The answer to this question is simple: everybody. What I mean by this is that there are two very distinct groups of high-end watch purchasers: the collector along with the fundamental “watch lover.” The collector is the guy who spent the past 15 years residing on TimeZone and also the PuristS, the type of man who hears the name Walt Odets and understands exactly who I’m talking about. The collector is the sort of guy who knows the difference between hand handmade and polished. He has gotten well past the point of arguing about brands and understands enough to talk about individual projects. He also reveres Patek Philippe for what it meant to watches over the last 100 decades, understands the importance and appeal of vintage Rolex, but buys just what speaks to him. A watch lover, on the other hand, is somebody who may be a little newer to luxury watches, and is still very brand conscious. Both purchase watches from Audemars Piguet, but likely different versions, and surely for distinct reasons.Let’s start with the collector. The collector buys Audemars Piguet because of its history in great complex pocketwatches. The collector buys AP because when Patek Philippe needed some assistance on the complex repeater of the Henry Graves Jr.. Supercomplication, it turned out to AP. The collector purchases AP due to watches like this, this, and this.
Last year Audemars Piguet unveiled a slew of Royal Oak watches in yellow gold, with a notable omission, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin “Jumbo”. As the Royal Oak marks the 40th anniversary of the first yellow gold model of 1977, that has now been rectified with a pair that will make their debut at SIHH 2017.
The new Royal Oak Extra-Thin watches in 18k yellow gold join the 50-piece limited edition made for Singapore retailer The Hour Glass last year, with both the case and bracelet in yellow gold.
While the version for The Hour Glass had a green dial, the two new additions to the collection are in dark blue and yellow gold respectively. Both dials are finished in the traditional style of the Royal Oak, decorated with Petite Tapisserie guilloche and featuring yellow gold applied markers and hands.
The case diameter is 39mm, the exact same diameter as the 1977 original “Jumbo”, though the sapphire display back means the modern iteration is slightly thicker than the solid back original.
But the movement inside remains the 2121, the slim, self-winding calibre originally developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre but now made by Audemars Piguet.
Price and availability
The Royal Oak Extra-Thin in yellow gold with a blue dial is the ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.01, while the same with a matching yellow gold dial is the ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.02. Both are priced at US$55,400.