This month we’re starting a new series where we choose a single watch in our inventory and dissect some of its best features. We have a lot of great watches coming through our doors each and every day, so we thought we’d share the wealth and spend some time learning more about these special, mechanically interesting timepieces. This month we’re looking at the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars ref. 26390OR - a svelte rose gold wonder that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. As you’ll see, it’s a watch that combines a great deal of traditional elements into a design that is modern enough to hold its own considering contemporary standards. Let’s dive in.
Why We Love It: The Jules Audemars collection pays homage to the watchmaker’s founding fathers, Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet, in an elegant manner. This dapper timepiece features a 41mm 18k pink gold case on a hand-stitched brown alligator strap with 18k pink gold AP deployant buckle. The watch is self-winding and water resistant to 20 meters. Complications span perpetual calendar with indicators for the day, date, moon phase, month and leap years. With 343 parts, you can view the 38-jewel movement under the sapphire case back. Surely, Messieurs Audemars and Piguet would have been proud to wear this watch!
Retail Price: $62,000
Gray & Sons Price: $42,500
Like other Audemars Piguet timepieces, the reference number is often truncated for the sake of practicality but the full reference is actually 26390OR.OO.D088CR.01. The Jules Audemars family sits quietly behind the Royal Oak line but as an important collection pays that pays homage to one of the two founding fathers of the manufacture, it deserves a closer look. While the collection is composed of anything from simple time only watches to full-on tourbillon chronographs, you’ll also find pieces like the 26390OR, which offers somewhat of a happy middle ground.
Everything is balanced and at its heart, the 26390OR is a perpetual calendar with one of the most pleasing layouts I’ve ever seen. As a perpetual calendar, the watch indicates the day, the date, the moon phases, the month, and leap years. It does so with the caliber 2120/2802 movement beating inside. One thing to note about this movement is that it is also one of the thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar movements in the industry. It's a 38 jewel movement that beats at 19'800 alternances/hour, is constructed of 343 parts, and offers 40 hours of power reserve on a full wind.
Because of the movement, case thickness on the 26390OR is a mere 9.15 mm. This is impressive considering the complications involved and it allows the watch to be worn easily. Additionally, the 41 mm case design is modern without being overly bulky or heavy. Visually, the watch’s 18-carat look is accentuated by the silvery dial and the pink gold applied hour-markers and hands. These are completely unobtrusive and match perfectly with the simple and elegant sub-dial layout for maximum legibility.
Included is a hand-stitched “large square scale” brown alligator strap with an 18-carat pink gold AP folding clasp. These tend to have somewhat of a broken in feeling in my experience and it allows the case to sit low and close to the wrist for true comfort.
Sure, it’s not a Royal Oak or even the most iconic of AP designs but the Jules Audemars 26390OR Perpetual Calendar is a watch that completely stands for true quality. It’s representative of what Audemars Piguet is known for as a manufacturer and offers some of the best value in a perpetual calendar considering the brand’s other offerings and the price ranges they typically fall in. If you’d like to learn more about this watch, take a closer look here or visit our Bal Harbour showroom!