Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin is going green with its first-ever full platinum Royal Oak Jumbo, the Le Brassus brand’s 39mm octagonal superstar.
Both case and bracelet are crafted from 950 platinum but the watch forgoes the model’s usual Tapisserie dial pattern in favour of an unorthodox smoked green sunburst dial, with the lack of relief changing the Royal Oak’s appearance considerably.
There’s little to distract from the dial itself with just applied 18kt white gold hour markers, hour and minute hands, a date window with black date wheel and minimal text, although the inclusion of the word ‘Automatic’ seems a little superfluous.
The watch itself is just 8.1mm from front-to-back, more than answering the ‘Ultra Thin‘ claim, especially in such a geometric design. This is made possible thanks to its self-winding Calibre 2121 inside, which despite its full-width, 22kt gold winding rotor, usually the first thing to go when designing an ultra-thin movement, is just 3.3mm thick.
The 2.75Hz movement has a power reserve of 40 hours and and is visible through a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback while the watch is water resistant to 50m.
Just 100 pieces of the $105,400 USD watch will be made and are only available through Audemars Piguet’s network of AP House ‘apartments’.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin has recently adopted a somewhat unusual communication strategy – rather than officially announcing at least some of its new models, the company instead simply posts them to its website, which means that if you’re a client or want to be one, you have to be a bit on your toes, especially when it comes to smaller series and limited edition models. Today, Audemars Piguet has launched a most interesting new version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin, that most classic of all Royal Oak models. The new models have a platinum case and bracelet, and in addition, there is a rose-gold model as well. And something else not seen often on a Jumbo in recent years: diamond indexes.You can find diamond indexes, of course, on gem-set Royal Oaks, but I haven’t seen one with only diamond indexes, although I would not be surprised at all to find out it has been done at some point since the line launched in 1972. The diamonds here are set into a black onyx dial, for both the platinum model and rose-gold models. The watches are a limited edition, it will surprise no one to hear; moreover, they are limited in distribution geographically – there will be 70 pieces, made for AP retailer Yoshida, in Tokyo.Watches with diamond indexes are less frequently seen today than in the years prior to the Quartz Crisis and the subsequent renaissance of mechanical watches, and they can be somewhat polarizing. They were often found on watches that stereotypically might be classified as men’s dress watches, and they sometimes appear to be either too much or not enough. If you’re going to have diamonds at all, the thinking seems to go, go all in (whatever that might mean) or leave them out entirely. Diamonds for indexes only seems a little like the precious stone equivalent of a gold and steel watch. You want diamonds, but twelve small ones are about the limit of your budget.They seem to work pretty damned well in this instance, though. They undoubtedly give the watch a little bit of a throwback feel, and in a steel watch, maybe (and only maybe) you could argue that they smack a bit too much of economy, but on a Jumbo with a platinum case and bracelet, they read more stealth-luxury than anything else. A card-sharp on a hot streak might want something more glittery, the better to attract and hold the eye of Lady Luck; the casino owner upstairs watching strongboxes full of cash going into the vault would probably be wearing this guy. With the always-classic ultra-thin caliber 2121, this is a watch worth a trip to Tokyo – or an urgent request for a Zoom meeting at the very least.