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May 22, 2024

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak “Jumbo” Titanium & Bulk Metallic Glass

Audemars Piguet unveil a new iteration of its Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin that combines two high- tech materials. Following the launch of the Only Watch unique piece presented in 2021, this new 39 mm model introduces a case and a bracelet that combine titanium and precious metallic glass (or BMG for Bulk Metallic Glass) into the collection for the very first time. 

A LIGHT AND STRONG ALLOY

Discovered in the 1960s, this alloy shares certain characteristics with glass, such as amorphism and hardness, when it is cooled very quickly. While several hundred types of metallic glass exist, Audemars Piguet has chosen to co-develop its own palladium-based metallic glass, giving it high resistance to wear and corrosion as well as enhanced brilliance. This is the first time that a palladium-based metallic glass has appeared in a collection in the watchmaking sector. 

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak
Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak

A dedicated production process has been developed that starts with the material being melted and poured into molds (for the bezel and caseback) to give them the desired pre-shape. The material is then rapidly cooled to retain its intrinsic qualities, including hardness and elasticity. Once it is taken out of the molds, the pieces are machined into their final shape. Due to the rapid cooling process required to obtain the material, the size and thickness of the components cannot be too large and only small quantities can be produced at a time. 

Used for the bezel, caseback frame and bracelet studs, the bulk metallic glass has been mirror- polished to reveal its high resistance to scratches. This finish, combined with the brilliance of the material, provides a powerful contrast with the titanium case and bracelet links that alternate between the polished and satin-finished decorations that are emblematic of the Manufacture’s timepieces. The caseback also bears the “Pd500” hallmark, as BMG contains over 50% of palladium. 

A NEW DIAL

The smoked burgundy dial of this new Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin model is decorated with a sunburst motif. The vivid burgundy colour also contrasts with the metallic tones of the high-tech case and bracelet materials, giving the watch a mysterious appearance. The dial features luminescent 18-carat pink gold hour-markers and hands, with the polished and applied AP monogram at 6 o’clock. The date appears in pink tones against a dark burgundy background, adding the final touch to the aesthetic balance of the timepiece. 

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak

THE CALIBRE 7121

This new Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin model is equipped with the Calibre 7121, introduced in 2022 to replace the Calibre 2121, which has powered the “Jumbo” models since 1972. The unique Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Only Watch was the last timepiece to be fitted with the Calibre 2121, and the introduction of the Calibre 7121 in 2022 marked the start of a new generation of timepieces in this reference. With a thickness of 3.2 mm, Calibre 7121 has been developed and produced by Audemars Piguet’s engineers and watchmakers to fit into the iconic 8.1 mm case without altering the aesthetics or thickness of the watch. Furthermore, the crown is now equipped with a rapid date corrector. 

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak

True to the tradition of Haute Horlogerie, Calibre 7121 features prestigious decorations, such as Côtes de Genève, circular satin-finishing, snailing, circular graining and angle polishing, which can all be admired through the sapphire caseback. This also reveals the 22-carat pink gold oscillating weight dedicated to the collection, which subtly matches the colour of the hour-markers and the AP logo on the dial. (Price on request)