When Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias poses here with eight of the brand’s Dream Team golf ambassadors, it’s not just for show. Paris-born, he actually began his career in sports and was ranked N° 25 on the French golf tour before opting for a career in the luxury industry, ultimately joining the world of haute horlogerie with Audemars Piguet in 1994, later becaming CEO of the family-owned Swiss luxury watchbrand in January 2013. And when he says watchmaking and golf “share precision, perfection and performance”, it’s not just idle on-course chat.
So, what were they all doing on November 23rd at The Els Club in Dubai where Audemars Piguet is official timekeeper? Hosting the Dubai Golf Invitational for the second time, the brand brought Darren Clarke, Victor Dubuisson, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, Peter Uihlein, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger and Danny Willett, with rising star 21 year-old Matt Fitzpatrick, for a day of “friendly rivalry” among guests, ravished to be captained by one of the ambassadors.
Guests were in for an additional treat, and one of size, 41mm in diameter to be precise, as the new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar was revealed for the first time to the public in Yellow Gold, following the steel and pink gold versions presented in September.
Launched in 1972 amid much controversy before becoming iconic, The Royal Oak was the first luxury watch in stainless steel. Crafting it, polishing it and decorating it to the highest level, Audemars Piguet proved that a prestigious timepiece can be judged upon its design, exceptional finishing and movement, without the use of precious metals. Since then The Royal Oak has incorporated different materials, functions and sizes, all instantly recognizable by their octagonal bezels with 8 screws and tapisserie pattern dials.
As this new edition is partly inspired by the first Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar designed in 1984 with 229 of the original 279 pieces cased in yellow gold, it was an obvious choice for the independent watch brand to honour its iconic timepiece with the most iconic precious metal in history.
Full technical details are in our September report of the new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar steel version. For now, you can admire here the harmonious and legible display on the enlarged blue Grande Tapisserie dial, and the beautifully finished new 41mm yellow gold case and new self-winding caliber 5134 visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.