By Kien Lee
Bringing the worlds of haute horlogerie and haute couture together, Audemars Piguet has announced a partnership with Raplh & Russo. The coming together of the Swiss watch manufacturer and the British fashion house that holds the Haute Couture appellation, celebrates a common spirit of independence and dedication to age-old craftsmanship, creativity and reinvention.
Both combine inventive designs with the technical precision of age-old skills, and savoir-faire. Both enlist teams of highly trained artisans, each expert in fields old and new, to consistently reinterpret and develop coveted skills to set pioneering trends within their industry. Both evoke a unique language of emotions.
Audemars Piguet’s latest Royal Oak and Royal Oak Concept models will complement Ralph & Russo's Spring/Summer 2021 Prêt-à-Porter collection.
NEW ROYAL OAK SELFWINDING MODELS FOR SMALLER WRISTS
Audemars Piguet presents its latest Royal Oak Selfwinding models in 34 mm conceived for the smaller wrists. This new line includes 4 models in stainless steel and/or 18-carat pink gold.
The 18-carat pink gold model is adorned with a diamond-set bezel and a silver-toned guilloché "Grande Tapisserie" dial.
The dial's trademark guilloché design is achieved through a complex manufacturing process based on a rare in-house know-how no longer taught in horology school. Little squares are carved out on the dial's thin metal plate by an engraving machine dating back to the 1970s that reproduces the motif of a pattern. Small diamond shapes are simultaneously cut out in the thin grooves separating the squares in a seamless "weave" that creates a tapestry appearance. This process requires extreme dexterity and precision.
The two steel models are enhanced by a silver-toned or blue-grey "Grande Tapisserie" dial. The blue-grey watch is embellished with a diamond-set bezel.
The Manufacture also presents an elegant two-tone model combining a stainless steel case and bracelet with an 18-carat pink gold bezel and bracelet links. This model comes with a silver-toned "Grande Tapisserie" dial.
These four references are powered by a new selfwinding movement, calibre 5800, endowed with a dedicated oscillating weight specifically developed for this new 34 mm version.
A NEW FEMININE LOOK FOR THE ROYAL OAK CONCEPT FLYING TOURBILLON
Available in 18-carat pink or white gold, the new Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon combines the case's shimmering Frosted Gold finish with a contemporary dial composed of multiple layers.
For the first time, the Royal Oak Concept’s case is adorned with Frosted Gold—an ancient Florentine jewellery technique revisited by jewellery designer Carolina Bucci and adapted to adorn the Manufacture’s watches. Tiny indentations are created on the gold surface with a diamond-tipped tool, giving a sparkle effect like diamond dust. Superposed to the bezel's polished bevels, this finishing highlights the watch's design codes.
The shimmering case nicely frames the multi-layered dial composed of four juxtaposed circles of increasing size and graded hues of blue emanating from the flying tourbillon cage at 6 o'clock. The graded nuances and sunburst motif further accentuate the dial's depth and refinement. The flying tourbillon cage also presents a modern design with openworked gold-toned circles topped with an elegant touch of brilliant-cut diamonds.
No hour-markers have been included on the dial to enhance the purity of this contemporary design.
The flying tourbillon—a high-end complication compensating for the effect of gravity on a watch—is today considered as of one the greatest expressions of watchmaking art. Only a few expert watchmakers retain the necessary skills for its realisation. The movement's circular motif, visible through the sapphire caseback recalls the dial's pattern.
The alternation of sandblasting and satin-brushing also echoes the finishes of the Frosted Gold case and sunburst dial.
The two highly contemporary models are adorned with a blue "large square-scale" alligator strap for an elegant contrast. The strap is complemented with a folding clasp adorned with Frosted Gold for a Couture look to the slightest detail.