As is typical with Audemars Piguet, the brand takes a leap of faith in terms of creativity and technical innovation, and – as is typical of the independently owned and operated Swiss brand – it has come out on top again. I am referring to its release a few months ago of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar watch, and I am referring to the fact that in addition to offering the much-coveted complication in stainless steel, rose and white gold – it now announces the appearance of an 18-karat yellow gold version.
We wrote about the brand’s extended history in creating perpetual calendar watches when it announced the new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar watch a few months ago. You can read those details and see the other versions of the watch in that article here.
Just after that article appeared, I was in the lobby of LA Reserve in Geneva when I ran into Audemars Piguet CEO Francois Bennahmias. He was wearing, naturally, the new watch – in rose gold. It was a beauty to see in person and we talked at great length about the excitement in the watchmaking community about the new watch. He mentioned that an exhilarating version was coming soon.
Here it is. Mind you- it takes a confident watch brand to propose a complication in yellow gold in today’s “rose-gold-is-king” watch atmosphere. But then, Audemars Piguet is confident. It is also right on target. We have been so firmly entrenched in a rose gold mentality for so many years that many watch lovers have their proverbial heads in the sand. The emergence of yellow gold complicated watches is on the rise.
This 41mm rendition – a work of art, balance and technology – is sublime. Like its siblings, it offers astronomical moon indication so precise that it will not need an adjustment for 125 years and 317 days. The 374-part caliber 5134 is also ultra-flat with a 4.31mm thickness – making it idea for under a suit jacket. The watch, in addition to the days, date, months and leap years, tracks and displays the weeks of the year — indicated on an outer chapter ring, a nice touch for those who need to refer to week numbers in business instead of dates. You can read all about the other technical details of this watch here.
It should be noted that the yellow gold watch was partly inspired by the first Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar designed by Jacqueline Dimier in 1984. Of the 279 pieces made in that original launch, 229 were cased in yellow gold. The price for this new yellow gold Perpetual Calendar has not yet been set, but the rose gold version sells for about $97,500, so it can’t be too far off.