Ever since its creation, the Audemars Piguet has kept the Royal Oak steady on the path evolution, yet at SIHH 2017 they surprised everybody with an unexpected revolution by introducing the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in ceramic. Although ceramic is not a new material for the brand, crafting an entire watch and bracelet from it is.
Many would have expected the first watch in full ceramic to be a Royal Oak Offshore, but Audemars Piguet made a particular statement by not doing that. It shows a firm believe that the material is more than a bold statement, but can also have an elegant side. With its brushed finish the material doesn’t look that different from the other Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar’s, that of course apart from its deep black color. There is a difference, though, where a steel version of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar takes 6 hours to polish the case and bracelet, ceramic is more demanding, taking 30 hours to achieve the same result.
Audemars Piguet created a subtle contrast in the watch by keeping the signature screws in white gold and by making the dial not black, but slate gray. This not only visually enhances the black ceramic case and bracelet but also increases the legibility of the dial. On that dial, there is more to admire than just the perpetual calendar, but also the “Grande Tapisserie” pattern which serves as a backdrop. Inside the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is identical to its siblings in steel and gold and fitted with manufacture caliber 5134. Apart from being quite thin, this movement features an astronomical moon phase indicator which only requires a manual correction once every 125 years and 317 days. This moon phase is created by a laser and laid on a disc of aventurine, a dark blue semi-precious stone that resemblances the midnight sky. While this ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is not limited edition, we do expect that it will be in limited supply when it goes up on sale later this year.