As we start looking forward to 2018’s SIHH novelties, we thought it high time to take a better look at some of this year’s favorites, including the richly over-the-top 15202, left for the first time as a modern, non-limited reference entirely in 18-carat yellow gold. It’s not just the all-gold case that lends the 15202 significance though — there are a few other (albeit more subtle) visual cues that set this particular reference aside, and may make it more desirable for collectors in the long run. Probably most obvious, is that the very simple time and date-only dial configuration, completed from the ‘AP’ logo at 6:00, which pays direct homage to the original steel 5402 released in 1972. This aesthetic also tips its hat towards the yellowish gold 5402BA Jumbo introduced five decades later — the very first time Audemars Piguet rendered the Jumbo in this valuable metal.However, more notable is that the depth — the new 15202 measures a hair over 8mm, 0.2mm thicker than the original 5402, and the closest we’ve seen to those pioneering ultra-thin measurements because the 40th Anniversary editions from 2012 — hence the ‘Extra Thin’ naming convention. This new-but-really-old profile, coupled with the eminently wearable 39mm case size truly feels like the sweet spot for your Royal Oak, also has much to do with why this iconic layout managed to develop into this kind of future-proof classic at the first place.The Jumbo Royal Oak in its most classic configuration is a watch that historically, by all dimensions, should wear tremendously thin. But this new reference is one which still manages to leap off the wrist, thanks to its strong yellow gold case, and light-gobbling “Petite Tapisserie” tonal champagne colored waffle dial. People who are searching for a marginally more toned-down aesthetic nevertheless rendered in this precious metal will appreciate the next of those 15202’s two new dial variants: a stunning blue, and this, given the spate of blue-on-bronze sports watches we’ve seen this season, is as much on-trend, as it’s slightly less ostentatious.
Nicknamed the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph “Novelty”, the 44mm version of Audemars Piguet‘s octagonal sports chronograph was not the focus of the new Royal Oak models unveiled at SIHH 2017, but nonetheless got a facelift with new dials (while keeping everything else the same). More significantly, a new version in titanium was added – the lightweight alloy’s debut for the “Novelty”.
The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm in titanium (ref. 26400IO.OO.A004CA.01) features a contrasting black ceramic bezel, and paired with a dark grey dial as well as a grey rubber strap.
The facelifted Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in pink gold (ref. 26401RO.OO.A002CA.02) now has a black dial with pink gold accents. The hands, hour markers, chapter ring as well as printed text are all in pink gold, giving the dial greater contrast compared to the earlier model, which was white on black.
And the last of the trio is the “Novelty” in black ceramic (ref. 26405CE.OO.A002CA.02). Unlike the earlier version that had a black and silver colour scheme, the new ceramic chronograph has a black dial with pink gold accents, as well as a touch of dark blue. The hands, hour markers and dial text are pink gold, while the chronograph hands are tipped in dark blue.
As before, the trio are all powered by the calibre 3126/3840, which is AP’s in-house automatic calibre topped with a chronograph module made by Dubois-Depraz.
Price and availability
The titanium model is priced at SFr27,500, while the black ceramic is SFr29,000. And the pink gold is SFr41,550.