SIHH 2019 is the last year that Audemars Piguet participated in an important exhibition. They attracted everyone’s attention with the amazing Code 11:59 series. But there are always some watches that cannot be masked, for example, this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ultra-thin tourbillon all-black ceramic watch.
This is the third all-ceramic watch (case, bracelet, bezel) after the Royal Oak series relay 2017 perpetual calendar model and 2018 tourbillon chronograph skeleton model. This polished black ceramic and the satin-finished case of this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak limited edition watch are elegant and sophisticated, seven times harder than steel. Due to the extremely hard material, Audemars Piguet’s polishing process for ceramic cases and bracelets requires the same grade as the steel royal oak. This is an almost impossible task. It requires more than 600 hours of research and development to achieve this goal. It takes 30 hours to complete the bracelet alone, which is about five times the steel version.
The watch has a size of 41 mm x 9 mm, which can be considered ultra-thin, but it is not as thin as the real Royal Oak “Jumbo” ultra-thin 8 mm, nevertheless, considering the complexity of its tourbillon functional, 9mm is still very thin. The watch has a titanium case back and a folding clasp. Thanks to the use of ceramics, it is very lightweight. Except for this one, all-black watches are usually known for their understated appearance.
This original grid dial discards the standard checkered classic design of the Swiss watchmaker and replaces it with a new corrugated “Tapisserie Evolutive”, like a radial sun pattern, extending from the tourbillon at 6 o’clock position, this texture cannot be said to be brand new, which was first introduced in last year’s ultra-thin tourbillon watch.
The dial features a simple but traditional hour and minute dial layout, but with a 60-second tourbillon. The polished faceted hour markers and hands in white gold are extremely striking on a black background.
The back is equipped with a sapphire crystal, showing a manually wound 3Hz 2924 tourbillon movement (31.5 mm x 4.46 mm), 216 components, 25 diamonds, and a 70-hour power reserve. The large cleat shows the power reserve indicator and the internal mechanism of the timepiece. The three-quarter plywood with dark gray electroplating is not decorated with the usual Geneva stripe pattern. Instead, it echoes the front dial and uses a hand-polished radiation sun pattern, exceptionally unique and exclusive.
The model number of this Royal Oak Tourbillon ultra-thin ceramic watch is 26522CE.OO.1225CE.01, limited to 100 pieces worldwide and priced at $160,000 USD for authentic ones, but the price of replica Audemars Piguet watches will be remarkably cheap.