The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is one of the most beloved watches ever made — not just for the many impressive AP movements it has housed over the decades, but for its iconic case and bracelet design that takes an incredibly complex process to produce due to its many facets and finishes. In standard stainless steel, a Royal Oak’s bracelet takes six hours to put together. Which is what makes Audemars’ headlining SIHH release, an all-ceramic, perpetual calendar Royal Oak, all the more incredible: The assembly process for the bracelet in ceramic takes a whopping 30 hours to assemble and finish by hand. Developing the new watch itself took 600 hours, but the result is a Royal Oak that, aside from looking totally hardcore, is almost entirely resistant to scratches, temperature, thermal shocks and the ravages of age.
And that’s to say nothing of the movement inside, Audemars’ Caliber 5134, an ultra-thin perpetual calendar that’s flat enough to keep the overall case size to 41mm in diameter and 9.5mm thick. Perpetual calendars aren’t exactly affordable, and considering the complex nature of the ceramic case, this new all-black Royal Oak is no different, with a price tag around $85,000.
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