The Royal Oak Chronograph by Audemars Piguet is undoubtedly one of the unique, hallmark chronograph designs, with the classic Royal Oak case given extra character by the shape of the pushers and crown. It’s been with us since 1997, for 20 years, and to celebrate this anniversary, 2017 sees the introduction of seven new models.
Subtle design differences
With respect to the previous version of the Royal Oak Chronograph, the new models have some subtle but significant differences. The two chronograph subdials, hours and minutes, are larger for better legibility. The continuous seconds subdial at 6 o’clock is smaller, and this is logical, because all you need it for is to see that the watch is running, and to synchronize it when time-setting. This change in subdial dimensions has pushed the date window clockwise slightly, so it’s no longer centred between the 4 and 5 o’clock batons. The hour markers are shorter and wider, and so have room for more SuperLuminova. The counterweight of the chronograph seconds hand also has some luminescent paint.
Slim and distinctive
These design details are framed by the case with integrated bracelet, or an alligator strap. Case size remains unchanged at 41 mm diameter and 10 mm thickness – very slim. Water resistance is 50 metres.
Solid caseback, same movement
The self-winding movement has remained unchanged, the Audemars Piguet calibre 2385, created by Frédéric Piguet in 1988 as calibre 1185. Frédéric Piguet is now part of Swatch Group brand Blancpain, and it supplies calibre 1185 to Vacheron Constantin and other brands in addition to Audemars Piguet. It is a movement with a crown wheel and vertical clutch. More about the story of this movement here. It runs at 3 Hertz, 21,600 vibrations per hour, with a power reserve of 40 hours.
Royal Oak Chronograph 26331ST.OO.1220ST.01
Royal Oak Chronograph, steel, blue dial, reference 26331ST.OO.1220ST.01, price €24,300, $24,300
Royal Oak Chronograph 26331ST.OO.1220ST.02
Royal Oak Chronograph, steel, black dial, reference 26331ST.OO.1220ST.02, price €24,300, $24,300
Royal Oak Chronograph 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03
Royal Oak Chronograph, steel, silver-toned dial, reference 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03, price €24,300, $24,300
Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.D315CR.01
Royal Oak Chronograph, pink gold, blue dial, blue alligator strap, reference 26331OR.OO.D315CR.01, price €38,400, $38,300
Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.D821CR.01
Royal Oak Chronograph, pink gold, brown dial, brown alligator strap, reference 26331OR.OO.D821CR.01, price €38,400, $38,300
Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.1220OR.01
Royal Oak Chronograph, pink gold, blue dial, pink gold bracelet, reference 26331OR.OO.1220OR.01, price €56,800, $56,600
Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.1220OR.02
Royal Oak Chronograph, pink gold, brown dial, pink gold bracelet, reference 26331OR.OO.1220OR.02, price €56,800, $56,600