To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its iconic Royal Oak, Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet reinvents the traditional rainbow with the launch of two unprecedented Royal Oak Selfwinding sets in 37 and 41 mm, both illuminated by some of the most beautiful gemstones.
The two sets are composed of ten white gold selfwinding hours, minutes and seconds timepieces, each entirely paved with a different baguette-cut gemstone so as to form a rainbow when all the pieces are put side by side. The different watches are adorned with some 800 baguette-cut coloured stones of the exact same hue, all meticulously selected and custom-cut to offer intense and pure colours.
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Finding the right stones, colours and contrasts, while responding to Audemars Piguet’s strict criteria of colour, clarity and quality, was a crucial step in the design of the rainbow sets and no easy task for timepieces covered with 861 identical gems for the 41 mm version and 790 stones for the 37 mm models.
The sourcing of the perfect stones took approximately a year. Each gemstone also went through an intensive quality control process. After a rigorous selection by the supplier, an additional check was carried out at Audemars Piguet to ensure full homogeneity amongst the coloured gemstones selected per watch. Lastly, the purity and natural origin of each stone were then verified by an external laboratory.
The gemsetting was accomplished by long-time partner Salanitro, a company specialised in watch manufacturing and stone setting. Unique in the watchmaking industry, the Royal Oak Selfwinding Rainbow sets build on Audemars Piguet’s long legacy of avant-garde high-jewellery timepieces, while pushing the art of gem setting to new heights.
The two sets are driven by two selfwinding hours, minutes, and seconds movements without date indication in order to give pre-eminence to the gemsetting on the dial. The 37 mm references are equipped with Calibre 5909, the Manufacturer’s latest selfwinding hours, minutes, and seconds movement without date indication. This mechanism, which beats at 28,800 vph, is also endowed with a minimum 60-hour power reserve when not on the wrist.
The 41 mm references are powered by Calibre 4309, the most recent selfwinding hours, minutes, and seconds movement of this diameter developed by the Manufacturer. Its generous size enables optimal timekeeping precision, while its power reserve of at least 70 hours when not worn makes it ideal.
To celebrate the collection’s 50th anniversary, the two calibres are fitted with the dedicated “50-years” oscillating weight crafted in rhodium-toned 22-carat pink gold to elegantly match the white gold case. The two movements’ oscillating weights and their emblematic Haute Horlogerie decorations, such as Côtes de Genève, satin brushing, circular graining, traits tirés and polished chamfers can be admired through the timepieces’ sapphire casebacks.