Audemars Piguet The Millenary Legend
To many watch aficionados, perhaps, Audemars Piguet is all about the Royal Oak. There is no doubt that it is the backbone of the Manufacture. Yet, the Millenary, another pillar in Audemars Piguet’s arsenal, is quickly making its very own mark on the brand. Bestowed a particular oval-shaped case and the escapement on the dial, the Millenary watches are different from any other with its design.
With its iconic octagonal bezel and hexagonal screws design, the Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak has proven itself over 40 years. Back in 1993, the brand extended the lineup with a more masculine contour, the Royal Oak Offshore. And the Royal Oak family has been a great success in sports watch category. But the rule breaking did not stop with the case and dial design and they produced the Millenary watches in 1996. Understated yet extraordinary, the Millenary collection blends a sense of technical sophistication with old-world elegance.
The Manufacture intentionally developed a new collection different from the existing models then. They drew inspiration from the Colosseum of ancient Rome and created the horizontal oval-shaped case for the Millenary. The unique shape and the off-centre dial heralds a neo-classical aesthetics, making it just immediately recognisable as the Royal Oak. In fact, the Millenary collection showcases Audemars Piguet’s philosophy – the daring use of bold designs and new materials.
Besides the distinguished appearance, the Millenary has an advantage over the round, square and tonneau-shaped case. The open space of the dial let the designer to add a sub-dial, displays or functions, allowing for the sort of three-dimensional depth found in the architecture. An openworked dial is also an apt option – to showcase the nicely polished movement parts. Today the Millenary has become another pillar of the product line. And its complicated models even position the escapement to the front which is traditionally located at the back. This masterstroke enables the wearers to appreciate the mechanical heartbeat of the piece.
Millenary Minute Repeater
The Millenary collection so far has boasted scores of complications. One of the masterpieces is no doubt the Tradition d’Excellence No.5, equipped with a perpetual calendar and deadbeat seconds. What’s more, it comes with the “AP Escapement” which took the Manufacture 6 years of development. The Millenary Minute Repeater is another intricate complication and it is the very first Millenary minute repeater watch cased in rose gold. The off-centre hour and minute dial and small seconds sub-dial sit at 3 and 7 o’clock respectively. Like its illustrious predecessor, this exceptional piece also houses the “AP Escapement” at 9 o’clock.
Let’s have a quick recap of the groundbreaking “AP Escapement”. Its escapement’s regulating organ is composed not just of one balance spring, but of two placed top to tail. This flat and opposite-facing double spring system ensures automatic compensation for potential poising flaws and eliminates the need for the “overcoil” terminal curves. It, therefore, never requires oil lubrication and ensures reduced perturbation to the regulating organ, thus enhancing the efficiency and precision.
Speaking of the dial layout, the striking escapement shows the sheer mastery of the Manufacture, while another stand-out feature is the blue minute repeater hammer and gong. The blue gong of the minute repeater which is visible from the top as it curves elegantly around the outer ring of the dial, highlighting its beautiful aesthetics and bringing also visual and acoustic pleasure. Plus, the blue gong matching the colour of the blue steel hands on the hour and minute dial looks just awesome. Did we mention the enamel hour-minute dial? The polished case and bezel reveals the luxurious finished hand-bevelled edges and interior angles as well as the overall anthracite-coloured galvanic treatment. Through the sapphire crystal caseback can see the two barrels offering up to 7 days of power reserve. (Price around $3,870,000)
尺寸：47 x 42mm
The Royal Oak watch does add a masculine and daring characters on women’s wrist. The Millenary watch is yet another story. The oval-shaped timepieces lend a feminine touch to ladies. The distinctive off-centre dial is rarely seen and unusual in women’s watch, reflecting the multi-layered nature of the woman who wears it. Audemars Piguet this year has unveiled all-new Millenary watches for women and specially creates the new Calibre 5201 to fit in the pieces. Only 4.16mm thick, the calibre is light and comfortable on wrist. As if that weren’t enough, the piece is embedded with diamonds and precious gems. Surely they are women’s closest friends.
This admirable piece with sparkling bezel and lugs is available in three versions to suit all preferences: the white gold case with a blue sapphire crown is embellished with 574 diamonds (2.19 carats) and fitted with a dark grey alligator strap. The other two rose gold models featuring a mother-of-pearl dial are adorned with 116 diamonds (0.6 carats). They come with a pink sapphire crown and a brown or beige alligator strap. (Price around $223,000-$476,000)
尺寸：39.5 x 35.4mm
Two-Tone Selfwinding Royal Oak
Audemars Piguet has surprised us with its innovative materials in recent years. Last year we saw the white ceramic, an ultra-hard material to give the case a diamond-like hardness. This year, the Manufacture didn’t show us lots of ceramic watches. Instead, they bring back the steel case, the origin and most recognisable feature of the Royal Oak flagship. The piece exuding an awesome retro charm is indeed one of the talking pieces in this year’s SIHH because a two-tone Royal Oak hasn’t come in new references for years. This 41mm wristwatch boasts a stainless steel case pairing with a rose gold bezel and the combination of the gold and silver tone work very well on the piece. The piece comes with a two-tone bracelet and its dial features the brand’s signature Grande Tapisserie pattern. A variant Royal Oak 33mm for women is also available. This petite beauty has a bezel set with 40 diamonds (0.73 carats) and houses a quartz movement. These two Royal Oaks are definitely gorgeous couple watches. (Price around $201,000 and $161,000 respectively)
Royal Oak Diver
Over the past few years the brand has showed us the Royal Oak Divers in white or black ceramic. This year, the latest Diver is cased in stainless steel, same as the Two-Tone Selfwinding Royal Oak we just introduced. Keeping a similar overall partition, the silver-toned Diver features a white or black dial, both decorated with the Mega Tapisserie pattern, a typical Audemars Piguet’s fashion. The watch is equipped with a time pre-selection device that can be activated by the black or sliver internal bezel adjuster at 10 o’clock. Paired with a black rubber strap, the 42mm watch is water resistant to 300m and housed the automatic Calibre 3120 which offers 60 hours of power reserve. (Price around $149,000)
Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
If you have a craving for the ceramic, the Manufacture has also prepared this chronograph model which may meet your demand. The case, bezel, and crowns are all made in black ceramic together with an updated dial. The tachymeter on the inner bezel and the counters at 6 and 9 o’clock has changed from black to grey, while the three hands displaying the chronograph functions are highlighted in red. All this subtle changes significantly increases the contrast and legibility. (Price around $328,000)
The Diamond Punk is the Manufacture’s latest haute jewellery piece, a stunning and bejewelled bangle watch. And who will not be captivated by its 7,848 diamonds (33.35 carats) on the case and 300 diamonds (0.92 carats) on the dial. With its avant-garde design, this piece still reflects the tradition of watchmaking. The snow-set diamonds are adorned on the 56 dazzling pyramid facets. When the secret sliding cover is closed, the watch will turn into a punk style diamond bangle. Last but not least, this exceptional piece is the result of 1,440 hours of work, no less than 9 months, by the brand’s highly skilled craftsmen. Another reference embedded with onyx elements is also on offer. (Price around $5,914,000 and $4,640,000)
尺寸：44 x 30mm