During SIHH 2016, replica Audemars Piguet watches released two Royal Oak frosted gold watches – a 33mm quartz watch and a 37mm automatic watch. For those who like to spend some gold on a case and a larger case, the brand has added a limited edition 41mm option, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Brushed Gold 41mm Watch.
The “frosted gold” used in the manufacture of the case and bracelet was prepared by the Italian jeweler Carolina Bucci using hammering techniques. As with other decorative techniques, the metal is frosted after the part is formed but before assembly. For those curious, Audemars Piguet has played a short video showing a brief moment of the process in progress – note that this was done not by wise old watchmakers behind a desk, but by efficient machines.
Sometimes one can get lost in the tempting illusion that there is more to be done by hand than is realistically possible with certain techniques and modern expectations of tolerance. Sanding gives gold a lustrous effect similar to that of diamond dust on the surface, but with less reflectivity. The edges of the bezel were sanded, the edges of the case were beveled to create some extra popping sound between frosts, and the strap was brushed (perhaps with too much shimmer). In some cases (moving parts and dials, more often), the “frosted” finish is usually not visible, which makes it look interesting and distinctive, and should be observed in person to determine its charm/wearability/masculinity/light or otherwise. Yes. In addition to the use of frosted gold, this is essentially a blue disc version of the Royal Oak in various time forms since the classic Gerald Genta was designed over the years.
While previous smaller variants were offered in white and rose gold, this 41mm Royal Oak is only available in white gold. It has a blue Tapisserie dial with a matching blue date window. I’ve always thought Royal Oak shines best with a blue (not white) dial. Of course, the hands and applied markings are gold and filled with a small piece of Super-LumiNova that can make the watch legible at night. The bracelet is a familiar and very comfortable design. Like its 37mm brushed gold sibling, it’s powered by a self-winding caliber 3120 that offers a 60-hour power reserve, beats at 3Hz, and features the usual 22ct solid gold-trimmed integral rotor – all of which can be seen through the back of the display.
Those who want to stock up on glitter will have to rush, as the 41mm Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold is limited to 200 pieces. If you happen to miss it, you can always console yourself by purchasing a set of Royal Oak cufflinks released by the brand’s accompanying watch.