The black satin-brushed dial is partially skeletonized to reveal the inner workings of the watch. The minute and hour hands are made of 18K white gold and are partially skeletonized as well. However, as they’re fairly chunky, telling that the time isn’t overly difficult, but legibility isn’t ideal. That having been said, this is not actually a bit where the hands will be the focus. The running moments hand to your chronograph is bright yellow to give contrast against the black dial.Finally, the respective moment markers as well as the mark for the 30-minute chronograph in 3 o’clock are rendered in white and yellow to provide maximum contrast and legibility. The 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock can be exceptional because it displays the elapsed minutes using a retrograde index. And finally, at six o’clock is the tourbillon.The motion is where the magic all happens. It’s obviously in-house, also it is the calibre 2937. And like most of high-end chronograph movements, it’s a column-wheel and lateral clutch.What’s odd about it, though, is its two gongs. Instead of mounting the gongs into the movement plate, they’re attached to what Audemars Piguet calls a “sound board” Basically, it is a thin membrane made of a special copper alloy that covers the rear of the motion, held in place by screws, and also forming a water-tight seal. This clarifies how the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch can get a water-resistance rating of 20 meters, which might not sound like much to some casual observer, but this couldn’t be more erroneous. The 20 meters is actually quite impressive considering the intricate construction of the watch.
Last year Audemars Piguet unveiled a slew of Royal Oak watches in yellow gold, with a notable omission, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin “Jumbo”. As the Royal Oak marks the 40th anniversary of the first yellow gold model of 1977, that has now been rectified with a pair that will make their debut at SIHH 2017.
The new Royal Oak Extra-Thin watches in 18k yellow gold join the 50-piece limited edition made for Singapore retailer The Hour Glass last year, with both the case and bracelet in yellow gold.
The Royal Oak “Jumbo” for The Hour Glass with a dark green dial
While the version for The Hour Glass had a green dial, the two new additions to the collection are in dark blue and yellow gold respectively. Both dials are finished in the traditional style of the Royal Oak, decorated with Petite Tapisserie guilloche and featuring yellow gold applied markers and hands.
The case diameter is 39mm, the exact same diameter as the 1977 original “Jumbo”, though the sapphire display back means the modern iteration is slightly thicker than the solid back original.
But the movement inside remains the 2121, the slim, self-winding calibre originally developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre but now made by Audemars Piguet.
Price and availability
The Royal Oak Extra-Thin in yellow gold with a blue dial is the ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.01, while the same with a matching yellow gold dial is the ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.02. Both are priced at US$55,400.