Demand from connoisseurs around the world has led to the creation of two new limited edition examples of the Royal Oak Extra-Thin Openworked.
Openworking, also known as skeletisation, is one of the watchmaking skills that takes a lot of time and expertise to master. It involves cutting away material to reveal the mechanical artistry contained within. This is by no means an easy task. If one cuts too much, it can jeopardize tolerances or affect shock resistance. No wonder then, that it is a skill that requires a lot of exacting performance. It also requires the achievement of the right balance between the beauty of the revealed components and the safeguarding of their performance’s precision. Beautiful as it is, it remains a rare art.
Audemars Piguet has been a master of this intricate process since the 1930s. Today, it performs it in precisely the same manner: filing, decoration and finishing exclusively done by hand.
Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Extra-Thin Openworked
The handwork behind openworking
There is a reason as to why the brand indulges in the best handwork for the purpose. The reasons are both aesthetic and technical. For example, a milling machine produces perfectly acceptable rounded angles, but it cannot produce the perfect interior angles (or v-cut angles) that so superlatively reflect light, expressing the artistry of Haute Horlogerie. Hence, it is in the exceptional handwork that a perfectly marvellous openworked timepiece can be produced.
The Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin came into being in 2012. This watch marked the Royal Oak’s 40th anniversary and was originally available only in platinum, followed by the launch of a yellow gold version in 2016.
Now, in 2017, this iconic watch gets two new editions: one in brushed 18-carat pink gold with matching bracelet, the other in stainless steel. Just like their platinum and yellow gold predecessors, each model features the mesmerizing Audemars Piguet in-house calibre 2924 hand-wound skeleton movement, comprising 216 components, but in two very different finishes. The pink gold model (available in 50 examples) features a pink gold mainplate and bridges, while the movement of the steel version (available in 100 examples) is rhodium plated in cool, understated tones.
While the beauty of the watch and the art and technology behind it is spellbinding, there is one more reason why collectors are coveting it. These will be the very last Royal Oak Extra-Thin Openworked watches featuring this exact skeleton design to be produced! Rare treasures indeed!