Tlisted here are two colours of scratch-resistant ceramics which can be simple to provide for watches: black and white. Because the black model of 2017, the opportunity of there ever being an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic elevated tremendously — and lo and behold, right here it’s. Eye-catching it’s, to say the least. The place many basic watches reimagined in white ceramic are softened by a standard, or a minimum of off-setting, strap, this AP pulls no punches. The truth is, it rains down horological haymakers in your sensory cortex due to its totally built-in bracelet — and the truth that each exterior element, albeit crafted from ceramic, is completed to the identical requirements as we had gotten used to from AP’s famously high-end metal and gold instances and bracelets.
The factor with white ceramic is that it’s rarely actually white. It’s a lot hotter than that, a proven fact that leads some to name it “plastic” — although we’ll give everybody the advantage of doubt and say they’d most likely not make the identical evaluation if seeing stated ceramic watches within the steel ceramic. It isn’t cream, or ecru, or some other sort of off-white, but it surely does have a bizarre sense of chromatic depth that saves it from wanting too plasticky on the wrist. And at a pleasantly reserved 41mm-wide by 9.5mm-tall, this case is just not solely the identical proportions as its much less avant-garde range-mates, but it surely’s additionally consciously subtler than one would possibly anticipate.
One space that stunned me at first look is the dial. I had simply assumed that Audemars Piguet would go for a white-on-white colorway to actually hammer residence the flagrant whiteness of the watch and bracelet. As an alternative, the model determined to staff the hyper-showy case with one thing a bit extra debonair.
A darkish blue tapisserie dial is the bottom for one in every of watchmaking’s best and most adored problems: the perpetual calendar. The motion behind the perpetual calendar is the caliber 5134, which beats on the somewhat uncommon frequency of two.75hz (19,800vph). Regardless of this slowish-beat escapement, the facility reserve is simply 40 hours — fairly disappointing, particularly contemplating the somewhat extra high-tech exterior and AP’s deep-rooted ardour for praising itself. That is probably attributable to the thinness of the mainspring that powers the motion.
The 5134 begins life because the caliber 2120, which is understood for its distinctive gracility (simply 2.45mm-thick) earlier than a perpetual calendar module is grafted on high. The bottom of the caliber 2120 is the Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 920 that dates again to 1967 — in that half-century, watchmaking has managed to squeeze barely greater than 1.5 days out of a slim motion. (Simply consider Chopard’s Caliber 96 that stacks two barrels in a three.3mm-thick motion to supply 65 hours of energy reserve at four Hertz working frequency.) The place there’s a will… Nonetheless, the truth that the facility reserve of the 2120 and the perpetual calendar-equipped 5134 is identical is a little bit of solace: it could not be shocking for such a sophisticated complication to attract closely on the facility reserve (as even a easy date mechanism can knock an hour or two off the perfect estimates of many lower-tier actions). Along with some superb gearwork, this perpetual calendar is notable for the knowledge it shows. In uncommon vogue, the week of the 12 months is indicated by the use of a pointer hand and a specifically printed chapter ring that encircles the dial. The silvered sub-dials show the month and intercalary year (at 12), the date (at three), the day (at 9), and the part of the moon (at 6). These sub-dials are fitted with both one, two, or zero heat-blued arms, whereas the hour, minute, and seconds arms are constructed from 18okay white gold.
Spectacular on the surface, good-looking on the face, and disappointing on the within, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic watch (ref. 26579CB.OO.1225CB.01) is unique to official Audemars Piguet boutiques and can retail for a whopping $93,900. Be taught extra at audermaspiguet.com.