Audemars Piguet joins shaped watch revival – and shrinks The Royal Oak

Watches

Shaped watches, a strong trend in the 1970s, are having a major comeback at the moment, and Audemars Piguet has just joined the fray with its new vintage re-issue, the [RE]Master02. The brand has also leaned into its jewelled offerings with a gemset Code 11.59, and a Royal Oak with gems set in a camo pattern. Both jewelled pieces could be aimed at either gender, but the new Royal Oak mini is clearly a ladies’ line.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini, top, compared to the larger size.

The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini, top, compared to the larger size.

Audemars Piguet

The Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02.

The Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02.

Audemars Piguet

The inaugural version of [Re]Master collection, which interprets an archival model in a contemporary way, was a very traditional watch inspired by a 1940s chronograph.

The [RE]Master02 swings the concept in a slightly different direction with a contemporary shaped watch inspired by a limited-edition 1960 piece that was originally inspired by brutalist architecture. It comes hot on the heels of a very similar-looking release, also inspired by brutalist architecture from independent watchmaker team Toledano and Chan called the B/1 introduced earlier this month.

Both watches in turn recall the Rolex King Midas from the 1960s. Which is all entirely legitimate, just as there are many versions of a three-register chronograph: some would say there are vast differences even between these three models.

The blue dial of the [RE]Master02 is divided into triangular categories emanating from the center, and each triangle is a separate piece, and the sapphire crystal that covers it is beveled at a 15.8-degree angle.

In other words, this is a complex watch, despite its time-only movement. The case is sand gold, a proprietary alloy with a shade between white and red gold. There will be 250 pieces, priced at $47,200.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini, top.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini, top.

Audemars Piguet

The other main introduction this week from Audemars Piguet is the Royal Oak Mini, a 23mm version of the mighty icon that is so representative of the brand.

It is inspired by a 20mm mini Royal Oak launched in 1997, just as the watch industry was easing out of the quartz era.

The new one is also quartz, which has been emerging once again as a respectable technology, particularly in ladies watches.

They are being launched in frosted gold only – white, yellow or rose – all on a bracelet. Each has a petite tapisserie dial, another Royal Oak signature, matching the gold case and bracelet.

Each is priced at US$34,400.

Gemset Audemars Piguet Code 11.59

Gemset Audemars Piguet Code 11.59

Audemars Piguet

Two jewelled beauties released by Audemars Piguet constitute surprising departures from the brand’s regular fare. One is a gemset Code 11.59 and, at 38mm, it’s clearly a gender-neutral proposition.

There are two versions: one in pink gold with diamonds and 2.05 carats of gradient blue sapphires and one in white gold set with diamonds and gradient pink and purple sapphires. The sapphires are cut into different sizes and in a gradient of shades.

Each is priced at US$103,700.

Gemset Audemars Piguet Code 11.59

Gemset Audemars Piguet Code 11.59

Audemars Piguet

The second gemset piece is a paved Royal Oak that, at 41mm, seems aimed at men, confirming the emerging trend toward jewelled watches – including sports watches – for larger wrists. This one has a fully set dial, bezel and bracelet, in a camo motif composed by setting 861 baguette-cut gemstones in graduated shades of either mainly green or blue. T

he blue piece is set with sapphires and Swiss blue topaz, and the green one is set with black sapphires, tsavorites and smoky quartz.

These beauties are priced in Swiss francs at CHF 1,260,000. One of each of these pieces will be produced this year, with more to follow.

The Audemars Piguet green camo patterned gemset Royal Oak.

The Audemars Piguet green camo patterned gemset Royal Oak.

Audemars Piguet

The Audemars Piguet blue camo patterned gemset Royal Oak.

The Audemars Piguet blue camo patterned gemset Royal Oak.

Audemars Piguet

This article was originally published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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