A Masterpiece by Audemars Piguet
While Audemars Piguet is best known for its collection of sporty Royal Oak watches, the watchmaker does indeed have plenty of other excellent watch models in its catalog. A fine example is the Jules Audemars, which is a collection of timepieces named after one of the two founders of the company. Unlike the eight-sided Royal Oak, the Jules Audemars collection is home to an assortment of round watches, ranging from elegant ultra-thin models to high complication pieces. Join us as we highlight the spectacular Jules Audemars Equation of Time “New York” watch.
What is An Equation of Time Complication?
The high-end timepiece space is no stranger to esoteric complications, whether it’s tracking the current phase of the moon or offsetting gravitational effects with a whirling tourbillon. While it can be argued that some of these complications are not necessary in today’s modern world, the beauty of high horology lies in illustrating what impressive features a skilled watchmaker can do with mechanical movements.
An Equation of Time complication serves to show the difference between “true” solar time (determined by the Sun’s position in the sky) and “mean” solar time (as indicated by manmade clocks based on a steady 24 hours a day). Due to Earth’s elliptical (and not circular) orbit, the Sun can be ahead of mean solar time by as much as 16 minutes or behind by as much as 14 minutes—the two times only perfectly align four days a year.
The Jules Audemars Equation of Time watch displays the difference via a sun-tipped hand pointing to a -15/+15-minute scale around the periphery of the dial.
Jules Audemars Equation of Time 26003OR
Introduced in the mid-2000s, the Jules Audemars Equation of Time ref. 26003OR not only features the complex Equation of Time complication, but it combines it with sunrise/sunset indicators and a Perpetual Calendar. Furthermore, this particular version is a “New York” edition, which means the sunrise and sunset displays are programmed to that specific geographic location.
The watch sports a generously sized 43mm 18k pink gold case, which due to its ergonomic design with slopped lugs and a curvaceous structure, fits comfortably as a dress watch despite its large proportions. Contrasting beautifully with the rose gold case is a black alligator leather strap, complete with a pink gold deployant buckle with “AP” shaped pieces. In customary Audemars Piguet fashion, the dial is beautifully decorated and thoughtfully laid out for optimal readability.
The silver-toned dial features guilloché embellishments and is home to pink gold Roman numerals and hands. The duo of subsidiary dials at 9 and 3 o’clock are the sunrise and sunset displays, respectively. The remaining pair packs a slew of calendar indications, including month, moon phase, and leap year at the 12 o’clock position and date of the month and day of the week at the 6 o’clock position. As a perpetual calendar, the Jules Audemars Equation of Time watch will of course automatically adjust to always display the correct time and date until 2100.
These technically impressive complications are all thanks to the Audemars Piguet Caliber 2120/2808 automatic movement powering the watch. The movement, which can be admired from the sapphire caseback, boasts 425 parts. Yet, the ultra-slim caliber allows the case of this Jules Audemars watch to measure a mere 11.7mm thick—quite the feat for such a complicated timepiece.
The Holy Trinity of Watchmaking
The Jules Audemars Equation of Time is clearly a product of Audemars Piguet’s long history of making high complication timepieces. It’s pieces like these that remind us that Audemars Piguet merits its membership in the Holy Trinity of Watchmaking—sitting alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.
A captivating watch developed for the serious connoisseur, the Jules Audemars Equation of Time combines impeccable aesthetics with fascinating mechanics.