The fashionable love story between Audemars Piguet and Ralph & Russo

Audemars Piguet unveils new Royal Oak and Royal Oak Concept models to enhance the Ralph & Russo SS2021 collection.

High fashion meets Swiss Haute Horlogerie in a new partnership between British luxury fashion house Ralph & Russo and Audemars Piguet. To mark this inspiring collaboration, Audemars Piguet has debuted its latest Royal Oak and Royal Oak Concept models that complement Ralph & Russo’s Spring/Summer 2021 Prêt-à-Porter collection.

A subtle elegance

For those with slimmer, more delicate wrists, the Royal Oak self-winding models come in 34mm sizes that’s specially made for elegant and functional accessorising. This line comes in 4 models in stainless steel or 18-carat pink gold, depending on the individual style or occasion. They are equipped with a new self-winding movement, the Calibre 5800, which is given a dedicated oscillating weight specifically developed for the 34mm version.

The 18-carat pink gold model is embellished with a diamond-set bezel and a silver-toned guilloché “Grande Tapisserie” dial, with the latter achieved through a rare and complex manufacturing process that’s no longer taught in horology school. Little squares are carved out on the dial’s thin metal plate by an engraving machine from the ‘70s, and are seamlessly and precisely “woven” with small diamond shapes to create a tapestry appearance.

As for the two steel models, they are given a silver-toned or blue-grey “Grande Tapisserie” dial, with the blue-grey timepiece adorned with a diamond-set bezel. The line also includes a sophisticated two-tone model, which combines a stainless steel case and bracelet with an 18-carat pink gold bezel and bracelet links, and finished with a silver-toned “Grande Tapisserie” dial.

All that shimmers

Completing the line is a new take on the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon, which elevates the Royal Oak Concept’s interweaving of refined feminine aesthetics and complicated micro-mechanics.

Available in 18-carat pink or white gold, the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon gives the case a shimmering Frosted Gold finish, and a contemporary dial composed of multiple layers. For the first time for Audemars Piguet, the Frosted Gold takes from ancient Florentine jewellery technique that was revisited by jewellery designer Caroline Bucci, and then adapted to adorn the Manufacture’s watches. The technique is achieved by creating tiny indentations on the gold surface with a diamond-tipped tool, giving an eye-catching sparkle effect akin to that of precious stones.

Housed within this shimmering case is the multi-layered dial composed of four juxtaposed circles of increasing size and graded hues of blue emanating from the flying tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock. This addition of graded nuances and sunburst motif further enhance the dial’s depth and refinement. The flying tourbillon cage is also given a contemporary design with open-worked gold-toned circles topped with brilliant-cut diamonds. In order to highlight the purity of its design, no hour-markers have been included on the dial.

These glamorous watches are powered by hand-wound Manufacture Calibre 2964. The movement’s circular motif is visible through the sapphire caseback, which is also reminiscent of the dial’s pattern. The alternation of sandblasting and satin-brushing also nod to the finishes of the Frosted Gold case and sunburst dial.

Completing the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon is the “large square-scale” alligator strap to create an elegant contrast. The strap is complemented with a folding clasp that’s adorned with Frosted Gold to once again bring a sense of haute couture to the watch’s overall appearance.

“Audemars Piguet has always developed cross-disciplinary collaborations that have fuelled the creativity of our artisans,” said François-Henry Bennahmias, the Chief Executive Officer of Audemars Piguet. “The fun part was when we actually realised that our watches had already been paired with their exceptional designs many times by clients in real life who didn’t need to wait for this partnership to match our two brands!”

“We have long been admirers as well as clients of Audemars Piguet and their exceptional watches, and as such, were thrilled by the prospect of a partnership,” said Tamara Ralph, the Creative Director of Ralph & Russo, and Michael Russo, the Chief Executive Officer. “Given we both share the same core values and ethos for our respective brands, we feel this is just the beginning of what we hope will be a longstanding relationship and look forward to officially launching our partnership with Audemars Piguet this fall.”

Discover this new collection by visiting the Audemars Piguet website.

Photos: Audemars Piguet

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