Would you believe it if I told you that it takes more than € 300 to buy this watch? I know, you are left speechless and are wondering how it is possible that an apparently simple object has such a high value. Well, let me explain it to you. 

THEAudemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked it is a concentrate of technology and technique; it embodies everything that can be asked of Audemars Piguet, namely history, complication and innovation. Let's analyze these 3 key points one by one.

History of the

The watch in question belongs to the collection Royal Oak and it would be all too easy to say that it is the summary of almost 50 years of style, elegance, personality and research. It is more interesting to point out how much tradition and how much history is contained in the skeletonization. The brand of Brassus has made several skeletonized versions of his watches over the years, whether they were Royal Oak o Millenary, acquiring a great aesthetic taste and an artistic know-how linked to truly incredible finishes.

This skeletonization is balanced, symmetrical (note the tourbillon as opposed to the winding spring), it has a high degree of transparency despite the 299 componenti of Caliber2936 and is completely finished by hand. The Anglage on the various bridges they are very remarkable, as well as the totality of the workings. A skeletonization made by Audemars Piguet is highly recognizable and is part of the brand's DNA. It can be safely said that skeletonized watches, said Openworked, are a hallmark for Audemars Piguet. 

COMPLICATION

The mere juxtaposition of the words "Chronograph"and "Whirlwind"Excites all fans, we are in front of an example of the highest watchmaking. The 6-minute Tourbillon is located at 1 o'clock, while the chronograph minute and second counters are respectively positioned at 3 and 9 o'clock.

The grafting takes place horizontally through a tilting lever which allows the time train wheel to mesh with the chronograph wheels, while the sorting is obtained through the classic column wheel visible on side B of the movement at around 12 o'clock. This watch is complex, difficult to make and the mechanical complications are joined by the skeletonization that streamlines the entire caliber. The design and engineering work carried out is considerable, as are the hours required to assemble the caliber, rigorously performed by a single watchmaker (“one man, one engine” rule). 

INNOVATION

The entire watch, including the bracelet but excluding the clasp, is made of black ceramic. For some years now Audemars Piguet has decided to abandoning carbon, given its potential degradation problems over time, to embrace the ceramic, much more stable, less sensitive to wear and "scratch proof" (unscratchable). Overall, it is very light despite its massive size (44mm case diameter and 13.2mm thick) but the most striking details are the finishes on the case and bracelet.

The result is very similar to that visible on the steel or titanium versions (you can clearly see the one-way directions of the work carried out, such as on the links of the bracelet or on the bezel) although the properties of the ceramic are completely different. Its hardness and its low thermal conductivity result in innumerable difficulties in finishing operations and an increase not only in processing times but also in the number and cost of individual operations. Years of development were needed to be able to reach the full know-how of the technological process of fusion and processing of ceramics, obtaining significant results (it is said that the cases are even obtained through machining from solid).

It is not the first time that Audemars Piguet has presented a Royal Oak Chronograph Tourbillon mounted on Caliber 2936 (3 Hz, 72h power reserve, 29 jewels, 299 parts, manual winding, Tourbillon, chronograph). There are several small productions (from 25 to 100 pieces) made in platinum, rose gold and titanium (collected under the reference 26347) or with a ceramic case and rubber strap (reference 26343CE), but it had never been presented with the unprecedented black ceramic bracelet

In light of the above, the reasons that lead this watch to have such an important price and a limited production of only 100 pieces are clearer. For those interested, the real sale price depends on the CHF / € exchange rate on the day of purchase in order not to create disparity in prices between different markets. This policy applies to all watches over CHF 100. 

THEAudemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked 26343CE it's a real modernization of what a Royal Oak is. Innovation e seeds they manage to merge to give life to a watch deeply linked to the history and centuries-old savoir faire of the brand, but projected forward thanks to innovations and held together by the art and aesthetic taste it hides. It is a very interesting, complex watch that deserves to be admired. 

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