The hottest luxury watch on the planet is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
Ah, but which Royal Oak? Which one is the most interesting and collectible of all the contemporary, current-production models? My nominee is the ceramic-cased Royal Oak QP.
It features everything that makes a "conventional" (if there is such a thing) Royal Oak so damn good – namely the grande tapisserie dial, the thin profile, the integrated bracelet that's a work of art unto itself, and of course, the octagonal bezel – but the ceramic-cased RO QP pushes it all to the max. The use of state-of-the-art colored ceramic for the case and bracelet means the entire package is bolder, more recognizable, and more scratch-proof than ever before.
At the same time, inside, the ultra-thin caliber 5134 is able to balance the seemingly disparate realm of the highly technical and the supremely slim, in superlative fashion. Ben was absolutely right when, in 2017, he introduced the inaugural ceramic Royal Oak QP by saying, "I'm calling it right here and right now, this is the hottest watch of SIHH 2017." Five years later, during the Royal Oak's ongoing 50th anniversary, the watch is still causing temperatures to rise.
That's because, earlier today, Audemars Piguet quietly unveiled another scorcher. Following 2017's original blacked-out ceramic RO QP and the white ceramic that came two years later, AP has released a new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (ref. 26579CS.OO.1225CS.01) – and this one comes in blue ceramic for the very first time. Is anyone else sweating or is it just me?
The new, blue Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is mostly identical to its predecessors, sharing an identical ultra-thin self-winding movement (caliber 5134) and case profile (41mm × 9.5mm), with the only major updates coming in the form of the high-tech blue ceramic case and the matching blue color of the grande tapisserie dial. But given how coveted the black and white ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars have become, this one still rates as a big deal.
The Royal Oak turns 50 this year, and we've already had one hell of a party. Remember the new "jumbo" 16202? That was only announced to the world in January of this year. Karl Lagerfeld Royal Oak came up for auction, and so did Gerald Genta. We took a close look at the Royal Oak a2, the oldest known example of the original 15202 reference.
Brand: Audemars Piguet
Model: Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
Reference Number: 26579CS.OO.1225CS.01
Case Material: Blue ceramic
Dial Color: Blue grande tapisserie pattern
Indexes: Applied hour markers, white gold
Lume: Yes, Super-LumiNova
Water Resistance: 20 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Blue ceramic, with titanium AP folding clasp
Caliber: AP caliber 5134
Functions: Perpetual calendar with week indication, day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year, hours, and minutes
Power Reserve: 40 hours
Frequency: 2.75 Hz 19,800 vph
Chronometer Certified: N/A
Additional Details: 374 total components