
Case: Rose gold, sapphire crystal, screw-down caseback with sapphire window, water-resistant to 20 meters
This article was originally published on November 19, 2013, and has been updated.