Fifty years on from when Audemars Piguet unveiled its luxury sports watch to the world, the Royal Oak remains as iconic a piece of design as ever. This is in part down to the details at the heart of its distinctive look, from its octagonal bezel with visible screws to its tapisserie dial.
The latter, in particular, has been reimagined in playful form in a new model created with jewellery designer Carolina Bucci, the third collaboration between the two names. Here, the pattern has been brought to life in a magnificent multi-coloured showcase that plays with light. To achieve this, a sapphire plate is adorned with tiny squares using micro-structuring, which is added on top of a brass dial plate. A golden metallisation is then applied onto the back of the sapphire plate to create a mirror effect. The final result creates a cascade of iridescent colours as the light sweeps across the dial, with each watch slightly unique.
This Royal Oak is all about contrasts, with the 34mm case and bracelet made from black ceramic, punctuated by hexagonal pink-gold screws securing the bezel. Here, attention has also been paid to how the watch interacts with the wearer, mixing satin finishing and polished chamfers to play with the light. The bracelet has also been tweaked for a sleeker, more seamless, effect, with the pins connecting the links to the studs no longer visible from the side. The transparent caseback provides a view of the automatic Calibre 5800 at the watch’s heart, with the sapphire crystal engraved with the inscription “Limited Edition Carolina Bucci”.