SIHH 2013: Audemars Piguet (with live photos)

Audemars Piguet had a fairly restrained collection at SIHH 2013. The new watches launched were variations of existing models or movements, mainly Royal Oak Offshore models, rather than anything entirely novel.  Alongside news of the 2013 collection was the appointment of François-Henry Bennahmias as CEO of AP. He was formerly head of AP North America, and since last year General Manager ad interim of AP. Mr Bennahmias has some changes in store with regards to brand direction, products and even pricing, though nothing has been announced officially – those will prove to be interesting. But now on to the watches. The flagship product for 2013 is the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication. This is a grand complication in the traditional sense; it has minute repeater, perpetual calendar and split-seconds chronograph. Despite its rugged appearance and rubber strap, this is only water-resistant to 20 m, due to the minute repeater slide.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication in titanium

Pictured here in titanium with ceramic bezel, pushers and crown, the Offshore Grand Complication is also available in rose gold. Each is a limited edition of three pieces. The case diameter is 44 mm.

The dial is sapphire, revealing the intricate mass of levers and gears below.

The cal. 2885 movement has been used in other models before, including the Royal Oak, but this is the first time it is found in the Offshore case. 

A less complicated family member is the new Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Previously using a JLC 889 base movement, this now sports the in-house cal. 3120 as a base with the perpetual calendar module on top.

Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in titanium

The traditional four sub-dial layout of the perpetual calendar is old fashioned, making this almost a retro-style reissue.

This is a limited edition of ten pieces in platinum, 25 in rose gold and 35 in titanium.

Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in platinum

The case is the classic 42 mm Offshore case with round chronograph buttons; it sits well on the wrist and the precious metal versions feel reassuringly solid.

Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in rose gold

Another extension of the Offshore family is the Royal Oak Offshore Diver in a 42 mm black ceramic case and bezel. The crowns are also ceramic, and the crown at ten o’clock rotates the inner elapsed time bezel.

The dial is black with the “mega tapisserie” guilloche. And inside is the in-house cal. 3120.

Though ceramic is not a new material by any means, AP works ceramic very well, this carries a beautiful matte and glossy finish. Though not extremely creative, this is strikingly attractive.

For the ladies the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ladycat is new for 2013. Named after a catamaran crewed only by women sailors, which AP sponsors, the Ladycat colours are green, black and gold, which are likewise the colours of the watch.

The 37 mm case is set with diamonds, as are the bezel and four bracelet links. And the chronograph sub-dials are blue mother of pearl. Inside is the Frederic Piguet 1185 movement.

The Royal Oak collection proper only got a few new additions, all of which are jewelled timepieces. One of them is the 37 mm Royal Oak automatic in white gold with the case and dial  set with diamonds.

Finally we come to something that isn’t octagonal. The Traditio Minute Repeater Tourbillon Chronograph is a large, 47 mm cushion cased timepiece that brings to mind early 20th century wristwatches; the Tradition line is basically a reboot of the AP John Shaeffer line.

The case is titanium, but the bezel, case back, crown and pushers are white gold. Notably AP has achieved a bright finish on the titanium parts, as the difference in colour between the two alloys is not especially noticeable.

The dial has a vertical brushed finish, and rose gold plated applied markers.

Inside is the 2874 movement from Renaud & Papi.

See the rest of my SIHH 2013 comprehensive reports. The brand reports listed in italics are still in progress. A. Lange & Söhne Audemars Piguet Cartier Greubel Forsey IWC Jaeger-LeCoultre Montblanc Panerai Parmigiani Piaget Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Vacheron Constantin Van Cleef & Arpels – SJX

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