Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar

I worked at Tourneau in San Francisco shortly after they opened in 2002.  I got to meet a lot of the "big swinging dicks" of the Tourneau backroom as they often came to San Francisco to help nudge our little fledgling store into existence.   I was blessed twice - I had someone who saw something in me - Javier Perrigo.
Courtesy of Audemars Piguet
And a second time with a group of extremely knowledgeable sales reps who came in to give info.  The Baume & Mercier rep was perhaps the nicest, most knowledgeable and patient reps I have ever met.  And the Rolex rep coined the phrase that still in many ways rings true:  In response to the question -  What is the one thing that Rolex does so well?  "It's not the one thing we do so well, we do EVERYTHING so well!"  They were all fine exemplars of their brands.
All except for the IWC guy - he was practicaly useless and spent most of his visit getting shoe shines next door, but that is a story for another day...

At any rate, the one watch (apart from the obvious Rolex Explorer and the Patek Calatrava) was the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.  Didn't matter the type of metal or the flavor - time only, complication - it was hands down the favorite.  And what rang true to me was that we did not sell (at least in our humble little location) the exalted AP.  But it was considered far and away to be in a class of its own.  And this was demonstrated by the fact that several folks on team Tourneau had saved their money to buy one.  This was not like a Tag Heuer or Corum that you could get as a "Spiff" for selling 10 pieces, not unlike the catcher's mitt you could get by selling seed packets from the back of a Spider-Man comic book back in the 70's.  This was a watch these guys were willing to put their own money down for without any sort of incentive.
Courtesy of Audemars Piguet
So today the news was brought forth that the wait was over!  Ladies and gentlemen - the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar for 2015!

Courtesy of Audemars Piguet
41 mm of stainless steel or for those of you more daring - pink gold. The case height is 9.5 and is water resistant to 20 meters.

The dial is Silver-toned dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, or blue with "Grande Tapisserie" pattern. The indices are either white gold (stainless steel) or pink gold for the pink gold versions.
Courtesy of Audemars Piguet 
And because we all want to know what is "under the hood" -

Calibre 5134: 

Total thickness: 4.31 mm // Total diameter: 29.00 mm // Frequency of balance wheel: 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations/ hour) // Number of jewels: 38 // Minimal guaranteed power reserve: 40 hours // Bidirectional selfwinding // Balance with variable inertia blocks // Flat balance-spring // Mobile stud-holder // Number of parts: 374.

It truly is - The Shit that Killed Elvis!

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