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Audemars Piguet - Horlogical haute couture

Audemars Piguet Horlogical haute couture

Dressed to kill, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon showcases the perfect match that is high horology and high jewelry

Few watchmaking brands have embraced contemporary design with impeccable craftmanship quite like Audemars Piguet. The Royal Oak, with its octagonal case and tapisserie dial, showed how the Manufacture was willing to push the boundaries of an industry all too often rooted in traditionalism. What’s more, over the years, it has managed to continuously reinvent itself. In 1993, the brand unveiled the larger than life Royal Oak Offshore, then for the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak, revealed the Royal Oak Concept, a model epitomizing the boundless nature of trailblazing horology. This year, the brand pushes the limits again with the Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon, dressed to kill in a Frosted Gold finish and a multi-layered dial.

La haute couture de l'horlogerie

Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon © Audemars Piguet

Unlike the majority of watches in the Royal Oak Concept collection, the Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon comes with a smaller 38.5mm case in either 18K white or rose gold. The top of the bezel as well as the upper surface of the sculpted middle case bear the brilliantly unique Frosted Gold finish, which Audemars Piguet has integrated into other collections since collaborating with famed jeweler Carolina Bucci.

La haute couture de l'horlogerie

Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon © Audemars Piguet

This “Florentine” finish is typically used in jewelry, where the artisan works with a diamond-tipped tool to mark the surface of the gold. The hammered texture creates an uneven surface, catching the light in a similar manner to a faceted diamond. This glittering effect is accentuated by the polished edges of the octagonal bezel raising the Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon to ever greater heights of refinement.

The Frosted Gold finish also provides an elegant frame to the multi-dimensional dial. Composed of concentric circles, the dial has a sunburst blue gradient effect, going from light to dark as it approaches the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The eye is naturally directed down to the mechanism, with a cage made up of polished concentric rings and set with 19 brilliant-cut diamonds. This ripple pattern is also echoed on the reverse side of the watch, where Caliber 2964 is in full view through the sapphire caseback.

La haute couture de l’horlogerie

Royal Oak Concept Frosted Gold Flying Tourbillon © Audemars Piguet

While complex in execution, the dial retains a certain purity: there are no hour-markers, only the “AP” logo at 12 o’clock, while the hour and minute hands are polished and adorned with a white luminescent center. Paired with a navy blue “large scale” alligator strap or a rubber strap with constellation motif, we find the Frosted Gold finish on the buckle, displaying an attention to detail typical of fine watchmaker like Audemars Piguet.

 

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Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry, ever since the company was first established in 1875.

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