Audemars Piguet Introduces the Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon

A striking watch for women.

Originally a series of highly-complicated, extra-large watches for men, the Royal Oak Concept line up has grown to include a handful of women’s watches, including the brand-new and extremely striking Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon.

Powered by a hand-wound tourbillon movement, the Royal Oak Concept for women combines the traditional, faceted Concept with the granular Frosted Gold finish conceived by an Italian jeweller for Audemars Piguet, along with a distinctive new dial style of stacked, concentric rings.

Initial thoughts

When this arrived in my inbox I was quite taken by the styling. Thanks to the shapes and simple finishes, the dial and hands have a clean geometric style that works surprisingly well with the angular Concept case. And the tourbillon serves a higher, aesthetic purpose, with the cage continuing the concentric-ring motif of the dial.

With the men’s Concept watches being so large they don’t really fit well on most wrists (especially due to the integrated strap), the women’s Concept at 38.5 mm in diameter probably sits well on most wrists, male or female.

Given AP’s mastery of case finishing and the typically high quality of its dials, I expect the watch will be gorgeous in real life. But also given AP’s aggressively high pricing for its watches, I expect this watch to be extremely expensive (prices were not available at press time).

Stepped rings

The most unusual feature of the new watch is the dial design, a first for the Royal Oak. Finished in a metallic blue with a radial brushed finish, the dial composed of four concentric circles that step downwards towards the hands. The tourbillon cage at six o’clock is similar formed by four rings, ending in a circle set with brilliant-cut diamonds.

The circular motif continues on the movement, which is the cal. 2964 developed by Audemars Piguet subsidiary Renaud & Papi, a respected complications specialist. The bridges of the movement are finished with concentric rings in relief on a frosted surface.

Available in white or pink gold, the case is similar in shape to the men’s Royal Oak Concept, with three large facets on the integrated lugs that echo the shape of the bezel. All of the top surfaces are decorated with the Frosted Gold finish – done by hand with a sharp-tipped tool that creates tiny divots in the surface – with mirror-polished bevels and brushed flanks.


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon 38.5 mm
Ref. 26630OR.GG.D326CR.01 (pink gold)
Ref. 26630BC.GG.D326CR.01 (white gold)

Diameter: 38.5 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: 18 pink or white gold with hammered finish
Crystal: Sapphire
Water-resistance: 20 m

Movement: Cal. 2964
Functions: Hours, minutes, and tourbillon regulator
Winding: Hand-wind
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Blue alligator with pink gold folding clasp

Availability: Only at boutiques
Price: Unavailable at time of publication

For more information, visit Audemarspiguet.com.


 

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Swatch Introduces the Swatch x BAPE Big Bold 2020

Metallic dials for a Tokyo-themed edition.

One year after the launch of its first collaboration with Japanese streetwear label A Bathing Ape (BAPE), Swatch has just announced the second edition of the Swatch x BAPE Big Bold. A limited edition of unknown quantity, the new line up is made up of three models, plus a more exclusive box set that Swatch has teased about but not yet announced.

From left: Tokyo Black Multi Camo, Tokyo Grey Multi Camo, Tokyo White Multi Camo

Initial thoughts

The first Swatch x BAPE edition was made up of six watches, each dedicated to a different city, along with a sixth “global” model – resulting in six truly distinct designs, making the whole set desirable.

On the other hand, the new edition pays homage to Tokyo, the birthplace of BAPE, and all three watches have the same design, namely a stamped camouflage pattern on the dial, making it arguably less interesting as a trio. The monochromatic dials accentuate the large 47 mm diameter, which is further emphasised by the copious negative space in the lower half of the dial.

Though not as daring in terms of design as the first edition, the new Swatch x BAPE collection will probably be well received thanks to its affordability and fun styling.

Tokyo White Multi Camo with copper dial and matching pin buckle

Round two

The new Swatch x BAPE watches are identical, except for the colours of the case and dial. The case is 47 mm and matte plastic, with the crown at two o’clock and an integrated silicon strap. The trademark BAPE camouflage theme continues on the strap, which has a pin buckle in the colour of the dial.

The stamped metallic gold camo dial on the Toyko Black Multi Camo

Framing the dial is a bezel inscribed with the names of 13 cities where both Swatch and BAPE have stores. The dials are available in metallic silver, yellow gold, or copper, all featuring a stamped camouflage motif rendered in polished recesses contrasting against frosted relief. BAPE elements in the design include the ape’s head hour hand and hour numerals at nine and three, a nod to BAPE’s founding in 1993.

The hour hand is tipped with the BAPE logo, while the seconds hand is a lightning bolt


Key Facts and Price

Swatch x BAPE Big Bold 2020

Diameter: 47 mm
Height: 11.75 mm
Material: Matte plastic
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Quartz
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day, date

Strap: Matte silicon, with pin buckle matching the dial color

Limited edition: Limited but quantity unknown 
Availability
: To be announced
Price: US$150

For more, visit Swatch.com.


 

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