When Audemars Piguet introduced the Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Squelette at the 2016 SIHH, the watch caused quite a stir, and rightfully so. Within the iconic octagonal case, crafted from platinum, was now a skeletonized tourbillon chronograph movement. A dream watch by any means!
Dreams are what Material Good understands like no other, in fact, it is what they specialize in. To experience this, you have to visit their boutique, located on the second floor in the middle of SoHo, in which you arrive by elevator. That short trip to the second floor seems to bring you already in a dream state, as they are not only an official retailer for Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille, but also feature art by Damien Hirst and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as exclusive jewelry by Jemma Wynne and Anita Ko.
From their deep understanding of the luxury scene also came the collaboration with Audemars Piguet to fruition. These two new versions of the Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Squelette are in fact a symbiosis of everything that makes Audemars Piguet, as well as the Royal Oak, so special. It starts with that highly complicated caliber 2936, which combines a chronograph with a tourbillon. The movement is elegantly skeletonized, yet function doesn’t suffer from the form. While the non-essential parts of the dial are left out to give us an insight into the inner workings of this watch, subdials and hour markers are present in full. This not only aides the convenience of the watch, but also brings balance.
Material Good created with Audemars Piguet two different versions of the Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Squelette. One is crafted in 18K pink gold, which has a brushed texture, while perfectly polished edges highlight the outline of the watch and bracelet. With a diameter of 44mm, it is by no means a small watch, yet it doesn’t look oversized. Although the watch is also available with a more understated titanium case and bracelet, the pink gold version does not feature a battle of attention, as all elements balance another out perfectly. The ruthenium elements of the dial connect with the crews of the bezel, as the open worked movement does with the pink gold of the case and the bracelet. Creating such a combination requires a profound understanding of the balance of luxury, as Material Good and Audemars Piguet poses.
The titanium version of the Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Squelette brings another kind of balance to the table. Here the open worked movement serves as a testimony to the heritage of Audemars Piguet, and show that this exquisite craftsmanship still has a place in the 21st century. Once again this results in a tantalizing symbiosis and one that is surprisingly modern.
Part of the experience of luxury is that they are rare, and that also goes for these two watches, which are each limited to only 25 pieces. The pink gold version is priced at CHF285.000,-, while in titanium the watch costs CHF250.000,-. They are available exclusively through Material Good or one of Audemars Piguet’s boutiques.