Back in 1986, Audemars Piguet introduced the world’s first automatic tourbillon wristwatch. Then several generations later in 1997 they celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak by adding this complication to its model line. Now to celebrate the 50th milestone year of this iconic Gérald Genta design, they are issuing this model with a self-winding flying tourbillon openwork mechanism, for the first time ever.The 41mm case is made in stainless-steel with a mix of vertical brushed flat surfaces and polished edges. Mounted to the case is the iconic “Royal Oak” octagonal shaped bezel in a matching alloy and exposed 18k white gold screws. On the flip-side is a sapphire exhibition case back, which allows a view into the inner workings of the mechanical movement. The gold oscillating weight with a carved out “50” years emblem, will only be featured on the models sold during 2022, which will make them some-what collectibles, as the current production continues on without this distinct characteristic.It also comes equipped with a screw-down crown adorned with the AP logo. All topped by a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. Water-resistance can reach up to 50 meters (164 feet).Time is exhibited on a fully skeletonized dial with small gold applied hour index markers, which are notched into the black sloped minute track, circling around the flange. Beside these minimal elements placed to facilitate keeping track of the current time, we’re overwhelmed with moving parts.The new caliber 2972 is completely exposed, and can be further examined via the exhibition caseback. But, moving our focus back to the front we get a nice view of several purple jewels, running gears, plus the rhodium-toned openworked bridges and mainplate. Every component has been finished according to Haute Horlogerie standards, with satin finished, circular and sunray brushing, and even polished chamfers.At the 6 o’clock spot we encounter the flying tourbillon with a central rotor and sparkling jewels. A “flying tourbillon” is only supported by a lower bridge, instead of a two-sided support like a traditional tourbillon. This fact also allows a better view of the whirlwind mechanism from the dial side, as it oscillates.This edition due to its open-worked design lacked a surface area for a 3D printed logo, so the “Audemars Piguet” signature seen on the upper-half has been etched directly into the sapphire crystal. The central gold hands and hour index markers have all been given a luminescent filling, for an enhanced legibility.
Audemars Piguet Flying Tourbillon Openworked
The “Audemars Piguet Flying Tourbillon Openworked” (Ref#: 26735ST.OO.1320ST.01) is powered by the in-house self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 2975 with 27 jewels, 271 parts, and 21,600 vph. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 65 hours, when fully wound.Mounted to the watch is a stainless-steel bracelet with a vertically brushed and polished finish, while secured to the wrist by an AP folding clasp. For more up to date information visit the official Audemars Piguet website here.
MSRP: Price on Request