Audemars Piguet Quietly Unveil Two Outrageously Luxurious Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars

Big balling.

Audemars Piguet Quietly Unveil Two Outrageously Luxurious Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars

Image: Audemars Piguet

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is already a pretty luxurious and expensive piece of kit – but AP’s latest two takes on the OG luxury sports watch dial the bougie factor up to 11.

First up, we have the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Frosted Gold (ref. 26574BC.GG.1224BC.01), which as the name implies, features a frosted 18ct white gold case. This ‘frosted’ effect is actually done by hand: it’s a traditional Florentine technique that was adapted for watches in 2016 as part of a collaboration between AP and Italian jewellery designer Carolina Bucci.

AP is one of only a handful of watchmakers who have or can do frosted gold, so it’s become somewhat of a signature for them, especially on the Royal Oak. The frosted gold technique is used on most of the watch’s exterior – the case, the bracelet and the bezel – and resembles diamond dust, or indeed, a thin layer of frost covering the watch.

Speaking of diamonds, meet the other crazy RO that AP has just released: the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked (ref. 26625BC.ZZ.1223BC.02), which is also made from white gold but is set with 996 diamonds (~9.7 carats) across its bezel, case and bracelet. What more can we say about this? That’s a lot of diamonds and it’s an impressive display of gem-setting.

A close-up look at the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked’s beautiful movement. Image: Audemars Piguet

Both are powered by similar perpetual calendar movements that feature a week indication, day, date, astronomical moon, month and leap year indicators. Phew! The Calibre 5134 in the frosted gold model is only 4.3mm thick, making it one of the thinnest perpetual calendar movements ever made. The Calibre 5135 in the iced-out model is slightly thicker at 4.5mm to account for its beautiful openworked construction.

By the way, if you’ve ever wondered why AP uses the term ‘openworked’ instead of the more common ‘skeletonised’ nomenclature, it’s because their openworked models actually feature sapphire crystal dials.

AP hasn’t released pricing for these models yet, but we can comfortably assume that the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Frosted Gold will cost over $250,000 USD and the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked might even crack the $1 million USD mark. Hoo boy.

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There’s only one catch with these two bad boys: they’re only available in Japan. Well, at least initially. The diamond-studded model will be sold exclusively in Japan from September before being released globally in December. It’s only limited production, not a limited edition. However, the frosted gold model is explicitly a limited edition and will be sold in Japan from July: AP hasn’t confirmed that it will be sold elsewhere.