Wednesday, March 14, 2012

AUDEMARS PIGUET SCORES AGAIN

KEE@FSWMAG.COM

Audemars Piguet boutique is at Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. They are also available at The Hour Glass and Sincere Fine Watches.
Tel; +603 2142 8151 or 03-2144 8639

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The new Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm
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This pink gold bracelet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph costs RM 207,000 and is my favourite!
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Those on a budget will have to settle for this pink gold Royal Oak with crocodile strap for a mere RM 134,000.
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I WAS INTRODUCED TO AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAK OAK BY THE LATE TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN, BROTHER OF HRH SULTAN MAHMUD ISKANDAR OF JOHORE. THIS TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL-HAJ OUR FIRST PRIME MINISTER NOR TUANKU ABDUL RAHMAN OUR FIRST KING.

He was Tunku Abdul Rahman ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Sir Ismail Al-Khalidi the younger brother of the Sultan Mahmud Iskandar and uncle to the present Sultan. Tunku Abdul Rahman was a great man, very jovial and kind with a great sense of humour. He told me, "As my initials are T.A.R as in Tunku Abdul Rahman which was identical to the first Prime Minister, I decided to reverse it so it becomes R.A.T so I am known as RAT!"

Of course I never dared to call him 'Tunku RAT'!

I was extremely young then and asked him which watch should I buy when I had money. He recommended Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet and told me how Gerald Genta made his big break with this fabulous octagonal case with screws which has remained unchanged to this very day decades later! I am now the proud owner of a RM 152,000 solid gold and diamond Royal Oak and have continued to be fascinated by Royal Oak as it undergoes various transmutations over the last few decades. The first Royal Oak appeared in 1972 and it looks as au courant today as it did 40 years ago!

I used to tease Tunku Abdul Rahman the reason he liked this model was the 'Royal' namesake in the name but he always laughed and said he loved it due to its design, shape and mechanics and not the name. Though he added, "Royal Oak is a great name for a watch I must say. It stands for strength and resilience and reminds us from a small acorn a mighty oak can grow."

I always tell everyone if you wish to buy an Audemars Piguet, you should settle for a Royal Oak, same as Reverso for Jaeger LeCoultre, Birkin bag from Hermes or Freak from Ulysses Nardin. Som brands have an iconic model that is their bread and butter. I bet 70% of all Jaeger LeCoultre sales come from Reverso and maybe 70% of all Hermes profits come from sales of its world famous Birkin and Kelly handbags as I wonder who would buy any of their products which are classy and well made but hardly exciting.

And so we are back to Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet, one of the watchdom's most revered icons and still going strong today with its hugely successful Offshore offshoot!

To be in the mood, I am now actually wearing my solid gold Royal Oak with diamonds! Lucky I bougt my solid gold bracelet with diamond Royal Oak 10 years ago at RM 152,000 as today the prices have shot up as the value has increased two or threefold!

This stainless steel bracelet Royal Oak 41mm costs RM 71,000
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Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm
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Royal Oak Chronograph

41 mm

The chronograph is inextricably bound up with the history of the sports watch. It thereby naturally holds a place of its own with the saga of the Royal Oak collection. To celebrate 40 years of ongoing success for the first prestige sports watch, Audemars Piguet therefore presents its famous Royal Oak Chronograph in a new size suited to current trends. The case of the Royal Oak Chronograph now features a 41 mm diameter ensuring enhanced legibility.

This pink gold case with its resolutely contemporary size nonetheless retains all the key attributes that have made the Royal Oak a truly legendary watch. Like the 1972 model, the latest Royal Oak chronograph features a subtle interplay of alternating satin-brushed and polished surfaces, as well as the eight white gold hexagonal screws on the octagonal bezel. Water-resistant to 50 metres and equipped with a screw-locked crown, the case is fitted with a glareproofed sapphire crystal. The hand-sewn black crocodile leather strap is secured by an AP folding clasp that is also made of pink gold.

Typically for this collection, the black dial of this chronograph features a “Grande Tapisserie” pattern. This motif is crafted by Audemars Piguet using historical machines according to the ramolayĆ© or pounced ornament technique. This rare and unique process that Audemars Piguet is proud to both possess and master, enables simultaneous cutting of squares interspersed with a gridwork pattern of fine grooves. The superimposition of two decorations, which is a unique feature of Royal Oak dials, endows them with incomparable radiance. The applied AP initials placed just above the logo are more discreet than on other models. A double hour-marker appears at 12 o’clock, inspired by the first Royal Oak watches launched in 1972. The subdials and their inner graduated scales have been redesigned so as to further improve their readability.

This 41 mm Royal Oak Chronograph houses Calibre 2385, a mechanical selfwinding movement driving hour and minute hands, small seconds, a date display and the chronograph functions. 304-part Calibre 2385 has a 40-hour power reserve and a frequency of 21,600 vibrations/hour (3 Hz). The monobloc oscillating weight is made of 18-carat gold.

This new Royal Oak Chronograph measuring 41 mm in diameter is also available in several steel or pink gold versions with a choice of black, silver-toned or blue dial (the latter being reserved for the steel version). It is fitted with a steel or pink gold bracelet or a leather strap.

ROYAL OAK CHRONOGRAPH

MOVEMENT

- Selfwinding Calibre 2385

- Total diameter : 26.20 mm (11 ½ lignes)

- Thickness : 5.50 mm

- 37 jewels

- 304 parts

- Minimal power reserve : approx. 40 hours

- Cadence of balance : 21,600 vibrations/hour

CASE

- 18-carat pink gold case (41 mm), glareproofed sapphire crystal

- Screw-locked crown

- Water-resistant to 50 m

DIAL

- Black dial with ‘’Grande Tapisserie’’ pattern, pink gold applied hour-markers

- Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating

STRAP

-Hand-sewn ‘’large square scale’’ black crocodile strap with 18-carat pink gold AP folding clasp

FUNCTION

- Hours, minutes, small seconds, date

- Chronograph

REFERENCE

26320OR.OO.D002CR.01

1 comment:

saset pahang said...

Nice luxury watches suits the name very well. Good review Dato'.