Begun when the Royal Oak Concept Watch 1 was introduced in 2002 on the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak, the Royal Oak Concept line has developed into arguably the most cutting edge range of timepieces from Audemars Piguet (AP), the only high horology watchmaker still owned by its founding families. A platform to show off its watchmaking know-how, all Royal Oak Concept watches are equipped with movements made by its subsidiary Renaud & Papi, an esteemed specialist creates complicated movements for AP but also other names like Richard Mille and Cartier.
Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon
A direct descendant of the original Concept Watch 1, the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon is more aggressively styled. Made of titanium with a sculpted, defined lines, the Concept GMT Tourbillon has a bezel made of scratch resistant ceramic that’s nine times harder than steel and takes 10 times as long to machine. Ceramic is also used for the crown and pushers, as well as the bridges of the movement. This combination of unusual materials is another hallmark of the Royal Oak Concept line, with the first concept watch having been made of Alacrite, a hard and rare cobalt alloy.
Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Minute Repeater
Still a closely guarded prototype, the Acoustic Research Minute Repeater is the first such complication in the Royal Oak Concept line-up. Developed with the help of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a research institute in Lausanne, the Acoustic Research Minute Repeater relies on the principles used in building stringed instruments – a luthier is also part of the development team – to create an exceptionally loud and resonant minute repeater. Once it makes its debut, the Acoustic Research Minute Repeater promises to be one of the loudest minute repeating wristwatches ever.
Royal Oak Concept Laptimer
Designed for Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher, the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer is one of the most complex chronographs on the market, able to measure several consecutive lap times. Schumacher suggested such a watch in 2010, at a time when nothing like that existed. Although Schumacher sadly fell into a coma after a skiing accident in 2013, Audemars Piguet continued to work on the Laptimer, finally unveiling it in 2015. The Laptimer is equipped with three chronograph pushers, the typical pair for start-stop and reset, and an unsual third one. The third button stops either one of the two split-seconds hands, while simultaneously resetting and restarting the other. Intended for when when a car passes the starting line, this feature allows for the elapsed time to be noted while the new lap is immediately recorded.
All images are courtesy of their respective owners and linked to their source.
Denis Flageollet – The Creative Force Behind De Bethune
Piaget’s Prized Possession
Ceramic Meets Titanium in IWC’s Pilot’s Watch Family
First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition
Jean-Claude Biver: “What I am doing next.”
Subscribe to The Hour Glass
And stay up to date with the watchmaking world