Audemars Piguet has shown a willingness to experiment with striking materials, mechanics and designs in recent years, but few of its novelties push the envelope as far as its ladies’ Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon, which can be pre-ordered from this month.
The watch is strikingly different, with a case of juxtaposed polished and frosted white or rose gold framing a dramatic multi-layered vivid blue dial whose sunray effect darkens almost to black towards a deep-set tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
The tiering and darkening of the layers creates an optical illusion where the tourbillon looks like it is set far deeper than is actually the case.
And the visual trickery does not end there.
Frosting on the case and lugs gives the false impression of diamond encrusting, but the tourbillon has the real things with a center of brilliant-cut gems.
An AP logo at 12 o’clock is the only other embellishment as hour markers have been removed to give the infinity dial its full effect.
Turn it over and you can see hand-wound manufacture calibre 2964 through a crystal exhibition back.
Both the white and rose gold watches come on an alligator strap that can be changed for a blue textured rubber strap.
Priced at CHF 145,000, the watch will be sold exclusively at Audemars Piguet boutiques and is available for pre-order now.
It is not strictly a fixed run limited edition, but AP says its production will be limited.