Specialists say that there is a before and after the Royal Oak in the history of modern watchmaking. Its appearance, which did not meet any of the traditional rules for measuring time, would indeed change the lines. To design the octagonal case of the Royal Oak armored watch with eight screws, designer Gerald Genta said he was inspired by a diver’s helmet and its screws. A bolder challenge as wellAudemars Piguet It was a very old luxury watchmaking factory.
However, the independent family company continues to make boldness one of the core cogs of its identity. Proof of this is the RD#4, a super-complicated automatic watch that was crowned champion last November at the Grand Prix of Watchmaking in Geneva. This annual ceremony awarded it the Aiguille d’Or, given to the most impressive watch in all categories. Thanks to engineering and watchmaking expertise, the RD#4 mechanism contains nearly a thousand components and powers twenty-three complications in a highly contemporary 18-carat rose gold case.
The manufacturing’s irrepressible spirit of innovation is further expressed in its collaboration with Matthew Williams, founder and designer of alternative fashion brand 1017 ALYX 9SM. While he fancies unconventional clothing, a mix of New York influences and subversive culture, this American prefers high quality materials and details. For his very personal vision of the Royal Oak, he chose the absolute luxury of 18k yellow gold. A true (golden) bridge between the world of urban fashion and the world of luxury watchmaking, the collection features such minimalist aesthetics that the chronograph model loses its counters! Only the hands remain, rotating at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock on an elegant gold dial decorated with a vertical satin finish. The counters also disappear on the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph, revised in yellow or white gold. It has become an iconic symbol on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wrist.
With apparent simplicity, the collection redesigned by designer Matthew Williams benefits from the mechanical sophistication of three automatic calibres of the latest generation, specially created and equipped with a gold oscillating weight. Time is still made of gold with the Code 11.59 watch from Audemars Piguet, which caused a sensation when it was launched in 2019. This watch has been adjusted in proportions to better suit a feminine or slim wrist, and is decorated with a purple or ivory dial. The wave motif, braided in the ancient style of Swiss craftsman Jan von Kaenel, is interspersed with hundreds of small recesses that allow you to play with light and colour. Luxury and precision in detail are the hallmark of fine watchmaking.