Everyone loves a Royal Oak and AP have given us four new variants for the Royal Oak 50th anniversary but they aren’t the greatest AP have ever put out.
It’s been 50 years since the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was released and now the Swiss watchmaker is here to celebrate. Given how iconic the Royal Oak is, it should be no surprise that AP are going back to their history to bring us the first new Royal Oak “Jumbo” reference in over 20 years. It isn’t just one watch either but four new watches debuting under the ref. 16202 name.
Despite the watches being named “Jumbo” they aren’t that big. The cases themselves are only 39mm in size and 8.1mm in thickness meaning that their dimensions are identical to the ref. 15202 i.e., the previous version. So what’s the big deal? Is this just a rehash disguised as a new release? Not quite as the real difference comes from the case materials and movement.
The new quartet of watches comes in yellow gold, rose gold, stainless steel, and platinum.
However, that doesn’t mean that these are completely original though, but they aren’t really supposed to be. If you look at the stainless-steel variant, it is very reminiscent of the original Royal Oak from 1972 even down the colour and pattern of the dial. You can see the iconic petite tapisserie pattern in blue grey across the dial in what was certainly a deliberate homage to the original. What this means is that while it isn’t original, it certainly is absolutely fabulous.
If nostalgia doesn’t do it for you and you’re after something a little more forward thinking or unique, don’t worry, the others have you covered.
All the precious metal references have a “smoked” finish on their dials. The platinum variant leans into the green watch trend to surprising effect. It isn’t the best green dial watch available as it looks a little too much like a heavily used pool table.
The yellow gold variant frankly looks like one of the most garish yet weirdly cheap looking gold watches. I’m aware that they certainly aren’t cheap but the black contrast around the edges just looks tacky.
The rose gold however looks fantastic. The smoky grey paired with the rose gold looks absolutely deluxe.
The movement in these watches is also different from their predecessor. These new references now contain the Audemars Piguet calibre 7121 which is more complicated, larger, and contains more components.
Here’s what’s new in the 7121:
- 55-hour power reserve – that’s 15 hours better than the previous version
- A quick-set date function – the old Jumbo would often take several minutes to set up
- A quicker beat rate of 28,800vph
- For 2022 only, a 50th anniversary rotor will be present.
As for the prices, they are as follows:
- Stainless steel – CHF29,700 (~$45,372 AUD)
- Yellow and rose gold – CHF63,100 (~$96,396 AUD)
- Platinum – price on request (last year’s reference was priced at $105,400 USD [~$149,737 AUD])
Check them out using the link below.
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