Audemars Piguet, the Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer renowned for its unrivaled mastery in watchmaking, has unveiled its first Royal Oak models set with snow-set diamonds, marking a pinnacle in the union of Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie. Designed to embrace smaller wrists, these luminous timepieces are available in 34 and 37 mm sizes, and are crafted from either 18-carat white or pink gold. Adorned with dazzling brilliant-cut diamonds, these watches illuminate the Royal Oak’s iconic architectural design in a wintery spectacle.
The snow setting on these latest Royal Oak Selfwinding models represents a first in the collection’s illustrious history. Employing the artisanal technique of snow setting, each watch is ornamented with brilliant-cut diamonds ranging from 0.5 mm to 2.2 mm in diameter. The 34 mm models are festooned with a staggering 2,255 brilliant-cut diamonds, amounting to around 6.6 carats. Their larger 37 mm counterparts feature 2,123 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling approximately 7.2 carats.
Each gemsetter’s talent shines in the arrangement of these various-sized diamonds. Meticulously selected and positioned across the dial, bezel, case, and each bracelet link and stud, the snow setting achieves a lustrous, irregular pattern, reminiscent of a freshly fallen blanket of snow catching the light. In this artistic endeavour, the metal holding the diamonds is almost rendered invisible, contributing to an incredibly unified and sparkling design.
The watch’s design and engineering teams worked closely with the gemsetter to retain and elevate the Royal Oak’s distinctive aesthetics. Rigorous attention to detail ensures each watch maintains its water resistance, reliability, robustness, and ease of repair, even while being adorned with an intricate array of diamonds.
The watches’ luxurious metals further accentuate the brilliance of the snow-set diamonds. Whether in 18-carat white or pink gold, the new Royal Oak Selfwinding models exude a unique lustre. The snow-set dials are further embellished with 13 baguette-cut diamond hour markers, and the 18-carat white or pink gold hour and minute hands are equipped with a luminescent coating, ensuring readability even in low light conditions.
Audemars Piguet’s Haute Joaillerie legacy traces back to 1883 when the manufacturer began its journey combining technological innovation with extravagant design. Collaborations with iconic jewellery brands like Tiffany, Cartier, and Bvlgari gave way to their fully internalized jewellery workshop in the 1970s. The first gem-set Royal Oak models were introduced in 1982, featuring grain-set brilliant-cut diamonds. Over the years, the Royal Oak collection has seen several gem-set versions, but snow-setting was exclusively reserved for Audemars Piguet’s high jewelry collections like the Diamond Punk (2015) and Diamond Outrage (2017).