The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Ref.15500 is an update to its 7-year-old predecessor, the 15400 – one of the cornerstones of the Audemars Piguet collection.
The 15500 possesses some new aesthetic changes to its dial. The bottom half no longer has the “automatic” typography, and the applied “AP” logo and the brand name “Audemars Piguet” on the top half is now enlarged, providing the watch with a cleaner but bolder appearance. The “boldness” of the watch is also enhanced with the wider applied white-gold luminous indices, increasing legibility and sportiness. The date window at 3 o’clock is now shifted outwards to be closer towards the edge of the dial.
This is achieved by removing the applied index to the right of the date window that was present in the 15400. Speaking of the edges of the dial, the minute train is now printed on a satin-finished external area and not on the dial itself. Although these aforementioned dial changes may seem marginal on paper, they become largely apparent when you put the 15500 beside the 15400. The dial still offers the exquisite Guilloché that you come to associate the Royal Oaks within the form of the characteristic “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, and it is all encased in the classic and iconic 41mm Royal Oak case that is also water resistant to 50 metres. The watch is still unapologetically a Royal Oak through and through.
The biggest update to the 15500 would be the implementation of the new in-house 4302 movement, which replaces the 3120 movement of the 15400. The 4302 movement boasts an impressive 70-hour power reserve – a 10-hour boost compared to the 3120. The movement also beats at 4Hz (28,800bph) now compared to 3Hz (21,600bph) of its predecessor, allowing for a smoother sweep of the seconds hand. However, the movement also leads to a thicker watch, as the height of the watch is now increased by 0.6mm to 10.4mm. Despite the increased thickness, the 15500 still remains a very slim and easy-to-wear timepiece. The 4302 is also being utilised in the Audemars Piguet 11.59 collection – a contemporaneous release which introduces an entirely new range of watches into the Audemars Piguet family.
The 15500 is available in stainless steel or pink gold cases with a choice of either a blue, black or slate grey dial, offering a nice variety to enthusiasts. The pink gold model can also be coupled with either an integrated pink gold bracelet or a black alligator strap.
As SIHH 2019 would suggest, 2019 is a year of advancement for Audemars Piguet. From introducing new in-house movements and tweaks for their iconic watches such as this Royal Oak Selfwinding, to producing brand new watches all together with the 11.59 collection, Audemars Piguet is no doubt moving forward and offering choices for a diverse audience with unique taste. There will be an Audemars Piguet for everyone.
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