News: A Flying Tourbillon In A Royal Oak?
There are few watches as iconic as the Royal Oak. It’s fair to say that the Royal Oak hasn’t seen much change aesthetically since its introduction in 1972, but what has changed is the technical ability of Audemars Piguet. There is no better example of this than with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon—the iconic Gérald Genta design, packed with industry-leading technology.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was first introduced in 1972
With the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon, you still get everything that made the 1972 original so popular: the octagonal bezel, industrialised case design, integrated bracelet and “Tapiserrie” guilloche dial—so no need to worry there. The new model simply updates the design to the 21st century. The “Tapiserrie” dial is now what Audemars Piguet calls “Evolutive Tapiserrie”—a spread out, sort of spiralised version of the regular X Y “Tapiserrie” dial—the case and bracelet have been given new materials—like titanium and pink gold—and the overall build quality has been improved to make the watch more substantial and robust.
One other thing the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon has over its predecessor—no prize for guessing that it’s a flying tourbillon, the most mesmerising complication in all of watchmaking—is one that at the time of the original, Audemars Piguet would never have thought would feature in its plucky sports watch. We’ve seen the flying tourbillon in Royal Oak Concept watches, but now it’s the turn of the regular ol’ Royal Oak.
A flying tourbillon is a tourbillon only supported on one side
The Calibre 2950 not only features the flying tourbillon—which Audemars Piguet seems particularly proud of, as not only can you see it from the front and back, but the “Evolutive Tapiserrie” dial is designed to draw the eye towards it—but also a pretty impressive 65-hour power reserve—which is only extended with the use of the rotor-weight.
Well, there you have it: a flying tourbillon inside of one of horology’s most beloved sports watches. With Audemars Piguet’s Concept watches getting madder and madder by the day, I eagerly await to see which of that technology will drip down next.
Tourbillon is French for whirlwind
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