Audemars Piguet Celebrates 50 Years of the Royal Oak
A black ceramic case and rainbow dial on the latest Carolina Bucci collaboration
Written by Theo Baker
August 11, 2022
Watchmakers love an opportunity to celebrate, especially when it comes to the anniversary of an iconic watch release. For Audemars Piguet, this year’s celebration is for a watch that needs little introduction, the Royal Oak, which is marking the 50th year since its introduction.
To commemorate the occasion, AP is launching its latest in the Royal Oak Selfwinding Carolina Bucci Limited Edition 34mm. As its name indicates, the model is being released in collaboration with Italian jewelry designer Carolina Bucci. This latest partnership represents the jeweler’s third collaboration with the iconic Maison, with her continued ability to breathe life into the otherwise largely conservative Royal Oak design language sustaining continued work between the two.
As a commander of the luxury sports watch category, the Royal Oak is largely responsible for popularizing an integrated bracelet style; the feature has remained consistent throughout the five decades of its existence, and the newest iteration is no different. The collaboration with Carolina Bucci utilizes black ceramic as the choice material for the case, which seamlessly connects to a bracelet of the same material. The case is decorated with eight pink gold bezel screws that contrast the flat black ceramic surrounding them. Notably differentiating this particular Royal Oak from its general namesake is its nimble sizing at just 34mm.
An all-black case and bracelet is a conventional proponent for versatility, yet a prismatic sapphire dial is the focal point of this otherwise monochromatic Royal Oak, with it opting for the classic tapisserie pattern which has long served as a signature for the collection. The pattern is brought to life by a rainbow coloration, that when interacting with light provides a visual result that is an almost animate array of shifting rainbow colors. Pink gold detailing via the applied hour marks and matching baton hand complement the colorful look, each precious metal detail working to further elevate the classic sporty look of the watch.
Following suit to other time-and-date 34mm timepieces produced by Audemars Piguet over the years, this anniversary edition opts for the caliber 5800. Capable of a 50-hour power reserve and visible via an exhibition caseback with commemorative engravings, the movement once more highlights the fine detail in execution and finishing, which has garnered Audemars Piguet so much renown.
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Carolina Bucci Limited Edition 34mm will be limited to 300 total editions, with the watch available now via the brand’s boutiques. Pricing is currently marked at $54,200.