Designed in 1970 by famed watched designer, Gerald Genta, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak set the standard for the luxury sports watch. And almost 50 years later, not only is the Royal Oak Audemars Piguet’s flagship model, but also continues to be one of the most coveted high-end watches ever. As a leading used watch dealer, Gray & Sons carries a wide selection of pre-owned Audemars Piguet watches for sale online. Our collection includes both vintage Audemars Piguet watches and used contemporary Audemars Piguet timepieces.
For 2017, Audemars Piguet has expanded upon their collection of Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars with the release of a fully black, brushed ceramic version released during the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie earlier this year. A favorite among haute horology aficionados, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is beloved for its iconic octagonal look and integrated bracelet, as well as the interesting and complicated perpetual calendar function.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in Black Ceramic
Formerly available in stainless steel and then in rose gold and yellow gold, the updated Royal Oak Perpetual model is a stunning addition in a never-before-used material by this prestigious Vallée de Joux manufacture.
With a case and bracelet composed of a hand-finished Zirconium Oxide ceramic, the development of this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar took an incredible 600 hours. But it was well worth it; not only is this version virtually resistant to anything you can throw at it—scratches, high temperatures, water pressure to 2 bar, thermal shocks, and even ageing—it is a slick beauty to behold. Considering that it takes a whopping 30 hours to produce this Royal Oak’s bracelet (as opposed to the stainless steel Royal Oak bracelets, which take approximately six hours to machine, polish, and finish off by hand), the ultra-hardness of this ceramic cannot be questioned, nor can one doubt AP’s dedication and watchmaking mastery in honing this resilient material.
Case machined from a solid block of ceramic.
Indeed, Audemars Piguet’s recently-appointed creative director, Claude Emmenegger, stated that the team encountered “countless challenges” during the research and development phase of this watch and that the manufacture’s supplier initially said it would be “impossible to achieve” the brand’s goal of a case machined from a solid block of ceramic. Clearly, though, the watchmaker’s foresight and perseverance has paid off.
Keeping in line with the rest of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar collection, this model is sized at 41mm in width and 9.5mm thick, and houses the self-winding, extra-thin Caliber 5134 visible through a glare-proof sapphire crystal caseback. In contrast to its siblings, however, this Royal Oak is particularly light, weighing just 126.9 grams whereas the stainless steel editions come in at 164.4 grams.
This Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar’s gray dial features the brand’s famous embossed “Grande Tapisserie” pattern and four black counters along with white gold-applied hour-markers and Superluminova-coated Royal Oak hands. Contrasting the textured dial and brushed case, the inner bezel is a solid black and boasts—in white numbers—the 52 weeks of the year indicated with a corresponding thin central hand.
As a perpetual calendar caliber, the 5134 offers up week indication, day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year, hours, and minutes. Plus, the photorealistic, laser microstructured moon phase indicator is applied on aventurine providing a pop of vivid blue, and requires correction only every 125 years and 317 days.
2017 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar: 38 Jewels & 374 Parts
With a frequency of 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations an hour), the movement—comprised of 38 jewels and 374 parts—offers the wearer a 40-hour power reserve. And the oscillating weight, which can be customized upon request, is guided by a surrounding ring rolling on four ruby runners, reducing friction and wear to a minimum.
With an accompanying price tag of $85,000, the 2017 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic is not for the casual watch admirer. We predict that haute horology connoisseurs, on the other hand, would be hard-pressed to pass up the opportunity to acquire this robust beast of a timepiece.
The Audemars Piguet Offshore model must be mentioned as the very popular Royal Oak series on steroids. Thicker, wider, and heavier, the Offshore comes in all-gold, rose or yellow, all-steel and other metals too. It comes straight time and chronograph, and other complications. The Royal Oak and Offshore by Audemars Piguet comes in many limited editions named after famous sports figures including; Lebron James (Basketball), Michael Schumacher (Car Racing), Nick Faldo (Golf) and Stanistas Wawrinka (Tennis). Many authentic Audemars Piguet models available at Gray & Sons, at up to 50% off new retail.
If the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in ceramic is out of reach, fret not. Browse our selection of pre-owned Audemars Piguet watches—including both vintage Audemars Piguet and contemporary Audemars Piguet models—at discounted prices HERE.