Audemars Piguet revealed the Royal Oak Concept collection in 2002. It was the beginning of a new line of luxury watches that would expand to include 4 members, so far, in the family. The latest addition is the GMT variant in a contemporary architecture that offers a complete view of the inner workings of the mechanism. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT merits a closer look with 10 things you might not know about this masterpiece.
1. The Flying Tourbillon received a redesign
The line has been around for 18 years now and it was time for AP to provide an update in the latest variant of the Royal Oak Concept collection. The Flying Tourbillon GMT was given a more contemporary architecture. The flying tourbillon is relocated from its former place at 6:00 to the 9:00 position on the face. To complete the aesthetic, the bridges have been redesigned to highlight the complication.
2. The case is bold and masculine
The case of the Flying Tourbillon GMT is made of titanium material with a sandblasted finish. It measures 44 mm in width with an ample thickness of 16.1 mm. The sapphire crystal that graces the front of the watch and the case back is glare-proofed to further enhance your view of the movement. The bezel is black ceramic and the crown and push-piece are screw-locked complemented with push-piece guards in sandblasted titanium to match the case.
3. The dial is skeletonized
At first glance, the skeletonized dial is the single feature that catches the eyes. When compared with the previous 3 iterations of the Royal Oak Concept line there are noticeable changes to the personality and character of the dial. With the flying tourbillon at 9 o’clock, the crown position indicator is placed at 6 o’clock, and the second-time zone indicator for the GMT complication is at 3 o’clock.
4. Legibility is enhanced
The Flying Tourbillon GMT is presented in a gray monochrome color scheme. It’s not always easy to tell time on a skeletonized version without looking hard. AP solved this dilemma by applying white oak gold Royal Oak hands which point to the white hours and minute markers that are applied to the inner ring of the bezel. They seem to pop out making it easier to read them without straining the eyes. To further enhance legibility in all lighting conditions, a coating of luminescence has been applied to the markers and the hands.
5. The movement is worthy of showcasing
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon GMT features a wonderfully complicated movement. It’s a Manufacture Calibre 2954 that measures a hefty 35.60 mm in width. It beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph at 3 Hz with 24 jewels. There are a total of 348 parts in the movement providing the functions of a flying tourbillon, GMT 24 hours, Function selection, and hours and minutes. The astronomical power reserve of the Flying Tourbillon GMT is 237 hours.
6. This is the second Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT
The latest iteration of the GMT variant of this line isn’t the first Flying Tourbillon GMT. The first made its appearance in 2018 as the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon. The 2020 version has been given a refresh which has significantly toned down its aesthetic. The use of rose gold has been abandoned and the watch received a new monochrome gray color scheme with a more asymmetric design, removing portions of the bridgework to make the tourbillon a flying style. It’ a fairly radical departure from its predecessor with a muted display.
7. This is an extremely limited edition
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT is being produced as a strictly limited edition. This enhances its rarity and its overall value as a high-end collectible watch. Just 30 pieces are being offered for sale through AP’s Paris retailer Arije. It’s not an example that you’ll see offered in random shops and aside from first-time buyers who offer it on auction at a later date, this will be an exclusive watch that is hard to find.
8. The strap is also muted
Interestingly AP has fitted the Flying Tourbillon GMT with a rubber strap that is presented in a gray color that matches the other elements of the watch. The folding style clasp is made of titanium with a sandblasted finish to tie all of the elements together harmoniously. The watch also comes with an additional strap if you prefer genuine alligator leather, but it is also gray.
9. The watch is water-resistant
Thanks to the screw-in crown and pushers, the watch has been given a decent water-resistant rating. One wouldn’t expect a lot from a skeletonized watch when it comes to water-resistance. This speaks to the ingenuity of the design team that created this masterpiece. AP has achieved a rating of water-resistance up to 100 meters, which in our opinion is fairly remarkable. What this means is that it can safely be worn in the shower, the swimming pool, or even when snorkeling in shallow waters without damage to the inner workings. While it is by no means a dive watch, you can wear it while enjoying a wide variety of water sports and its sporty aesthetic seems suitable for this endeavor.
10. It may be difficult to wear this watch in the water
Although the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon GMT is rated for use in certain water sports, you may find it difficult to justify taking any risks at all with this highly collectible example. Common sense would dictate that such a valuable piece requires a degree of care and protection. At a price tag of $170,000, this highly wearable timepiece is more likely to be kept safe in a display case and used only for very special occasions by the owner. It wouldn’t be easy to replace.