Thursday, January 28, 2016

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked

At the beating heart of the mechanical watch is its regulating organ, the balance wheel and its essential counterpart, the balance-spring. This ingenious pairing, first introduced to horology in the 17th century, acts as the watch’s control unit, determining the precision of the watch’s pulse  through the regularity of its back and forth oscillations.

It is a straightforward process — the swing of the balance wheel coils the balance-spring, which, when it reaches its maximum amplitude, starts to uncoil — yet it sets off a complex of transferred energies: each full swing releases a tooth of the escape wheel, moving the ensemble of precisely calibrated components and gears one increment forward.

Ensuring its reliability is among the toughest engineering challenges in watch technology because, unlike a stationary pendulum clock, the ever moving wristwatch has to defy gravity, remain impervious to motion, resist changes in temperature and withstand all manners of shock.

The Royal Oak Double Balance wheel Openworked tackles these stabilising issues by fixing a second balance wheel and balance-spring assembly on the same axis. The new “Dual-balance” patented geometry involves a very complex manufacturing procedure, but the payoff is huge: greatly improved precision and stability.
This is not only a new world-first, it is also an imposing combination of art and architecture, which is why Audemars Piguet has fully openworked the movement to reveal this two-fold beauty from both sides of the watch.

Openworking — also known as skeletonisation — involves cutting away material to reveal the mechanical artistry contained within. It is among the most exacting performances in watchmaking: cutting too much can jeopardise tolerances or affect shock resistance. Achieving the right balance between the beauty of the revealed components and the safeguarding of their performance and precision is a rare art.
Audemars Piguet has been a master of this indescribably intricate process since the 1930s. Today, it performs it in precisely the same manner: filing, decoration and finishing exclusively done by hand. The reasons for this are both aesthetic and technical. For example, a milling machine produces perfectly acceptable rounded angles, but it cannot produce the perfect interior angles (or v-cut angles) that so superlatively reflect light, expressing the artistry of Haute Horlogerie.
Available in stainless steel or pink gold, with slate-grey dial and pink gold applied hour-markers, the Royal Oak Double Balance wheel Openworked offers unencumbered viewing through the openworked front and the glare-proofed sapphire crystal caseback.

Reference: 15407ST.OO.1220ST.01
Case
Stainless steel case
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback
Screw-locked crown
Water-resistant to 50 m

Dial
Slate grey open-worked dial, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating

Bracelet
Stainless steel bracelet with AP folding clasp

Reference: 15407OR.OO.1220OR.01
Case
18-carat pink gold case
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback
Screw-locked crown
Water-resistant to 50 m

Dial
Slate grey openworked dial, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.

Bracelet
18-carat pink gold bracelet with AP folding clasp

Movement
Selfwinding Manufacture Calibre 3132
Total diameter: 26.59 mm (11 ¾ lignes)
Total thickness: 5.57 mm
Number of jewels: 38
Number of parts: 245
Minimal guaranteed power reserve: 45 h
Frequency of balance wheel: 3 Hz (= 21,600 vibrations/hour)

Functions
Hours
Minutes
Centre seconds

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