It's not every day a brand drops a collection of watches rather quietly without the usual social media fanfare, prescheduled events and an endless stream of articles. Still, if 2020 has taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected. It's not exactly a new tactic from Audemars Piguet, they have released watches like this before, so we can't say we're surprised.
Kicking things off, we have a whole slew of new green dial Royal Oaks. Perhaps a day late, given that yesterday was St. Patricks Day, it is still an evident appreciation for all things green. As of late, green has become an increasingly popular dial option as blue begins to reach the apex of its popularity and green makes its way into the fore.
Firstly, we have the Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra-Thin (15202PT.OO.1240PT.01) in platinum. Featuring a fume dial that fades from emerald green in its centre to black at its periphery, this is a beauty. As we have grown to expect, this is an 'AP House Exclusive'. AP have been moving their popular models and collections away from their AD network in recent years and bringing a watch like this out, that will be in such high demand, as House Exclusive isn't a shock. Ditching AP's tapisserie dial pattern, this stunning piece brings a uniquely modern aesthetic to a watch that has escaped the grasp of time and continues to exist as one of the most popular on the planet.
Next up, we have the Royal Oak Chronograph (26331BA.OO.1220BA.02) in 18k yellow gold featuring another incredible emerald green dial, this time featuring AP's signature tapisserie dial pattern. Rivalling the John Mayer Daytona thanks to its similar colour-scheme, this will no doubt be an incredibly popular watch. Limited to just 125 pieces, this is one watch that will likely see a crazy aftermarket value.
Rounding off the Royal Oaks, we also have three new variants of the Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon, each powered by AP's latest flying-tourbillon movement, the cal. 2950. All featuring the same emerald green dials with a tapisserie pattern that emanates from the centre of the tourbillon, the variance in these comes to the metals and gem-setting. With one variant made of titanium (26534TI.OO.1220TI.01) lacking any gems (limited to 50 units), another titanium variant (26532IC.EE.1220TI.01) featuring 32 emeralds along its bezel (limited to 15 units) and the last model (26533OR.OO.1220OR.01) made of 18k pink gold (limited to 10 units), this collection of Flying Tourbillon Royal Oaks covers just about everything collecting niche. These watches won't be available until April, so you have a while to save for them. While we don't have prices yet, we imagine they'll be expensive.
Royal Oak Offshore Diver
Following on from the Royal Oaks, we have a new trio of colourways for the ever-popular and rugged Royal Oak Offshore Diver collection. All featuring a new in-house movement and interchangeable strap system, AP are beginning to join the likes of Cartier, Vacheron and others who have begun to offer the convenience of interchangeable straps.
Released in "Pristine Grey" (15720ST.OO.A009CA.01), "Navy Blue" (15720ST.OO.A027CA.01), and "Trailblazing Khaki" (15720ST.OO.A052CA.01), this trio of Divers features its signature Mega Tapisserie dial pattern, internal unidirectional rotating bezel, 10 o'clock crown (controlling the bezel) and dial-matching rubber straps, plus one additional strap. Khaki and Navy both come with their matching strap and an extra black strap, while grey comes with its matching strap and an extra blue strap – with all of these extra straps matching the internal rotating bezel on the model.
Powered by the new cal. 4308 movement, these Divers feature 60 hours of power reserve, the incredible finishing you would extra from AP and blackened 22kt gold winding rotors. Continuing to evolve their offerings, it is nice to see AP treat their Divers to a new movement and provide some of the best tech on the market. Available in May, the prices haven't been revealed either, but you have a significantly better chance picking up one of these than the Royal Oaks mentioned before.
Marking the beginning of the 2021 Novelties season with their incredible showings, AP has certainly laid down the gauntlet with these new watches. All that the other brands have to do now is step up to the plate and show us what they are made of too.