This autumn, Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet will complement its Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked series with three new references in 41 mm and two in 37 mm, all displaying a rainbow bezel composed of multicoloured gemstones. The attention to detail at the heart of these timepieces and their interplay of colours, materials and refined decorations draw inspirations from diverse worlds, including Haute Joaillerie and Haute Couture.
The scintillating effect of the Frosted Gold case and bracelet is emphasized by the array of vivid and brilliant rainbow-coloured gemstones carefully selected to reach a harmonious colour spectrum. These contrasted plays of light illuminate the Manufacture’s state-of-the-art openworked double balance wheel mechanism visible on both sides of the watch. Blending age-old techniques with contemporary design, these new timepieces radiate timeless elegance.
Rainbow of multi-coloured gem-stones
Audemars Piguet presents a new rainbow bezel set with 12 different types of multi-coloured gem-stones, including ruby, tsavorite, emerald, topaz, tanzanite, amethyst and a variety of coloured sapphires. Each of the 32 baguette-cut gemstones composing the rainbow has been meticulously chosen to offer vivid hues, a smooth gradation and seamless harmony when combined. The progressing shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple also bring out the octagonal geometry of the bezel.
The 32 gemstones have been individually cut and polished to present sharp and clear angles, before being set by hand on the gold bezel. Perfectly aligned, the gemstones reflect light to create a unique optical experience akin to that of a rainbow.
A shimmering “diamond-dust” effect
The case and bracelet of the 37 and 41 mm models in white, pink or yellow gold shimmer with Frosted Gold – a finishing technique first produced in collaboration with Carolina Bucci in 2016 for the 40th anniversary of the ladies’ Royal Oak. The jewellery designer has reinterpreted this ancient technique in her contemporary jewellery creations and assisted the Manufacture’s craftspeople in developing it into a horological craft suited to the Royal Oak’s case and bracelet. Tiny indentations are created on the gold surface with a diamond-tipped tool, giving a sparkle effect similar to that of precious stones, like “diamond dust.” Superposed to the bezel’s polished bevels, this finishing highlights the Royal Oak’s unique geometry and design codes, while capturing attention from a distance.
Blending patented innovation and age-old savoir-faire
The rainbow bezel and Frosted Gold case open onto the openworked Manufacture movement, Calibre 3132, and its double balance wheel mechanism. This patented innovation, released by Audemars Piguet in 2016, improves the watch’s precision and stability. By incorporating two balance wheels and two hairsprings assembled on the same axis, the system oscillates in perfect synchrony. Visible on both sides of the case, the double balance wheel confers a rare glimpse at the watch’s beating heart.
In addition, the openworked bridges reveal part of the gear train on the dial and caseback sides. An Audemars Piguet speciality since the 1930s, openworking is an art balancing aesthetics and function. Highly trained experts create the movement by starting with the end design and working backwards. Cut too little in the wrong place and it looks wrong. Cut too much and the movement’s functionality is compromised. Solving the puzzle demands horological mastery and profound knowledge of materials and finishing techniques.
A vivid combination debuting in 41 mm
For the first time, the Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked in 41 mm displays a rainbow-coloured bezel. Frosted Gold models in yellow and pink gold also make their debut in the collection.
Keeping with the aesthetics of the current 41 mm offering, the new yellow, pink or white Frosted Gold case and bracelet are contrasted by the openworked movement’s slate grey NAC-coated bridges and enhanced by the dial’s black inner bezel. The two-tone design is accentuated as the double balance wheel at 8 o’clock takes on yellow gold-toned, pink gold-toned or rhodium-toned hues to echo the case’s colour. Similarly, the hour-markers and luminescent Royal Oak hands are crafted in yellow, pink or white gold.
The 37 mm collection expands its offering
The Manufacture releases two new 37 mm Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked references in 18-carat pink and yellow gold for the smaller wrists to complement the 18-carat white gold piece launched in 2019. Both sport a matching pink or yellow gold-toned openworked movement, sharply contrasted by the blackened openworked barrel at 1 o’clock which discloses the watch’s mainspring.
In the same tone as the movement and case, the pink or yellow gold hour-makers and luminescent Royal Oak hands blend in to foreground the artistry of Calibre 3132.
The new Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel in 37 and 41 mm will be exclusively available in Audemars Piguet’s Boutiques as of October 2021.