Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 in Le Brassus, and today it is still owned by the families that launched the brand so long ago. One may think that this weight of tradition would tend to encourage traditionalism, but in actual fact, Audemars Piguet have often taken some innovative and courageous steps. One such move was the creation of the Royal Oak by Gérald Genta, a design that was revolutionary at the time for its distinctly sporting image.
Today, a new version of the Royal Oak Offshore (a new Royal Oak range that first saw the light in 1993) has been presented, the Grande Complication. A horological work of art that nonetheless continues the sporty appearance of its predecessors. It is made in titanium and ceramic, with a rubber strap.
The watch, reference 26571IO.OO.A010CA.01, is a 3-piece limited edition. Each piece is made by a single craftsperson who will dedicate over 700 hours work to the watch.
Inside the 44-millimetre titanium and ceramic case, the 648-part movement incorporates the three functions necessary to be able to describe it as a grande complication: minute repeater, split second chronograph, and perpetual calendar. The minute repeater is a system that chimes the hours, quarters and minutes when the respective pusher is pressed, with the sound produced on two gongs. The split second chronograph enables you to read intermediate times while the chronograph is still running. The perpetual calendar displays day, month and year on the subdials, and also shows the phases of the moon.
Part of the movement can be seen through the front of the dial, and a sapphire caseback displays the other side, in particular the solid gold oscillating weight that has been given a black coating. Another very contermporary touch. The weight can be customized as required.
The watch is a preview of the upcoming SIHH 2013 show.