Of all the Royal Oaks and haute horology presented by Audemars Piguet for SIHH 2018, none looked as bold and exotic as the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon. The Royal Oak concept has been polarizing for many, a lot of people do not like Audemars’ insistence on using rubber straps.
This watch is one that won’t make headlines for ground-breaking new technology nor does it offer a dynamic new design.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept has been around since 2002 and has been the canvas for some of the brand’s most avant-garde, futuristic-looking haute horology creations.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon GMT came out in 2011 and it has introduced the core design you see in the new model.
If you don’t know much about the inner workings of watches you are probably wondering what a ‘flying tourbillon’ is. First you need to know what tourbillon is:
A tourbillon aims to counter the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage, to negate the effect of gravity when the timepiece (thus the escapement) is stuck in a certain position.
A flying tourbillon is suspended from underneath resulting in both a view of it unobstructed by bridges, as well as creating a kind of floating effect.
In addition to the new tourbillon, this new watch makes use of new materials and has noticeable design differences. Most Royal Oak watches usually use a lot of ceramic and other exotic materials in the movement such as carbon fiber.
On the watch’s dial side you can see black sandblasted titanium used for the central bridges, and polished and gold-toned facets add a cool touch.
We still don’t know how to feel about the rubber straps, Audemar can spend weeks making a their movements by hand yet sully their work by using rubber straps.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT watch (ref. 26589IO.OO.D002CA.01) has a price of $170,000. audemarspiguet.com