In the realm of high horology, few names evoke as much reverence as Audemars Piguet, the Swiss manufacturer known for its craftsmanship and ingenuity. The latest gem to join its illustrious lineage is the new Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin, a timepiece that harmoniously melds tradition with technology.
What sets this new offering apart is its masterful integration of two avant-garde materials: titanium and bulk metallic glass (BMG), both for the first time in the history of the brand. Engineered in collaboration with a palladium base—yet another first—the BMG offers a scratch-resistant brilliance that distinguishes this timepiece from its predecessors.
Originally discovered in the 1960s and previously used in fields such as microelectronics and golf, BMG is an alloy that undergoes rapid cooling to achieve a state of amorphism and hardness akin to glass. This cutting-edge material endows the bezel, caseback frame, and bracelet studs with an unparalleled resistance to wear and corrosion.
But the material journey is an intricate one. Production begins with the BMG alloy being melted and poured into molds, which are then rapidly cooled to preserve its unique properties. Once out of the molds, these pieces are precisely machined to their final shape. Due to the exacting requirements of rapid cooling, only small quantities can be produced at any given time, making each watch a masterpiece of limited availability.
A sunburst motif on the smoked burgundy dial illuminates the watch face, providing a luscious counterpoint to the metallic sophistication of the case and bracelet. The dial’s hour-markers and hands are crafted from luminescent 18-carat pink gold, with the iconic applied AP monogram at 6 o’clock. This tonal symphony achieves an aesthetic equilibrium, perfectly balancing colour with the metallic luster of the high-tech materials.
Replacing the venerable Calibre 2121, which had powered the “Jumbo” models since 1972, the Calibre 7121 ushers in a new era for the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin line. With its mere 3.2 mm thickness, this new mechanism fits seamlessly into the iconic 8.1 mm case without altering the watch’s overall proportions.
The new Calibre, five years in the making, offers greater precision over an extended period, thanks to its increased energy output. Its central oscillating weight operates on ball bearings with bidirectional winding, ensuring efficient energy use. A patented, extremely thin, and energy-efficient date mechanism adds to its functional appeal. Admirers of horological artistry will also appreciate the Calibre 7121’s intricate decorations, visible through the sapphire caseback.