In-Depth The Tale Of The Single-Tone, Two-Metal Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

In-Depth The Tale Of The Single-Tone, Two-Metal Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Earlier this year at SIHH we saw the arrival of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Kind sized” Extra-Thin reference 15202 out of another pretense, this time with a cleaned bezel. It’s a similar exemplary Royal Oak Jumbo that we know and love (that I for one ridiculously love) and it may appear to be a regular hardened steel watch to most – yet regular treated steel it isn’t! No, this watch is a monotone, two-metal watch, made of titanium and platinum

This restricted version watch brought blended audits. Some adored it, some abhorred it: “The platinum will scratch uniquely in contrast to the titanium!” they said. “I love the amazing way sparkly the bezel is compared to the remainder of the watch!” others said (alright, I said that). Notwithstanding the doubters, it made me think: What other single-tone, bi-metal Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks are out there? It ends up, the appropriate response is many. What’s more, it bodes well that AP would be the one to explore different avenues regarding metals – all things considered, the main Royal Oak in 1972 adopted an alternate strategy to making a steel watch. What’s more, they have broadly utilized bizarre materials that most different companies –  remember that completely earthenware ceaseless schedule from two years back that you actually can’t get? Sure you do.

The Audemars Piguet ‘Gigantic’ Extra-Thin reference 15202 in platinum and titanium.

Today, however, I need to investigate exactly the number of various Royal Oaks were made, utilizing numerous metals with a solitary tone. It’s a peculiar thought, however the Royal Oak was an unusual watch when it was new, so it just kinda bodes well, right?

Steel And Tantalum

Royal Oak Championship Ref. 56175TT in Steel and Tantalum (1990), the absolute first monotone, bi-metal Audemars Piguet watch. 

The absolute first Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in a solitary tone, bi-metal design returned out path when in 1990 with the reference 56175TT. This Royal Oak was no Jumbo: it estimated 33mm in breadth and was run on the type 2612 development, which was quartz of all things! It was made in a restricted version of 2,000 pieces and the actual watch was made of treated steel and tantalum. Tantalum is a strong, blue-dim metal utilized by different producers like F.P. Journe in his Chronomètre Bleu and in other APs as well. The alleged “Royal Oak Championship” came out when Nick Faldo won the U.S. Bosses and the British Open. 

Nick Faldo and the reference 561675TT.

You may likewise review another Royal Oak that was made of tantalum, the Leo Messi Royal Oak Chronograph reference 26325TS. This watch was delivered back in 2012 out of three metals: pink gold (400 pieces), platinum (100 pieces), and steel (500 pieces). Every one of the three have tantalum bezels, yet for this article we’re taking a gander at the steel and tantalum model. The Leo Messi was a runaway hit, particularly in steel and tantalum and it’s not difficult to perceive any reason why –  it looks extraordinary and (fun certainty!) it was one of the primary Royal Oaks not to include the mark Tapisserie dial. Furthermore, it has a brushed platinum case with tantalum bezel and links.

Rpyal Oak Ref. 26325TS ‘Leo Messi’ (2012). 

Another monotone, bi-metal made in tantalum and steel was the reference 25829TP, which was a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar made during the 1990s, when just 15 models were made. As you can envision, finding an image of this one was quite interesting, yet this reference was made in different varieties of monotone, bi-metals like steel and platinum, which was more common. 

Steel And Platinum

Steel and platinum is unquestionably the most common monotone, bi-metal combination out there, which clarifies why Audemars Piguet has produced seven watches in this combination. Most commonly produced in this combo was another Audemars Piguet staple – the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. The QP is a complication that AP has consistently been known for (kicking things off with their absolute first QP wristwatch in 1955 and first Royal Oak QP in 1983) and redid during the 1990s after the quartz emergency with the type 2120/2800, 2120/2801, and 2120/2802. 

Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetual Openworked Ref. 25636SP in Steel and Platinum (1993).

The tempered steel and platinum Royal Oak production began in 1993 with the reference 25636SP, which was made in a restricted arrangement of just 50 pieces. This highlighted a skeletonized dial, which was another top pick of AP during the 1990s – and would you be able to fault them? Another comparative watch was the reference 25686SP (not envisioned), likewise made in 1993 of every 25 pieces, and that was trailed by the 25820SP (presented above) in 1996 with 25 pieces. 

There were three significant Royal Oak references that included a skeletonized dial: the 14794 (a skeletonized time-just wristwatch), the 25729 (a skeletonized pocket watch with ceaseless schedule and moon stage), and the 25829. The reference 25829 (and its pocket partner) are fueled by type 2120/2802, at the time the most slender programmed ceaseless schedule development accessible available. Yet in addition, the 25829SP came in steel and platinum in 1997 and was made in just 25 pieces (see below). 

Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetual Openworked Ref. 25820SP in Steel and Platinum (1996).

Later, in 2002, AP produced the 25930SP QP with openworked dial (and jewels, hello now!) with no restriction on production. This was followed up by two chronographs for Dubai, the reference 25983SP (2002) and the reference 26103SP (2005). These were produced in 25 and 50 pieces respectively. All the pieces referenced here have a 39mm case in treated steel with a steel wristband with platinum focus joins, and a platinum bezel. This isn’t disparate from the platinum and titanium form that was delivered before this year. This combo adds somewhat more gleam to the all around glowing hand-brushing for which the Royal Oak is known.

Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetual  Ref. 25829SP in Steel and Platinum (1997) and was produced in just 25 pieces. (Picture: Courtesy Sothebys).

Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetual Openworked Ref. 25930SP in Steel and Platinum (2002).

Steel And White Gold

From left to right: the reference 66319SC with blue dial, the reference 66319SC with white dial, the reference 66319SC with green dial, the reference 66344SC, and the reference 6646SC. 

A little however strong group of monotone, bi-metal watches loan themselves to the women. This arrangement of watches was produced in white gold and treated steel and had a 24.5mm case and the type 2610 (quartz) development. The principal reference, the 66319SC, turned out in 1990 after the 56175TT and had no restriction in production. The subsequent references were the 66344SC and the 66466SC in 1992 (once more, produced with no limit). 

Steel And Titanium

Royal Oak City of Sails Be Happy Ref. 25926IS in Titanium and Steel (1999). 

Finally, we have steel and titanium, which as I would see it is the most probable combination. Why? Since the two metals strike me as the sportiest of white metals. Take these examples are the reference 2586601IS and the reference 25926IS, both delivered in 1999 with the type 2385 (and a 39mm case). The previous was restricted to 300 pieces and the last 25 pieces. Not exclusively do these references address 66% of the steel and titanium Royal Oak watches, they likewise kick off the long queue of City of Sails watches that were produced by AP on the side of the Swiss cruising Alinghi group who proceeded to win the America’s Cup in 2003. This watch, notwithstanding, was made to pay tribute to the less triumphant cruising group, Be Happy, who didn’t sail to triumph in Aukland as trusted. Alas.

Royal Oak Grand Complication Ref. 26065IS in Titanium and Steel (2009).

Finally, we have the reference 26065IS, the Royal Oak Grand Complication watch that was originally produced in 2005. This watch has the type 2885 (additionally found in the Jules Audemars Grand Complication from 2001) that has the accompanying complications: split-seconds chronograph, minute repeater, never-ending schedule with day, month, week number, moon stage, and leap year all showed neatly on the dial. The main model came in white gold however then a couple of years after the fact (in 2009 to be precise) AP dropped one in titanium and steel. Blast. The piece isn’t restricted however I feel like possibly “not restricted” likewise signifies “not your issue to worry about” with regards to numbering this terrible boy.

Last Thoughts

The now inaccessible titanium and Platinum 15202. 

You’re probably pondering, “What is the point, AP???” Me as well. So I when I asked Michael Friedman, Historian for Audemars Piguet (and all around cool watch fellow), he said “The Royal Oak has consistently been similar to a ‘multi-tone’ watch, in any event, when its one metal. This is accomplished through the different completing procedures. By utilizing two materials that fall correspondingly on the shading range, those nuances of human art become much more obvious.” This couldn’t be truer. 

When you’ve seen a ton of metals, you begin to see the subtleties in weight, completing, and feel. In some cases, you can tell if a watch is white gold or platinum just by the temperature of the metal on your skin (this is the reason I favor white gold, platinum is excessively cold for my taste). The equivalent is genuine when you blend two metals in a single watch. It gives more profundity and interest to a generally downplayed white metal watch. Also, probably the coolest thing is to wear a watch that seems as though treated steel yet is truth be told not (amiright?). Notwithstanding, Audemars Piguet is onto something since when I went to perceive the number of the most recent titanium and platinum 15202s were as yet accessible, I was promptly told, “All pieces are represented.”  

Hat tip to Eric Ku for loaning us his 15202 and the group at Audemars Piguet for all their help!