The surprising thing about a skeletonized watch, such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin Openworked, is how little space the movement actually takes up. In this piece, the tourbillon takes up the bottom quarter of the case, the mainspring is at the top, and the wheels of the movement are all concentrated on the right hand side. The left-hand section is just openworked mainplate.
Two versions, the last in the series
Audemars Piguet first presented this watch in 2012, in platinum. Last year, a yellow gold version was presented. This year, versions in pink gold and steel have been introduced. All of them are hallmarked by hand-worked finish and decoration. The case is 41 mm in diameter, 8.95 mm thick, justifying the extra-thin description in its name. Its water resistance is lower than the usual 30 metres, and lower than the 50 metres of the standard Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin: this skeletonized version is rated at just 20 metres, 2 bar. Audemars Piguet have said that these two models will be the last wth this skeleton design. Presumably they will be supplanted by something more dramatic in January 2018.
Both are powered by the Audemars Piguet calibre 2924 skeleton movement, hand wound, running at 3 Hertz, 21,600 vibrations per hour, wit a power reserve of 70 hours. This movement is 4.46 mm thick, and it is attractive when seen through the sapphire caseback. There is a small power reserve indicator on this side of the watch.
Price and reference
The pink gold version is a limited edition of 50 pieces, in which the movement has pink gold mainplate and bridges. It is reference 26518OR.OO.1220OR.01, and it costs 220,000 Swiss francs The steel version, limited to 100 pieces, has a rhodium-plated movement, is reference 26518ST.OO.1220ST.01, and costs 204,800 Swiss francs