When one thinks of Audemars Piguet, one must surely also think of the Royal Oak and for good reason. Ever since Audemars Piguet introduced this epic watch they have been elevating its presence, by introducing new complications, movements, and yes, even changing the legendary design just a little bit. That is why today the Royal Oak is not just an epic watch, it is an collection of epic watches!
For some watches in the collection Audemars Piguet went a little bit beyond changing just some details of the design. The best example of this is the Royal Oak Offshore. Where the normal Royal Oak might be nice to sip your 14 year old Macallan with, the Offshore is more the type for a protein shake, however both are clearly members of the same clan. And the same can be said of the Royal Oak Concept, but then in a futuristic Jetsons-kind-of-way.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept dates back from 2002 when it marked the occasion of the Royal Oak’s 30th birthday, however not many people can party with a Royal Oak Concept, since they have always been strictly limited. The last time Audemars Piguet released an Royal Oak Concept was in 2011, with the Concept GMT Tourbillon. That watch featured a black ceramic bezel, screw-locked crown and pushpiece. For the 2014 model Audemars Piguet went all out for the colour white.
Let’s be honest, white is a bit of a daring choice for a men’s watch, especially one as prominently masculine as this Royal Oak Concept. Or not? Audemars Piguet have always had a tremendous feeling for style when it came to the Royal Oak collection and this Concept GMT Tourbillon is no exception. While white ceramic in most men’s watches might be considered a faux pas, Audemars Piguet makes it look cool. Cool like a Sonny-Crockett-in-a-white-Ferrari-Testarossa-from-the-future-kind of cool. Where the brushed titanium case gave the 2011 version a bit of a sinister look, it brought the white ceramic into the masculine universe in a way that black rims will never do with your white Porsche.
For those who think that Audemars Piguet simply re-released their 2011 Concept GMT Tourbillon but in white ceramic instead of black, they would be mistaken. While the 2011 Concept GMT Tourbillon ran on caliber 2913, the 2014 version features caliber 2930, a revised version of the caliber originally used. In designing the movement Audemars Piguet paid special attention in keeping it as symmetrical as possible. From an aesthetic point of view this is an effort that has not only succeeded but should also be applauded, because it truly turns this watch into a master piece.
When anything, especially from the automotive world has the word “concept” included in their name, they are often quite unpractical. This is clearly the opposite in the case of this Royal Oak Concept. With an easy to read GMT-function, which includes a clever day-and-night indication, the watch is a frequent traveller’s dream especially for when he crashes in his Singapore Airline Suite on his way to yet another continent. And with a 237 hour power reserve you only have to wind your watch about three times a month. When you remember of course, because by the time the power has run down you already might have suspected that Audemars Piguet has secretly inserted a battery somewhere inside the movement. For the record; they did not!
The pushpiece will let you select the different functions of the watch in an easy manner that no iWatch can match. Granted, this watch cannot read your emails to you but that is mostly spam anyway. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon represents in many ways the future of mechanical watchmaking, as well as the future of the Royal Oak itself. And on the contrary of what some might think, that future is bright!
Images courtesy of REVOLUTION’s own Adi Soon
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics