Le Brassus, September 2023 – The Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet expands the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Openworked line (ref. 16204) with a new model in 18-carat yellow gold. The bright case offers a graceful frame to the state-of-the-art movement, Calibre 7124, ticking within.
Its fine openworked architecture, whose yellow-gold-toned hue matches that of the case and bracelet, takes centre stage on both sides of the watch. Enhanced with subtle touches of white gold, this emblematic 39 mm timepiece provides elegant contrasts.
A refined, dazzling look
The Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Openworked model launched in 2022 on the occasion of the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary takes a fresh look this year with its elegant body of 18-carat yellow gold. Keeping with tradition, the 8.1mm-thick timepiece has retained the aesthetic codes of the original model from 1972. Its gold tapering bracelet and 39 mm case are finished with the Manufacture’s graceful alternation of satin brushing and polished chamfers for an infinite play on the light.
The inner bezel and the movement’s openworked bridges are adorned with a yellow-gold-toned hue matching with the case and bracelet. The dial is enriched with discreet polished white gold hour-markers and hands that recall the white gold hexagonal screws securing the bezel onto the case as well as the gear train seen through the movement’s openworked bridges. The movement’s jewels visible on the dial side add a touch of colour.
Lastly, the Audemars Piguet long-form signature has been printed in black on the sapphire crystal.
A cutting-edge openworked movement
The selfwinding extra-thin Calibre 7124 brings together precision, performance and age-old openworking expertise. This openworked hour and minute movement measuring a mere 2.7 mm in thickness has been specifically conceived and produced by Audemars Piguet engineers and watchmakers, in parallel of Calibre 7121, to fit in the extra-thin 8.1 mm “Jumbo” case without altering its aesthetic and thickness. It beats at a frequency of 4 Hz and has 57 hours of autonomy when not on the wrist. Its large barrel ensures accuracy for a longer period of time. In addition, it is equipped with a slim openworked oscillating weight in yellow-gold plated 22 carat pink gold, mounted on ball bearings that utilises two reversers 1 developed in-house to ensure bidirectional winding. Lastly, inertia blocks have been inserted within the balance wheel to avoid unnecessary friction and enhance performance.
The openworked architecture of Calibre 7124 is highlighted on the dial and caseback sides. Its fine design was achieved by using advanced technology in conjunction with artisans’ manual dexterity and acute attention to detail. The position and geometries of each component were carefully thought of from the get-go to reach a harmonious and well-balanced openworked aesthetic. The preliminary geometries of the mainplate and bridges were cut through computer numerical control (CNC) machining before they were meticulously touched up to reach the desired shape. The different components were then finished with Haute Horlogerie decorations such as traits tirés, snailing and polished chamfers. The movement’s 247 polished V-shaped angles reflect the rigorous savoir-faire of the Manufacture’s artisans.
The “JUMBO” and the art of openworking
Evolving with each decade, the Royal Oak collection has included more than 50 openworked models to date, fitted with different movements and coming in a variety of sizes, materials and styles – the result of numerous decades of passion and expertise passed down across generations.
While openworking made its debut in the Royal Oak collection in 1981 with a pendant version (Model 5710BA), it truly became part of the collection in the 1990s – a decade that witnessed a wide choice of openworked Royal Oak models.
The first openworked “Jumbo” was launched in 1992. This one-of-a-kind model (14811), whose dial was decorated with a finely chased oak motif, was auctioned off to support the new Audemars Piguet Foundation. Several openworked “Jumbo” models equipped with the extra-thin Calibre 2120 were introduced in very small series until the year 2000. While some models were graced with gemset hands (e.g. 14789, 14793 and 14814), others featured highly stylised designs, such as Models 14884 and 12518 (a unique 125th anniversary creation) which included a naval anchor against a background of stormy waves surrounded by ropes.
Openworking returned in the “Jumbo” collection in 2010 with a stainless steel model (15305), this time equipped with selfwinding Calibre 3129 measuring 4.31 mm in thickness. Two years later, the Manufacture launched a new slate grey openworked “Jumbo” limited edition for the Royal Oak’s 40th anniversary, powered by the new Calibre 5122 which was framed in a 950 platinum case. An 18- carat pink gold version was released in 2014.
The Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Openworked made its come back in 2022 for the collection’s 50th anniversary. For the occasion, the Manufacture launched two models offered in a choice of stainless steel and 18-carat pink gold, both equipped with the Manufacture’s brand-new selfwinding openworked movement, the Calibre 7124. The yellow gold version released this year follows in their footsteps with its refined golden aesthetic merging ancestral know-how and cutting-edge techniques.