To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Audemars Piguet Royal Oak replica designed for women, the 29mm ref.8638 designed by Jacqueline Dimier, Audemars Piguet turned to jeweller Carolina Bucci (pictured left with Dimier).
It’s something totally unexpected and yet is utterly complementary. The finish roughs up the surface of the Royal Oak in a slightly irreverent, albeit precious, manner that’s likely to bring a mischievous grin of approval to your face. Bucci has adorned the Royal Oak with a stippled finish, achieved by hand – painstakingly, one imagines. That alone makes for a good fit. The luxury AP Royal Oak Frosted Gold copy watch is as much known for its linear brushed finishing as it is for its angular geometry.
Not only is Bucci passionate about the Royal Oak – the first time she saw one on someone’s wrist she followed its wearer across New York’s Bergdorf Goodman department store to discover what it was – but she is also renowned for creating jewellery pieces rich in texture and finish.
At 1:1 zoom… the familiar brushed surface of the Royal Oak’s bracelet has been transformed into an otherworldly landscape of miniature craters.
Checking out the watch up close – as you can see from our high-res pictures – reveals the extent to which Bucci’s hammered treatment affects the texture and feel of the Royal Oak, and gives some idea of how difficult it must have been to execute, keeping the polished edges to the bracelet links and bezel as pristine as possible.
Audemars Piguet will produce two variants, a 33mm quartz piece (from CHF 37,500) and a 37mm automatic (from CHF 46,500) and is aiming to release 300 pieces in each size in a mixture of white and rose gold next year. That’s a lot of hammering.
The irregular finish of the metal catches the light in a manner not dissimilar to a diamond snow setting, but get closer to it and there’s not a gemstone in sight. It’s an aesthetic that really blurs the line between jewellery Swiss-made Audemars Piguet copy watchmaking and traditional Swiss finishing, in a way that we’ve not seen before. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Replica REF. 67653OR.GG.1263OR.01