- Kristian Haagen
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK EXTRA-THIN SELFWINDING FLYING TOURBILLON MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet proudly unveils its latest research and development breakthrough (RD#3) with the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin.
This 39 mm stainless steel anniversary model, measuring 8.1 mm in thickness, represents the first “Jumbo” in history to be equipped with a selfwinding flying tourbillon. It is powered by the Manufacture’s new selfwinding ultra-thin flying tourbillon movement, Calibre 2968, measuring just 3.4 mm thick and adorned with a novel combination of traditional and contemporary hand-crafted decorations.
Audemars Piguet’s watchmakers have met several technical challenges to bring this timepiece to life, while devoting particular attention to aesthetic details. Pushing the boundaries of feasibility, this model will be complemented in September by a second 37 mm version for the slimmer wrists, enriched with a dial of a different hue.
A NEW ULTRA-THIN FLYING TOURBILLON MOVEMENT
At the heart of this new innovation is Calibre 2968, an ultra-thin selfwinding flying tourbillon movement that was developed over a five-year period. Audemars Piguet’s engineers and watchmakers took on numerous challenges in order to accommodate this complication – previously reserved for 41 mm diameters – into the smaller volume of a “Jumbo:” a first for the Manufacture and one of the rare examples in the watch industry as a whole. Given the extra-thin nature of the form language, this selfwinding flying tourbillon had to be creatively rethought to reduce the thickness required to house this complication by repositioning certain components.
The tourbillon cage, which is crafted in titanium, is notably equipped for the first time with a peripheral drive. The combination of these two elements not only makes the distribution of energy to the tourbillon more fluid, but also served to lighten and refine this regulating organ.
In order to provide optimum visibility of the tourbillon and the movement, Audemars Piguet engineers completely redesigned the architecture of the mechanism. The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin features a new escapement to accentuate the aesthetic details while revealing part of the movement’s workings. The geometry and positioning of the balance wheel arms have notably been revised in such a way as to make the watch’s beating heart even more perceptible. The technical design of the movement results in the flying tourbillon being placed at the dial level, for a greater visual experience.