I will let you in on an insider secret. There are a few words that are frowned upon here at Revolution. One of them is ‘iconic’. This is mainly because the word tends to get overused in every other watch prose rendering it redundant. That however is not the case here. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is, in my opinion, an icon beyond measure and one of my all-time favorite horological creations. It’s a creation of alchemy — fusing the athletic with the elegant with magic so potent that it is difficult to turn away without becoming completely bewitched.
A Royal History
This new look Royal Oak with its Frosted Gold finish has been conceived in celebration of the first women’s Royal Oak designed some 40 years ago. It was created in collaboration with Florentine jewellery designer, Carolina Bucci. With a significant family history in the jewllery business, Bucci’s work is most lauded for its simplicity and elegance. Retuning to Florence after her studies, she’s worked for the past 15 years alongside local goldsmiths perfecting traditional practices such as the Florentine technique.
This year, Audmars Piguet has chosen to honour the female designers who have contributed to the Royal Oak’s legacy: from Jacqueline Dimier, who reinterpreted Gerald Genta’s initial 1972 Royal Oak to create the 29mm Royal Oak ref. 8638 and then imagined the first ever Royal Oak for women in 1976, to Carolina Bucci today. Dimier, however, remains one of the only named female watch designers of the modern era (Dimier joined Audemars Piguet in 1975 and was appointed in-house head of design shortly after). Her crowning achievement, without question, was that she successfully developed women’s designs that were relevant and therefore loved.