In 1972 Audemars Piguet released its now iconic Royal Oak luxury sports watch that over the years has arguably dominated the brand’s product line-up. With a long history and a reputation as one of the top Swiss watchmakers, fans of the brand would be wise to consider “non-Royal Oak” timepiece options. Here are some of my current favorites:
1. Flamboyant Formal Attire: Tradition Grande Complication
The Gerald Genta designed Royal Oak isn’t the only distinctive case shape from Audemars Piguet. Consider the simply named “Tradition” collection that borrows from a few key historic models with a cushion-style case that offers a look imbued with high-end nostalgia from another age. This Traditional Grande Complication incorporates Audemars Piguet’s most exclusive haute horology movement that features a perpetual calendar, chronograph, and also minute repeater. It’s best worn with slightly flamboyant formal attire as even though it is a classic watch it surely isn’t a quiet one.
2. High-End Urban Fashion: Millenary 4101
One of the truest “values” at Audemars Piguet, the Millenary 4101 begins with the brand’s unconventional elliptical case shape that wears comfortably being wider than it is tall. For the 4101 version Audemars Piguet developed a purposefully open-dialed movement that incorporates an eccentric face for the time along with a view of the mechanical movement that has been fully decorated with hand finishing. Often seen as a dress watch the Millenary also goes well with high-end urban attire.
3. The Black Tie: Jules Audemars Extra-Thin
The Jules Audemars watch collection is considered to be the “most classic” from Audemars Piguet because of its traditional round shape. Subtle details such as the shape of the bezel, caseback, and polishing nevertheless offer a look entirely original to the brand. The Extra-Thin version of the Jules Audemars has one of the simplest yet elegant movements produced by the brand making for an excellent dress watch – think “tuxedo timepiece.”
4. Smart Casual Outfit: Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar
If there is one complication Audemars Piguet relishes in producing in a large variety of versions it is the perpetual calendar. Going along with the classic elegance of the Jules Audemars collection the Perpetual Calendar features a traditionally laid-out and symmetrical calendar display that also includes a moon phase indicator. While dress and demure, the complex dial of the piece makes it suitable for more casual set serious worth clothing.
5. Perfect Dress Code: Millenary Quadriennium
One of the most original and complex Millenary watches around, the exotically named Millenary Quadriennium offers an experimental full calendar layout along with a view of the “AP Escapement” regulation system that is exclusive to Audemars Piguet. Complex and intended for serious haute horology aficionados, the Quadriennium allows the brand to demonstrate their engineering and aesthetic talents to a niche audience. Wear it when dressed to the nines. This watch is all about impressing others.