The latest incarnations of the famous AP Royal Oak seem to be very much a complete model range, covering lots of bases. Plus they fitted a brand new in-house calibre. Now that’s a statement that other luxury watch brands cannot ignore.
Consider this too; if people are willing to pay 15-18K for a Submariner to jump a queue, then maybe they could stretch to 20K for an AP?
For this 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak, there are 34, 37, 38 and 41mm variations in case width. They also feature hads that are larger on the larger cases, so in proportion basically. The bracelet links got slightly slimmer and the caseback is sort of chamfered a little more, tucked away for comfort on the wrist.
The edges on the case are slightly recessed now as it aims towards the bracelet pins, just to give it a real balance and symmetry. It’s like AP have been taking a Grand Seiko to pieces at the factory to study engineering harmony. Not that they need lessons, but just…you know, like Kawasaki tore apart an MV Agusta racing 500 to build their Z1 in the 60s/70s.
Sensibly they haven’t messed with that Genta classic octagonal case shape, or messed up the waffle dial effect either. Some things are just design signatures, like the toothy grille on a BMW, or the bite-me Apple logo.
For luxury fans of AP there is a diamond bezel model, the Bleu Nuit, which has a special coating on the dial. Here’s the AP press info;
In tribute to the original model from 1972, a vast number of references across the Royal Oak collection now welcome the iconic “Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50” for their “Petite” or “Grande Tapisserie” dial.
Although originally achieved through galvanic bath, the dial’s “Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50” shade is obtained today through PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) to ensure a more homogeneous colour across the collection.
Now this is clever; they put the Cal 5900 movement in the 37mm watch, so demand will build up for a 39/40mm version later on. Love that 50th logo rotor too.
The new selfwinding hour, minute and second movement, Calibre 5900, debuts in the 37 mm collection, while all chronograph models in 41 mm are now powered by Calibre 4401, the Manufacture’s latest integrated flyback chronograph.
Calibre 5900 is thinner and endowed with a higher frequency compared to Calibre 3120, which it replaces. It also offers 60 hours of power reserve.
Prices start at £20,300 for the entry level 37mm Royal Oak model.