Audemars Piguet Introduces Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon “Dimpled Dial”

Finely textured with frosting and dimples.

Arguably the most significant Audemars Piguet timepiece ever, the Royal Oak celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with a host of new models, including the all-new Royal Oak “Jumbo” ref. 16202 and even a skeletonised, selfwinding flying tourbillon.

And just before entering the New Year, Audemars Piguet (AP) dropped the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon “Dimpled Dial”. Essentially identical to the standard model, the new version – which is available in either white or pink gold – is distinguished by its surface finishing: dimples on the dial and frosting on the bezel.

Limited to 33 pieces each, the pair are primarily for Japan, with only a handful of watches available outside the country. According to our sources, the unusual combination of finishes were proposed by Japanese watch influencer Chronopeace, explaining why most of the run will be sold only in Japan – though this has neither been confirmed nor denied by AP.

Initial thoughts

I first heard about this discreet release when images were shared with me. As AP occasionally won’t say what drops, the watch was not announced officially, but instead quietly added to its online catalogue, perhaps because it is only available in Japan. Despite being low key, this new release will surely appeal to anyone who likes the Royal Oak but wants the added oomph of a special dial.

At a glance, the watch easily reveals itself to be stunning. The layout and style are familiar, but the few tweaks to the dial and case make it stand out. It is refreshing to see the traditional petite tapisserie guilloche  – the distinctive chequerboard pattern that helps defines with the Royal Oak – swapped out for a matte, dimpled pattern. The textured dial adds a touch of quirky elegance to an iconic design.

I do hope this dimpled dial will be incorporated into other models in time to come, though wishing for a stainless steel version of this will probably be in vain.

A twist to the Flying Tourbillon

The new Royal Oak tourbillon is all about the dimpled dial that’s blue for the white gold model and brown for pink gold. Instead of the typical geometric guilloche that is synonyms with the Royal Oak, the dimpled texture is nuanced and slightly artisanal in appearance, with a metallic finish that will catch the light.

One noticeable difference between this and the standard guilloche dial is the logo at 12 o’clock. Here it’s printed on the dial instead of being an appliqué, a consequence of the dial texture that gives it varying heights at different locations, making an appliqué unfeasible. The printed logo seems less prominent than the applied metal emblem, slight adjustment, making the dial’s textured, metallic finish more obvious.

Equally unusual is the combination of finishes on the external components. While the case and bracelet are brushed and polished as is convention for the Royal Oak, the bezel has a hammered, “frosted” finish. This is the first time that AP is combining conventional finishing with the newer “frosted” technique.

The “frosted” bezel is created via a technique of hammering its surface with a sharp, diamond-tipped burin, creating tiny dimples that create a surface that’s granular and slightly sparkly at a distance.

Stylistic changes aside, this is identical to the standard Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon. The 18k gold case measures 41 mm in diameter and 10.6 mm in height, while the hands and indices are solid gold.

And at six o’clock sits the flying tourbillon regulator, which gets its name from the fact that it is only secured on its lower pivot, leaving the upper pivot “flying”. This does away with the need for a tourbillon bridge, leaving nothing to obscure the tourbillon cage.

The movement remains the in-house cal. 2950, an automatic movement first found in the Code 11.59 tourbillon but now found in several Royal Oak models.

Key facts and price

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon
Ref. 26730BC.GG.1320BC.01 (white gold)
Ref. 26730OR.GG.1320OR.01 (pink gold)

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 10.6 mm
Material: 18k white or pink gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: Cal. 2950
Functions: Flying tourbillon, hours and minutes
Winding: Self-winding
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours

Strap: 18k gold bracelet with folding clasp

Limited edition: 33 pieces each
Availability: 28 pieces of each reserved for Japan with the balance at boutiques in other countries
Price: Price upon request

For more, visit

Correction January 10, 2023: The two models are available primarily in Japan and limited to 33 pieces each.

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Franck Muller Introduces #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard

Provocative and irreverent.

Franck Muller pushed the boundaries of the possible in high-end watchmaking in its earlier years, particularly with its whimsical complications like the Crazy Hours. Now, the brand has gone in the direction of edgy and provocative with its collaboration with Tokyo streetwear brand #FR2. Bearing the clothing label’s emblem of two naughty rabbits, the #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard is a limited edition available only in Southeast Asia and Australia.

Initial thoughts 

When I first saw the #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard, I was conflicted about the aesthetics. This type of pop-culture collaboration has been done before and often. Various watch brands have tied up with well-known streetwear labels. And Franck Muller itself recently launched a Vanguard customised by Bamford Watch Department to feature Popeye on the dial.

But upon closer examination, the #FR2NCK MULLER feels like a more interesting collaboration because of the striking black-and-white livery – and the irreverent logo on the dial. The rabbit emblem is fairly discrete at a distance, making it something of a in-joke.

Beyond the design, the case is notable for being a composite of carbon fibre and glass, which gives the material a banded pattern that is slightly glossy. The composite case perfectly complements the black-and-white palette of the watch. And inside the composite case is an in-house automatic movement, making it slightly more interesting than the Franck Muller watches powered by stock third-party movements.

As is usual for the Vanguard, which is more or less the entry-level Franck Muller model, the #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard is more affordable than the average Franck Muller, with a retail price of just under US$12,000. It costs only slightly more than the Vanguard standard model, making it a compelling alternative.

That said, while it is a limited edition, it’s a run of 800 examples, a large enough number to be a drawback. But for those wanting an iconoclastic and amusing contemporary timepiece, this fits the bill.

Streetwear meets high-end watchmaking

Short for “Fxxking Rabbits”, #FR2 was founded by streetwear guru Ryo Ishikawa. Buoyed by the popularity of Japanese streetwear in general, #FR2 has gained a cult following both in Japan and abroad thanks to its obviously provocative graphics.

Given that Franck Muller was once the enfant terrible of watchmaking, back when his brand was first established in the 1990s, the collaboration between the two is fitting. And given that the Vanguard is a bestselling sports watch that very fits in with the streetwear aesthetic, it is unsurprising that Franck Muller chose it as the base for the #FR2 collaboration.

The Vanguard retains the trademark Franck Muller tonneau form, but minus the lugs. In a first for the brand, the case of the #FR2NCK MULLER is a composite of carbon and glass fibre, but it has the same dimensions as the standard large model of 41 mm by 49.95 mm.

According to the brand, the composite is fabricated from a mixture of carbon powder, glass fibre, and polymer resin that is fired in an oven at a temperature of 150 degrees Celsius to create a strong material that can be milled into the case.

The matte-white dial has bold hour markers with a glossy black PVD finish, save for seven and eight o’clock, which have been replaced by the #FR2 logo of two rabbits. For a more three-dimensional effect, the PVD hour markers are applied and fairly tall, while the hands are open-worked, as is the #FR2 logo. And for nighttime amusement, Super-Luminova has been applied to the #FR2 logo as well as the hour markers and hands.

Apart from the#FR2 dial and case material, the rest of the watch is identical to the standard Vanguard model. It employs the FM 800-DT calibre, a proprietary movement with bi-directional winding. The calibre was constructed by Martin Braun when the German watchmaker was employed by Franck Muller Watchland, but is now used across the Franck Muller range.

Key facts and price

Franck Muller #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard
Ref. 26730BC.GG.1320BC.01

Diameter: 41 mm by 49.95 mm
Height: 12.2 mm
Material: Carbon and glass fibre composite
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. FM 800-DT
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Winding: Self-winding
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours

Strap: White nylon strap with print

Limited edition: 800 pieces
Availability: Only at Franck Muller boutiques and retailers in Australia and Southeast Asia beginning January 6, 2023
Price: 15,800 Singapore dollars including GST (equivalent to US$11,800)

For more, visit


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