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Introducing the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon
Introducing the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon
Words Thomas Billinghurst
April 3. 2018

Audemars Piguet’s first Royal Oak Concept for women is a dazzling display of glittering opulence.

Words Thomas Billinghurst
April 3, 2018

If there was ever any doubt as to what a girl’s best friend is, Audemars Piguet has made its thoughts abundantly clear. Judging by the appearance of the Le Brassus-based watchmaker’s newest timepiece the answer is diamonds. Most definitely diamonds. 

Audemars Piguet’s gleaming new watch marks a first on two fronts. Firstly, it’s the first Royal Oak concept for women. Secondly, and perhaps more significantly, it’s the first flying tourbillon the company has created. 

That the manufacture has decided to create its first flying tourbillon in the same motion as its first female Concept watch is a statement as bold and bright as the watch itself. The Swiss mechanical luxury watchmaker is clearly showing the value it sees in the market. Known for the intricate and complicated mechanics apparent in its pieces, this flying tourbillon is no exception. Nor is it likely to go unnoticed on anyone that wears one.

Introducing the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon

Since its inception in 2002, the Royal Oak Concept with its distinctive octagonal bezels and case construction has boasted cutting-edge technologies used in watchmaking, including the Acoustic Research, the Supersonnerie and the Laptimer. The Audemars Piguet Ladies’ Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon is no exception. It features the manufacture’s new self-winding Calibre 2951, which beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour.

Though it’s hard to look past the onslaught of glittering jewels on first glance there’s much to admire in this diamond-lined AP double first. The skeletonised white gold dial means the intricate 255-component piece movement is visible through the sapphire crystal case, with the satin-polished bridges and angles gleaming through the transparent face, with a glimpse of the openworked barrel at 11 o’clock — a snowflake set amid icicle-shaped diamonds.

A flying tourbillon is also apparent at 6 o’clock, with the dynamic complication seemingly floating on the face. 

Introducing the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon

Glitzy aside: The timepiece features 460 diamonds — 397 (3.49ct) brilliant-cut gems on the case and buckle,
62 (0.16ct) diamonds for the dial and 9 brilliant-cut (0.02ct) pieces for decoration on the movement.

The icy, wintry aesthetic of the white gold dial and its brilliant-cut diamonds is reminiscent, AP says, of “winter in the Vallée de Joux” — the heart of the snowy mountainous European region that beats to the complicated rhythm of AP’s mechanisms. 

The 38.5mm tourbillon comes in 18k white gold and can be set in either brilliant-cut, or baguette-cut diamonds to add a profuse and pricey sparkle to the wrist. Bigger and bolder, the increased size of the Royal Oak Concept case renders it more wearable and practical in comparison to its previously smaller-faced ancestors. 

Thomas Billinghurst
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