If you were sick of all Royal Oaks and their sameness, well, AP have just raised you the middle finger and made a Royal Oak in every colour of the rainbow. However, if you were after something a little less gaudy, don’t worry, there’s only one of each colour and size, meaning us mere mortals will never get our hands on one.
While it is gaudy, the craftsmanship and care put into these pieces is nothing short of what you’d expect from Audemars Piguet.
There are two Royal Oak Selfwinding sets in 37mm and 41mm, so 10 different watches in two different sized sets. Each watch is made of white gold and is set with about 800 baguette-cut stones. To be exact, the 41mm has 861 total stones in 179 sizes, while the 37mm has 790 total stones in 153 sizes.
Each and every gemstone has been hand-picked and custom cut with a strict criterion for colour, clarity, and quality to ensure homogeneity. According to AP, it took about a year to find all the right stones.
It was Geneva-based company, Salanitro, a leader in gemsetting, that made this using a very intricate technique of invisible gemsetting. Basically, they cut tiny grooves into the stones, which are then carefully snapped one by one onto a hidden rail mounted in the white gold. This gives the impression that they are being held there on their own.
For each colour AP used a wide variety of gemstones: rubies, emeralds, blue sapphires, tanzanites, yellow chrysoberyls, pink tourmalines, amethysts, blue topaz, orange spessartites, tsavorites.
Mechanically, the two have different movements. The 41mm has the Calibre 4309, and the 37mm has the Calibre 5909. Both do feature the AP commemorative 50th anniversary oscillating weight that’s visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.
Nathalie Barzilay, Audemars Piguet’s Head Gemmologist, said of the collection: “With these sets available in two sizes, we went off the beaten track to create an unprecedented rainbow with ten bold timepieces, each decorated with a different gemstone. We selected some of the world’s purest and most vivid stones, including emeralds, rubies, tourmalines, tanzanites, tsavorites, chrysoberyls and spessartites. A challenge as we had to find some 800 gemstones per watch, all with the exact same colour and the highest level of quality.”
While they are a testament to the craft, to be blunt, they look like shit. It’s as if they were too busy wondering if they could make this and no one questioned whether they should.
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