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Three new versions are being added to the Millenary collection at SIHH following month, with smaller instances and much more sparkle than ever. The Millenary is among three groups from Audemars Piguet that include ladies’ watches, but basically, it’s by far the most female-centric of their complete collections within the brand. The Royal Oak and the Royal Oak Offshore equally have ladies’ variations, but they started as, and therefore are known mainly as men’s collections. The jewelry sets are limited-edition one-offs, not made for everyday wear or pocketbooks. Gem-setting is a particular strength of this collection identifying the watches in the sportier Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore women’ pieces. At precisely the exact same time, a partially openworked dial gives the Millenary a specialized aspect — a reminder that it comes from one of the leading makers of mechanical motions. The Millenary, last updated in 2015, will be refreshed with three brand new versions at SIHH next month in Geneva, including two all-gold versions set with diamonds and a single gold case variant with a strap.The instance on the strap version has a “frosted gold” finish that gives it the appearance of hand-finished jewelry. Frosted gold is a collaboration between Audemars Piguet and Florentine jewelry designer Carolina Bucci, using a technique called the Florentine technique. It is made by employing a diamond-tipped tool to produce tiny indentations throughout the surface, culminating in a shimmering sparkle, like snow. The finish was released last year on the women’ Royal Oak. On the Millenary, it’s applied between polished sections on the stepped bezel and lugs, as well as to regions of the case side. The signature counter tops sub-dials that record minutes, hours, and seconds are set with a fresh dial material for this collection. Audemars Piguet additionally adds a style watch element to the strap version.

First introduced as a 50-piece, green dial limited edition for Singapore retailer The Hour Glass, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin in yellow gold was added to the regular line-up at SIHH 2017. And it is as good looking and expensive as it ever was.

A modern remake of the original Royal Oak “Jumbo” ref. 5402 of 1972, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin is a classic in steel and impressive in gold. It was originally available only in pink gold, which made it loud, but the yellow gold rendition comes across as slightly more classic. Yellow gold is after all one of the metals the Royal Oak was available in, back in the 1970s.

AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold blue

AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold blue dial

Available in either the classic dark blue or a newly introduced yellow gold finish, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin in yellow gold is physically identical to its siblings in steel and pink gold. The case is 39mm wide, thin at 8.1mm high. It cuts an elegant profile on the wrist, and is weighty despite being slim.

AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold 4

AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold 2


Because the case is essentially an agglomeration of flat surfaces, it feels somewhat angular on the wrist unlike its only peer, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, which is comprised more rounded shapes.

Yellow gold is not common in high-end men’s watches, especially from haute horlogerie names, but it’s an appeal look for someone who leans towards a lavish, slightly vintage feel. But like all other gold alloys, yellow gold is soft (marginally softer than white gold in fact), leaving the lovingly finished surfaces of the watch vulnerable to marring. There is perhaps no other watch that looks as good as the Royal Oak when factory fresh and pristine – the alternating polished and brushed surfaces on the case are gorgeous.

AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold

AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold blue 6

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AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold blue 7

Both the blue and gilded dials have the same quintessential chequerboard tapisserie guilloche that’s a trademark of the Royal Oak. Done by hand on a rose engine – creating the telltale motif below the chequerboard – the dials are brass but fitted with solid gold hands and hour markers. Both colours are equally handsome, but the yellow gold finish has an edge in that it’s a less common colour that’s unashamedly loud while maintaining a modicum of style.

AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold 5

Mechanically the Royal Oak Extra-Thin is almost identical to the 1972 original, with the same calibre 2121 that was originally developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre as the calibre 920. A sophisticated and slim movement that’s withstood the test of time, the calibre 2121 has been slightly upgraded over the years, improving its robustness and reliability, but still lacks a quickset date – probably the singular weakness of the Royal Oak Extra-Thin.

Notably Audemars Piguet Dress Watch Replica now owns the intellectual property for the calibre 2121 and produces the movement in-house. Because its slimness makes the 2121 more challenging than a run of the mill calibre, the movement is produced at Renaud & Papi, the complications specialist owned by Audemars Piguet better known for the tourbillon movements it produces for Richard Mille.

AP Royal Oak Extra Thin yellow gold blue 4

Like the calibre 2121 found in other Audemars Piguet watches, the movement inside the Extra-Thin can be customised with a personalised rotor that can be open-worked to form a variety of motifs.

Price and availability 

Available starting May 2017 at Audemars Piguet boutiques first and then at retailers, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin in yellow gold is available with a dark blue dial (ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.01) or a yellow gold dial (ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.02). Both are priced at US$55,400 or S$77,700.


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The pink or white gold bracelet versions have been fitted with bracelets that, like the frosted end, possess a hand-crafted element that gives the watch a jewelry aesthetic. Audemars Piguet calls it the Polish bracelet since it’s given a high gloss to make it even more supple on the wrist. From the bracelet, the gold threads are in a right-over-left pattern rather than in precisely the exact same direction. The end result is a bracelet that is more elastic and therefore hugs the wrist like another skin. This is made more possible by the ability to closely size the bracelet by removing or adding links in 5mm sections. The sub-dials on the bracelet models are mother-of-pearl. The instances on all 3 new Millenary watches are scaled to 39.5mm, which makes them more wearable than the 45mm bits in previous models, and far more wearable than the 47mm Millenary 4101, a model more intended for a person’s wrist. The new, scaled-down versions make the Millenary more only a women’ collection, which is a fantastic movement for Audemars Piguet. All three new models contain the manually-wound Caliber 5201, which is reversed to display some of its elements on the dial side. Pricing for the newest Millenary models will be accessible mid-January. Irrespective of whether or not you are into all things that glitter, it can not be denied that 2017’s SIHH trends were punctuated by heaps of the 79th element in white, yellow, and frosty colours. And no one needed more to reveal in this camp than Audemars Piguet, whose Extra-Thin Jumbo Royal Oak (mention 15202) in golden didn’t quite steal the spotlight from the showstopping Perpetual Calendar in ceramic, but it surely came incredibly close — especially for those who’ve been following the last 40 or so years of this Royal Oak.

Audemars Piguet just reopened its flagship boutique in Singapore, now restyled and enlarged, making it the largest such store in the world. We take you on a quick tour of the fresh premises.

Sitting just off Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping boulevard, the revamped boutique is over 2000 sq ft, the largest Audemars Piguet boutique in the world. Liberally decorated with oak and stone, the store leans heavily on Audemars Piguet’s hometown of Le Brassus for inspiration. The flagship outpost of the only haute horlogerie watchmaker still owned by the founding families, the new Singapore boutique is fronted with a three-story facade fronted with vertical strips. Made of matte bronze, these are meant to evoke the trees of Le Brassus, which sits high in the mountains of the Vallee de Joux. Despite the imposing height outside, the interior is only two floors, giving both levels expansive space.

An enormous chandelier on the ground level is inspired by the cloud and fog that will be familiar to visitors to Le Brassus.

A watchmaker sits at his bench on the second level, available for simpler tasks like replacing batteries, swapping straps or evaluating a watch for servicing.

The store is fully stocked with Audemars Piguet timepieces, including most of the Royal Oak Concept watches, various limited editions (including the limited edition “Jumbo” 15202 in yellow gold), along with some of the SIHH 2016 new releases. The Audemars Piguet boutique is located at:

541 Orchard Road

Liat Towers #01-03

Singapore 238881

First and second images courtesy of Audemars Piguet