Ceramic is not an usual material for Audemars Piguet to use. It has been used in the Royal Oak Offshore and the Concept, but cermaics were never put into action to shape a Royal Oak, the historic backbone of the Le Brassus based maison. Until 2017 and the arrival of the deep black Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ceramic
Gerald Genta designed a steel luxury sportswatch, it turned into gold (figuratively and literally) and this year the watch turns black with the ceramic version. That’s called evolution. One of the biggest surprises at SIHH 2017 was the ceramic version of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ceramic with its case and bracelet entirely crafted from the light and very scratch resistant material.
Thirty hours instead of six
The black Royal Oak QP is as bold as it is elegant. With its brushed finish the material doesn’t look that different from the other Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars except its deep black look. The way the watch is made is completely different though. The ‘standard’ version takes six hours to polish – case and bracelet – while the much more demanding ceramic keeps the polishers at AP occupied for no less than thirty hours.
Where the case and bracelet are black, the signature screws in the bezel are made of contrasting white gold and the “Grande Tapisserie” dial is slate grey. Like its QP siblings the watch is equipped with the pattern which calibre 5134, a thin movement that features an astronomical moon phase indicator which only requires a manual correction once every 125 years and 317 days. This moon phase is created by a laser and laid on a disc of aventurine, a dark blue semi-precious stone that resemblances the midnight sky.
Hype and greed
Want one? Get in line, you’re not the only one. The price is steep – around 85.000 euro – but the hype surrounding this ceramic critter was something else: greed flooded the AP booth in Geneva. Looks like all of the scheduled watches are already sold. Just hope for another production run.
Picture by Kristian Haagen