Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Hands-On

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Hands-On

I can say this from broad experience; the Swiss do tend to get rather emotional when they choose they need to have all your consideration. In this most recent occurrence this propensity showed in a dark walled chamber with totally dark colored windows and dull orange lights, apparently well known in the cross examination business, alongside certain bits of wood to advise you that there is a pleasant, flawless world in the distance – only not in here. Truly, however, their attention on limiting interruptions is promptly, however maybe subliminally evident, which is peculiar on the grounds that the actual item is above and beyond to catch the undivided attention of any genuine watch aficionado – and that’s particularly obvious, when the cover is off the new thinnest of its sort, the  Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin.

All active pictures by David Bredan

Like its archetype, the RD#1, this new piece is another idea watch that, the way things are, isn’t offered available to be purchased. What it is, is a contextual investigation in some kind of a complication to decide plausibility and measure public responses. An idea watch it very well might be, yet it actually takes the absolute quickest watchmaking driving forces to put something of this complexity together – or to simply start trying different things with it in the first place.


At SIHH 2018 it was only two of AP’s watchmakers and myself in that previously mentioned dull room that in any case typically is brimming with individuals cutting each other’s eyes out for an image opportunity or to have the watch close by, at any rate. I was fortunate in light of the fact that thusly, in addition to the fact that I had a smidgen additional time with one of the extremely, barely any RD#2s introduced (I heard there was just one however I question that’s valid), yet in addition had the chance to pose some more itemized inquiries about the development replied by the two overly kind AP watchmakers who had introduced this watch to me.

Audemars Piguet’s official statement wasn’t precisely clear about this, as they called this new Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin “the thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar available today.” They additionally called the development record thin at 2.89mm thick. These two snippets of data revealed to me that while the development was record thin, there may have been another self-winding perpetual calendar watch made before that, all cased up, that was thinner than this 6.30mm thick Royal Oak case.

When determining the status of this during the one on one introduction, I was informed that no, this for sure is the thinnest programmed perpetual ever – and that remains constant for both the uncased development just as the cased-up watch itself. I for one don’t care a lot for such records until things begin getting ludicrous (as they did with the 2mm thick cased-up Piaget that I’ll cover soon). A record is consistently great, yet an assortment of different highlights and components ought to in my brain be similarly as, if not a higher priority than accomplishing a more modest number.


More fascinating than “record-shattering” thinness is the manner in which Audemars Piguet accomplished it. Incidentally, the RD#2’s configuration measure began from an external perspective: it was Giulio Papi of Audemars Piguet skunkworks APR&P who previously portrayed the format of the dial and it was exclusively after this, that they began designing the development format. That is not how this is generally done, and particularly not with regards to the degrees of complexity of a perpetual calendar… But I assume when you have broad experience and a rundown of accomplishments added to your repertoire like Giulio Papi does, you begin searching for new challenges.

Interestingly, the RD#2 is astounding at extending the restrictions of a common case perpetual calendar, however it doesn’t waste time with tackling a portion of the requirements that keep me, for instance, from truly succumbing to them.

First, there is the absolute absence of any liveliness at all on the dial side. Coming up short on a running seconds, the quickest moving article on the dial is the moment hand – and when you’re dropping what I hope to be high five-figure cash for the completed item, I assume you’ll need a few mechanics-driven beautiful sight past a scope of detached hands and dials glancing back at you.

It abandons saying that the system trusted with moving every one of the six signs of the perpetual calendar is nothing shy of stunning – except for it’s totally covered up under the dial. I was similarly lowered and shocked when AP’s two watchmakers seemed, by all accounts, to be truly intrigued by my recommendation of an incompletely sapphire (or open-worked) dial for this watch. They are either great at acting – in which case thank you for filling my heart with joy – or very haven’t yet contemplated flaunting this specific component in such a way.

Thinness, truly, is a pointer of the designing creativity and refinement interesting to the 5133 type – however leaving how those little cams and wheels work to the creative mind is a botched chance both with regards to the end result and maybe particularly so when dispatching a corona piece, for example, this RD#2 idea. Without a doubt, a strong dial ought to be an alternative as well – you perceive that it is so natural to coexist with everybody and their watch tastes?

The fundamental test and furthermore the arrangement in accomplishing the record thinness of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Extra-Thin was orchestrating all components of the perpetual calendar module into only one single plane. Each cam and wheel was to be some way or another spread out close to each other, making an amazing progression of data from the watch’s 24-hour wheel right to the 4-year-taxing month disc.

The way it works is that the hour wheel is associated with a 24-hour wheel (checked top place on the picture above). This has a pin (as of now covered up constantly hand… Thanks, minute hand!) that pushes on the switch denoted A. This switch follows up on switch B, which thus pushes the 31-tooth date wheel by one augmentation. One of the licensed components is the means by which this date wheel has one odd tooth (you’ll see it a tad to one side from where the switch is). This more profound tooth “tells” the component that it’s the month’s end which, through some smart geometrics, helps move the month circle by one increment.

See that abnormal wheel with the four since quite a while ago patterns? That’s the 4-year wheel where the profundity of every tooth represents the length of the month. The shallowest are 31-day months, those with a more profound score are 30, while the most profound ones are the 28-day long Februaries of each year… Except for the jump year. The jump year (the one indent simply over the “M” of the month text) has a little score to stamp the 29-day February. The 3 other profound scores are for 28-day Februaries. Now, this bizarre wheel decides how much its switch will push on the date plate toward the month’s end. Come a more limited month, geometrics will differ such that the switch will push more on the date wheel, thus avoiding 31 (or the necessary number of days in February). Presently, this is all very roused and smart, which is the reason it would have been cool to see it at any rate part of the way shown on the dial side of the completed watch.


All this is great, and that is much more obvious when you think about how, allegedly, Giulio Papi and APR&P began from the dial design itself. It is one balanced design, however it in fact doesn’t seem as though it – neither in pictures, nor when the watch is in or on hand.

Usually I’m the person who disapproves of hands that are short or obscured, yet here, abnormally, it is nearly like the hands and the “grande tapisserie” example of the dial overwhelmed the generally bustling signs of the perpetual calendar. There is a great deal going on, which for one is amazing as in a particularly thin watch can monitor this precisely until (2100, 2200 and 2300 won’t be jump years), however in a way it maybe likewise is all in all too much for its own good.

On the wrist, the Royal Oak RD#2 feels thin (who could have imagined) but then exceptionally weighty. With an all-platinum outside, the weight is enormous and furthermore somewhat steady, as it is disseminated so equitably and near the wrist. The watch is scarcely at all thicker than the arm band, apparently making for a more comfortable long haul wearing experience. With the weight comes a characteristic relationship of strength – as Boris the Blade put it so expressively, however not with regards to perpetual calendars, “Heavy is acceptable, substantial is solid. In the event that it doesn’t work, you can generally hit him with it.”


As I said above, perpetual calendars are essentially the most static complication out there – while, say, brief repeater or a chronograph won’t do anything consequently, they seemingly make for much more prominent visual and material allure when worked. A perpetual calendar is essentially intriguing 5 times each year – 5 minutes at 12 PM when it hops from 28/29 or 30 to the first. For the other 360 days of the year you are left with knowing that it will be fascinating those multiple times. This remaining parts unaltered in the RD#2, particularly with its strong dial. Additionally stay the corrector pushers set into the side of the case. For a record-thin watch this way, I comprehend these correctors couldn’t have been designed into the crown framework yet, to be honest, I’d welcome another perpetual from the brand where these are acceptable and the watch has in excess of 20 meters of water obstruction, than a couple of more millimeters scratched off the general thickness. I comprehend neither these pushers, nor water obstruction were the focal point of this RD#2 project – however in primary assortment watches figuring these two out I think would be more noteworthy and pragmatic for the end consumer.

Is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin a breathtaking activity in the perpetual calendar complication? Of course it is. It is novel both in a couple of courses by they way it functions just as how it was planned – outside in, not back to front. In any case, I don’t think it tends to a portion of the reactions generally connected with perpetual calendars (also the superior they request over straightforward dates or even yearly calendars). It looks amazingly complicated from the front and incredibly thin from the side, yet it additionally has somewhat of a mid 2000s retro look from when watches began getting bigger however the developments didn’t. The crushed signs in the middle alongside the (I think) enlarged extents of the 41mm Royal Oak make me think in a 39mm case – which I asked and was informed that this 32mm-wide development would fit in – this RD#2 would have been a more rich execution.

All this said, during the introduction AP’s watchmakers seemed to have been really amped up for the possibility of this newly discovered methodology of consolidating various capacities into less components that are then conveyed on a similar plane. The word “chronograph” was said a couple of times according to what might be coming dependent on this novel methodology. In spite of the fact that whether we’ll will see that is a decent inquiry, as is another whether a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar as thin as this RD#2 will make it to the shops whenever soon.

As such, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is an idea watch and subsequently doesn’t come with a sticker price connected. audemarspiguet.com