Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked Sand Gold: A Sandstorm Sweeps Through Le Brassus

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked Sand Gold: A Sandstorm Sweeps Through Le Brassus

Published: March 29, 2024 | By: American Luxury Staff

The winds of change are blowing through the valley town of Le Brassus, Switzerland, home of luxury watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet. The brand has just unveiled its latest horological creation: the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked in sand gold. This innovative new reference (26735SG) brings together advanced materials and cutting-edge mechanics for a contemporary twist on a classic design.

As its name suggests, the 41mm watch case and integrated bracelet are crafted from 18-carat sand gold, a bespoke gold alloy that Audemars Piguet has developed specifically for this release. The unique composition of gold, copper and palladium results in a distinctive sandy hue that shifts between white and pink gold depending on the lighting conditions. The Manufacture’s watchmakers chose to complement the precious case with a skeletonized dial showcasing the openworked Calibre 2972, offering multi-dimensional views of the flying tourbillon and gear train.

Audemars Piguet then took things a step further by galvanically treating the sand-gold bridges and mainplate to match the tone of the case. The effect provides a subtle but notable color contrast against the rhodium-finished key movement components. Other finishing techniques like hand-angling, polishing and engraving serve to accentuate the three-dimensional architecture and refinement. The end result is a harmonious blend of matte and shiny surfaces with plenty of negative space for light to permeate.

From an engineering perspective, Calibre 2972 represents a technical tour de force. The self-winding movement drives hours, minutes and the 60-second flying tourbillon regulated at 3Hz. Despite the open dial, it still boasts a 65-hour power reserve. Not an easy feat for such a skeletonized caliber. The watch crystal is printed with the AP logo and name in black to avoid obstructing the multi-level views into the movement.

For Audemars Piguet and its legion of loyal fans, the Royal Oak collection has become an icon of avant-garde sports luxury in the watch world. First introduced in 1972, the Gerald Genta-designed octagonal shape and exposed screws broke all the rules but still caught the zeitgeist. The Manufacture has continually reinvented it over decades without losing sight of those genre-defining codes of design.

In that sense, the reference 26735SG is the latest milestone, harnessing novel materials and technology to create something familiar yet forward-facing. The interplay of sand gold’s evolving patina against the openworked manufacture movement ushers in a new era for this watchmaking legend. One where the sands of time take on a more artful dimension.

1108 March 29, 2024 Men, Watches March 29, 2024