Shades of Blue

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For the first time, Audemars Piguet presents a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar timepiece in striking blue ceramic.

When we think of ceramic, we tend to think of pottery (perhaps that scene from Ghost) or sculpture. However, ceramic, prized for its insane durability, is increasingly being used by master water makers to make timepieces that will last the test of time. The latest is Audemars Piguet’s new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, which is presented in an eye-catching blue hue, complete with Grande Tapisserie dial and subdials. 

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This is the first time that the 41 mm case and bracelet of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar have been entirely honed from blue ceramic, a light material resistant to wear and scratches, and one that accentuates the slenderness of the new addition, which measures just 9.5 mm in thickness.  

For the first time Audemars Piguet presents a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar timepiece in striking blue ceramic.

To create the new timepiece, Zirconium Oxide (ZrO2) powder, modified to obtain a blue pigmentation once baked, is mixed with dedicated binder content before being transformed into ceramic through a complex industrial flow requiring different stages of high-precision machining. The exact composition of ceramic remains the secret of its manufacturers. The components achieve their final colour only once they have been sintered at more than 1400°C. Reaching a homogeneous colour represents an additional challenge as ceramic’s final colour depends on the sintering temperature, which allows no variation.

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Audemars Piguet’s Le Brassus artisans have finished each ceramic component with the same detailed and meticulous hand finishing as they would if they were honed from precious metals: the Manufacture’s trademark alternation of satin-brushing and polished chamfers has been applied by hand with extreme care, resulting in a rich play of light which enhances both the ceramic and the multifaceted architecture of the Royal Oak. 

For the first time Audemars Piguet presents a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar timepiece in striking blue ceramic.

The brand has harmonised the blue-toned colours of the Grande Tapisserie dial, subdials and inner bezel – dressed in Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) – to the blue ceramic case and bracelet, conferring the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar an eye-catching contemporary monochromatic aesthetic that’s accentuated with 18-carat white gold hour-markers and facetted hands, filled with luminescent coating for optimum visibility in the dark. 

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With its three calendar subdials and a moon phase aperture equally distributed on the dial, the watch presents a fine aesthetic balance, while granting optimum legibility of the hours, minutes, day, date, week, month, astronomical moon and leap year indication. 

This new model is equipped with the selfwinding Calibre 5134 that automatically takes into account the number of days in the month and correctly displays the prevailing date even in leap years. Assuming the watch is kept regularly wound, the date will not require manual adjustment until 2100 to stay in line with the Gregorian calendar.

For the first time Audemars Piguet presents a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar timepiece in striking blue ceramic.

Launched in 2015, this movement measuring just 4.3 mm in thickness necessitated the re-arrangement of numerous components, including its 22-carat gold openworked oscillating weight. The bulkiest part of the rotor has been positioned to its outer edge, which is recessed within a channel encircling the movement, thereby mitigating height. Likewise, the choice of a suspended barrel has contributed to reducing the movement’s thickness.

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The sapphire caseback reveals the traditional Haute Horlogerie decorations adorning Calibre 5134: Côtes de Genève, circular graining, sunray brushing and polished chamfers. 

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