Recently, we had the pleasure of listing an extremely rare and limited timepiece on the site. This is none other than the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept. We are very excited to have such an interesting piece and this week I will tell you a little more about it.
For the Royal Oak Concept Watch, Audemars Piguet let loose the technical wizards at Renaud et Papi. The caliber 2896 is not based on any previous movement blank orebauche, not even as a starting point. Completely and radically new, “from the ground up,” every major structure, plate, sub-system and assembly is conceived and produced in-house. A fine way to end, once and for all, the over-emphasized and increasingly tiresome debate, “is it in-house?”
What is nearly impossible to convey, in pictures or in words, is the sheer radical beauty of the movement. Unlike any movement previously seen. There are those that might be initially off-put by the industrial-high-mech look of the plateaus and clear geometric shapes of what would normally be the dial, with its asymmetrical symmetry; the clear segmentation of areas of the dial and back.
Alacrite 602 is a super alloy consisting of 57% Cobalt, 31% Chrome, 5% Tungsten, with trace amounts of Carbon, Silicon and Iron. This particular form of Alacrite has a Vickers hardness rating of 430. Extremely difficult to machine, each Concept Watch case required nearly 60 hours to complete (compare to just under 2 hours for each Royal Oak in SS)
Made in a limited edition of 150 pieces total spread over 3 years, the CW1 itself is a mighty cool timepiece. Though it measures 44 mm in diameter, similar to an Offshore, it is much longer, and curved.
Inside is the cal. 2896 from Renaud & Papi. All the bridges and the base plate are titanium.
At 12 o’clock is the dynamograph display, which indicates the quality of the torque in the mainspring.
Over at three is the linear power reserve indicator.
Then at six o’clock is the function selector display – “R” for remontoir (winding), “N” for neutre (neutral) and “H” for heures (hours, or time-setting).
The button in the case at four activates the function selector; the crown does not need to be pulled to adjust the time.
And at nine is the tourbillon with its eye-catching tourbillon bridge in spark-eroded Titanium.
I was in awe of this technical masterpiece knowing I may never see another one again. What are your thoughts?