This year SIHH dazzled with a plethora of choice for watch enthusiasts on all budgets, many of which I covered in my 2018 SIHH Best Of article. However, it was the folks at Audemars Piguet who stole the show with the unveiling of the Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Extra Thin in Titanium and Platinum. Much to the frustration of many TVG Instagram fans, I was privileged enough to get hands-on with timepiece in question, at the Audemars Piguet 2018 Novelties Showcase at Sydney’s Automata restaurant.
Naturally, I beelined straight to the Platinum laden peacock, instantly shocked at the weight of it. The gleaming Platinum bezel sits atop a 39mm Titanium case combining for a height of just 8.1mm and housing the new smoked blue ‘Petite Tapisserie’ dial which alters under various lighting conditions.
On the wrist, it’s a delight, and barely noticeable however I do fear the Platinum bezel will be prone to scratching – perhaps not the piece for OCD watch owners. Despite this minor qualm, I believe the 15202IP is the ultimate understatement and with only 250 pieces being made, will become a highly sought-after piece for collectors.
My next point of call was the 18-carat yellow gold chronograph with striking blue dial, a colour combination I’ve adored for life. House in AP’s contemporary 41mm case, the yellow gold (re-introduced in last years 15202 Jumbo), as opposed to rose gold, provides the perfect amount of contrast to the blue which pops with vibrant enthusiasm.
AP’s frosted finish was met with some scepticism at launch, however, I’m pleased to inform that in person it provides an intriguing aesthetic. The textured surface is achieved through a light hammering of the 37mm gold case, which in this piece houses AP’s phenomenal open-worked Cal. 3132 movement, visible via the front and back of the watch.
The 26400SO Offshore Chrono in its bulky 44mm case and camo rubber strap, also, to my surprise, won my affection, mostly due to its calm cream dial. The offshore series is the epitome of the dominant male watch and as I get older it appeals to me more and more. This one, which would be far more subtle on the alternative Khaki rubber strap, speaks volumes of its confident owner.
The last watch I photographed was the 26470OR Pink Gold Chrono with solid gold bracelet, which in 2018 gets a grey ruthenium-toned dial and contrasting ivory-toned counters that sit gracefully against the gentle shade of gold. It’s a mighty beast and a fantastic watch to have on the wrist, making the wearer feel unstoppable. It’s not hard to see why they’re so hard to find!
I didn’t have time to photograph everything on display, I was also taken by the colourful new Diver offering and the homage to the original Offshore, a re-edition of the first Royal Oak Offshore introduced in 1993, which paved the way for larger than life sports watches.
To check out the full collection of Audemars Piguet 2018 Novelties head to the AP website.