This year, the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak and a year after Gerald Genta’s passing, sees the redesign of the Royal Oak Extra Thin Selfwinding (ref. 15202), more commonly known as the “Jumbo”, reverting back to almost its original form as penned by Gerald Genta in 1972. Iconic and legendary are overused terms, I am guilty of using them loosely too, but they are undeniably true for the Royal Oak Jumbo.
I am very lucky to have one of the new ref. 15202 Jumbos for a week and I love it. The loan is for a review upcoming in The Peak magazine; last year I got the Millenary 4101.
The new Jumbo is virtually identical to the original. Several notable changes have been made, however, one being the dark blue date wheel that matches the dial colour instead of the original white.
Another is the see-through case back (though the case remains monocoque with the movement coming out the front).
But the most important change is the clasp. For the first time in its 40 year history the Jumbo has a double fold clasp, which means it sits much better on smaller wrists. I used to own a 1980s Royal Oak Jumbo – a beautiful timepiece – but the clasp would not centre on my wrist. The double fold clasp is an enormous and landmark achievement.
All the changes are improvements, and everything else remains the same classic Royal Oak – the beautifully finished 39 mm case, the petit tapisserie dial and of course the movement.
Inside sits the same ultra-thin cal. 2121 automatic movement, a wonderfully conceived movement that was a big deal when it was first unveiled. The finishing here seems better than on AP watches of the past, even compared to cal. 2121 of earlier years. For instance the anglage was mirror polished and rounded, while in the past I recall Royal Oak anglage looked stamped. Also new is the styling of the rotor, which now reflects the Royal Oak shape as well as the dial guilloche motif. The old style “AP” rotor is still attractive though it hadn’t changed in years and looked very eighties so this is not a bad thing.
This is a perfectly proportioned timepiece and proof that good things really stand the test of time. The Royal Oak ref. 15202 retails for 28,800 Singapore dollars or US$22,700.
A more detailed review, by myself and another collector, will be published in The Peak Selections: Timepieces in August. It will be sent to all The Peak subscribers and will also be available at newsstands and bookstores in Singapore.
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