THE FLASH OF A STAR
The Vallée de Joux watchmaker went and captured light to dress the women’s version of his Royal Oak, whose 40th anniversary will be celebrated at the end of this year.
1972 is the year that a watchmaking icon designed by Gérald Genta (19931-2011), considered by many as the greatest watchmaking designer of all time, was born: the Royal Oak model for Audemars Piguet. With powerful lines, a strong identity and a case topped with an octagonal screwdown bezel, the watch is instantly recognisable and is rapidly becoming a must-have timepiece. Four years after this fabulous creation, Jacqueline Dimier, recently employed by Audemars Piguet, was charged with taking another look at this very masculine object to make it a timepiece for women. She played with the proportions, and lengthened and refined its silhouette. The boys’ toy became a girls’ toy, and then, 40 years later, a stars’ toy. So this young forty-year-old passed into the hands of creative jeweller Carolina Bucci, who clothed her in light, sparkling like diamonds or stardust. Her name sounds like something from a fairy-tale: Royal Oak Frosted Gold – this novelty is clothed in rose or white gold, and offered in two sizes; 37 or 33mm in diameter.
It is the shimmering sparkle of the Royal Oak Frosted Gold case that catches the eye, the bezel with its 8 hexagonal screws and the links that make up its bracelet. This is achieved through a “Florentine” technique, which consists of hammering the metal delicately and meticulously using a tool with a diamond point to make minute hollows – a sort of precious frost-effect. The sides of the bezel are polished, whereas the body and the outside surfaces of the links have a brushed surface.
Faithfully following its predecessors, the silvery, opaline face of the Royal Oak Frosted Gold is marked with the famous chequerboard motif called “Grande Tapisserie”, with applied hour markers and Royal Oak hands in gold. The date is displayed simply at the 3 o’clock position.
The self-winding mechanical 3120 calibre is housed in the 37mm-diameter case. It provides the time-keeping and calendar functions, with a 60-hour power reserve. You can admire the movement of the oscillating golden weight through the sapphire crystal back of the watch.
The 33mm-diameter version holds a quartz movement, the 2713 calibre, which moves the hour and minute hands and displays the date, at the 3 o’clock position.
Price: 37,500 CHF (ø33, rose gold) – 42,500 CHF (ø33, white gold) – 46,500 CHF (ø37, rose gold) – 51,500 CHF (ø37, white gold)
By Sharmila Bertin