Ever since the release of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Black Ceramic at SIHH 2017, it is safe to say that Audemars Piguet has dominated the market for ultramodern and cutting-edge complicated timepieces.

Even to this day, the original perpetual calendar Royal Oak in black ceramic is still one of the hottest watches available and the list to get one is long, very long. So to satisfy collectors’ appetite for their ceramic material, Audemars Piguet has also released the Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked in black ceramic, as well as the Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin fitted with the same material. To change it up a bit, earlier this year we saw the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar dressed in a full white ceramic attire, proving that the maison doesn’t just rest on their laurels and are constantly experimenting and bringing new ideas to life.

The craze for black ceramic is not solely about the color, if you’ve seen one in person you’ll know that the finishing on the ceramic case and integrated bracelet is just second to none. With the various polished and brushed surfaces, the maison has found a way to make black ceramic shine like a precious metal. I suggest you also take a look at the perfection of the sharp edges around the timepiece.

That brings us to the new AP Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked in black ceramic we have today. How do you improve on a watch that was already close to perfection? Well you add another one of your expertise into the mix, in this case it’s openworking, or skeletonization of the movement.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic (Image © Revolution)
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic (Image © Revolution)
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic (Image © Revolution)
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic (Image © Revolution)

Inside the timepiece is the new hand-finished Calibre 5135 which constitutes the openworked version of the Calibre 5134 found in its sibling. Visually, it’s always a treat to be able to look at the intricacies of a watch movement, and here the depth of the movement is elevated with the contrasting rose gold elements around the dial and the movement.

The new hand-finished Calibre 5135 (Image © Revolution)
The new hand-finished Calibre 5135 (Image © Revolution)

The hands are solid pink gold just like the hour markers who sit on a transparent sapphire chapter ring where the minutes are indicated. These sapphire chapter rings can also be found on all the other perpetual calendar indications. The moonphase at 6 o’clock is aventurine with a laser engraved reproduction of the moon.

The solid pink gold hour markers on a transparent sapphire chapter ring and the moonphase located at 6 o’clock (Image © Revolution)
The solid pink gold hour markers on a transparent sapphire chapter ring and the moonphase located at 6 o’clock (Image © Revolution)

I like that Audemars Piguet still keeps the full ceramic watches habiliment for complicated timepieces as it makes the material feel exclusive. Wouldn’t it just be too easy to release a ref. 15202 or 15500 in black ceramic?

The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic is a great follow-up to the original 2017 model and will sit well alongside its relative while offering a beautiful option for collectors who found the first generation too monochromatic.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic (Image © Revolution)

Technical Specifications

Movement

Self-winding Calibre 5135; hours, minutes; perpetual calendar with week indication, day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year; 40-hour power reserve

Case

Black ceramic case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and titanium caseback, screw-locked crown, water-resistant to 20 m

Strap

Black ceramic bracelet with titanium AP folding clasp.