Audemars Piguet to launch the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillonat the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2014 (SIHH) in Geneva. The Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon to be presented next year at SIHH in Geneva, is a watch for avant-garde collectors and connoisseurs that brooks no compromise in either technical or aesthetic terms.
Its sculpted titanium case middle and integrated rubber strap combine with a white ceramic bezel to frame the highly architectural array of tourbillon carriage and second ‘GMT’ time-zone display inside – case and movement in perfect harmony. New for 2014, however, is the flash of pure white centre-stage: an intricately machined upper bridge made of white ceramic – only possible now, thanks to Audemars Piguet’s ongoing advances in materials science.
The Royal Oak Concept was first unveiled in 2002 as an avant-garde, 30th-anniversary tribute to Audemars Piguet’s legendary octagonal Royal Oak – designed by Gérald Genta as the world’s first luxury watch in stainless steel.
The Concept’s ultra-hard Alacrite 602 case was more rounded to highlight Genta’s signature octagonal bezel and its eight hexagonal screws. The dial was left off, exposing the advanced micro-mechanics ticking within. All these revolutionary design codes have persisted throughout the Concept series, from 2008’s Royal Oak Carbon Concept Tourbillon and Chronograph – an ultra-light timepiece that was the first to combine a forged-carbon case and movement mainplate – to the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon of 2011, with ultra-light, ultra-resistant titanium case and black-ceramic octagonal bezel, pushpieces and crown.
This year’s Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon features a white ceramic bezel, crown and pushpieces instead of black, all heightening the contrast with the titanium case middle. However, in typical, trailblazing style, the Manufacture has now gone one step further and incorporated ceramic into the movement itself, replacing the blackened upper bridge of Calibre 2913 with white ceramic. As a result, the new Calibre 2930 is visually transformed, its dazzling, hourglass-shaped bridge further enlivened by the double symmetry of the tourbillon bridges and GMT display.
The defining characteristic of Audemars Piguet’s Concept watches has always been the coherence of case and movement. The ultra-modern ‘engine’ is seamlessly integrated within its ultra-modern ‘chassis’, whose techy aesthetic perfectly complements and showcases the exposed micro-mechanics.
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