The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is perhaps one of the most famous watches available now, and unlike other watches of comparable popularity like the Omega Speedmaster or Rolex Submariner, its basic design also enjoys considerable versatility concerning complications. From straightforward time-only versions to more complex offerings, there are many flavors of Royal Oak available, and also the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked Material Good watch is one of the more elaborate examples.As an aside, and maybe it’s just me, but it feels like brands really need to work on keeping watch names to a manageable span. Getting back to the watch at hand, this particular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was developed in cooperation with Material Good — a New York-based luxury retailer. As the name clearly indicates, encased within the Gerald Genta-designed case is an openworked movement using a tourbillon and a chronograph complication.The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph is powered with the caliber 2936, which is a hand-wound movement with a 72-hour power reserve. It’s a traditional 2-counter 30-minute chronograph movement with a tourbillon in 6:00. The skeletonization is complex and complicated, and effort has gone into the bridge design to be certain that the last result looks visually interesting and balanced.The bridge at 12:00, which holds the mainspring barrel, has an intriguing arch-like design which matches the form of the tourbillon cage on the other end. The bridges are in gold and polished to a brilliant finish and with plenty of chamfering.
The ladies’ Royal Oak marks its 40th year in 2016 with the Royal Oak Frosted Gold, giving the signature Audemars Piguet wristwatch a new surface finish for the first time.
Working with Italian jewellery designer Carolina Bucci, Audemars Piguet adopted a decorative technique from Florentine jewellery for the new Royal Oak, giving it a finely hammered surface.
Originally designed in 1976 by Jacqueline Dimier, the Royal Oak for women was an evolution of the original Royal Oak ref. 5402 designed by Gerald Genta in 1972. Compact and dainty but resolutely octagonal, the ladies’ Royal Oak is transformed with the Florentine finish.
Instead of the traditional straight grained, brushed finish applied to all flat surfaces of the watch case and bracelet, the Royal Oak Frosted Gold is treated with a diamond-tipped tool. Used to repeatedly dig into the surface of the gold, the tool creates tiny dimples, creating a textured surface that sparkles in the light.
The Florentine finish is usually found on small pieces of jewellery, often used by Carolina Bucci on her creations. Repurposing the technique for serial production of the Royal Oak Frosted Gold took several months, especially when it came to perfecting the finish of the bracelet while retaining its flexility.
The Royal Oak Frosted Gold is available in white or rose gold. Both versions are offered either as a 37mm automatic powered by the in-house calibre 3120, or a 33mm watch with a quartz movement.
Price and availability
Available starting March 2017, the Royal Oak Frosted Gold is priced as follows, in Swiss francs including Swiss tax:
White gold 37mm, ref. 15454BC.GG.1259BC.01 – SFr51,500
White gold 33mm, ref. 67653BC.GG.1263BC.01 – SFr42,500
Pink gold 37mm, ref. 15454OR.GG.1259OR.01 – SFr46,500
Pink gold 33mm, ref. 67653OR.GG.1263OR.01 -SFr37,500
Prices are subject to change.