Adding to the Royal Oak collection for 2023, Audemars Piguet unveils a new 41 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph crafted in 18-carat white gold and adorned with a bezel paved with baguette-cut blue sapphires. The dial incorporates a Grande Tapisserie pattern, dressed in blue and endued with contrasting light blue counters. The timepiece incorporates the new Royal Oak design evolution that was introduced in 2022. This new expression of the 41 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph incorporates the latest Royal Oak design evolution while embracing baguette-cut blue sapphires and complementary tones.
The blue dial is endowed with a Grande Tapisserie pattern, incorporating three light-blue counters. An aperture, positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock, reveals the date in white numerals atop a blue disc, matching the dominant dial hue. The case, bezel and bracelet are executed in 18-carat white gold and encompass both polished and satin-brushed surfaces. The juxtaposition of these latter finishes draws on the talents of the Manufacture’s craftspeople to ensure each finish is perfectly delineated from its neighbour. The bezel is set with blue baguette-cut sapphires.
Since its initial unveiling in 1972, the Royal Oak has become a byword for accomplished design with its distinctive octagonal bezel, punctuated with eight hexagonal screws and integrated bracelet. In 2022, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak, the Manufacture made subtle design changes to some of the models in 34, 37, 38 and 41 mm, retaining the original watch’s distinguishing looks while augmenting its allure.
The bevels gracing the top and underside of the case were enlarged in order to enhance the play of light and imbue the case with a slender profile. The caseback and case middle were redesigned, improving the way the components integrate with one another fora more comfortable wrist fit. The bracelet also benefited from aesthetic and ergonomic upgrades. The first four links transitioned from being parallel to trapezoidal in shape, bestowing a more tapered, elegant look. By slightly reducing the thickness of the links, the bracelet is now lighter, once again proffering ergonomic advancement.
At the heart of this new model is the Manufacture’s latest generation chronograph movement, the selfwinding Calibre 4401. It is fully integrated and features a column wheel and a flyback function. Unlike a regular chronograph, the flyback function allows the wearer to stop, reset and start the chronograph in one simple action.
The column wheel works in collaboration with a vertical clutch system. When starting or stopping the chronograph, the hands respond accordingly without any hint of jumping. Furthermore, the push-pieces feel smooth when pressed. A patented zero resetting mechanism ensures that each one of the counter hands instantaneously resets to zero. The movement is adorned with refined finishing, including Côtes de Genève, circular graining, circular satin and polished chamfers, all of which are visible via the sapphire caseback.