The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph is one of the thinnest and most superb automatic chronographs in the world. Perfect workmanship and the finest caliber technology define this watch, which has a characteristic porthole design.
What are the Highlights of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph?
- 10.8-mm thin case
- Recognizable design
- Stainless steel, titanium, or 18-karat gold cases
- Screw-down crown and push-pieces
- Significantly more affordable than the comparable Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph: A Cult Stopwatch
premiered the Royal Oak Chronograph in 1997, 25 years after the revolutionary Royal Oak
was introduced. The relationship between the two timepieces is unmistakable: An octagonal bezel with eight hexagonal screws
characterizes these sports watches. The design is reminiscent of a ship's porthole. The famous Swiss watch and jewelry designer Gérald Genta
designed this watch. He also designed the Patek Philippe Nautilus
and the Ingenieur SL from IWC
(International Watch Company).
Unlike the three-hand Royal Oak with a date display, the Royal Oak Chronograph has a chronograph function
for timing. The Royal Oak Chronograph is playing off the success of the Royal Oak Offshore
, which was released in 1993 as a sporty variant of the Royal Oak. The Offshore was available with a timing function from the very beginning. With a thickness of over 14 mm and a diameter of 44 mm, many Offshore models seem rather large. The Royal Oak Chronograph is better suited as a sporty dress watch
. The caliber 2385 powers the timepiece. It's based on the 1185 from Frédéric Piguet. With a thickness of 5.5 mm, it's one of the flattest automatic chronograph movements in the world
. Thanks to the caliber, the case is only 11 mm thick. It fits smoothly under every shirt cuff and is perfect for the office. The Royal Oak Chronograph is available in stainless steel, titanium, and 18-karat pink, white, or yellow gold. The dial is available in silver, blue, black, or brown.
What Should I Consider When Buying a Royal Oak Chronograph?
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph is perfect for anyone looking for a flat wristwatch with a chronograph function. Due to its porthole design, experts will immediately recognize this iconic timepiece as an Audemars Piguet. With a Royal Oak Chronograph on your wrist, you show you're a watch lover with a fine taste in design. A pre-owned stainless steel Royal Oak Chronograph in good condition can be purchased for around 12,000 euros. A new stainless steel model, on the other hand, will cost you about 19,000 euros.
If you prefer gold watches, you should plan to spend at least 20,000 euros for a pre-owned timepiece. New models made of gold cost around 40,000 euros. If you don't mind not having a matching gold band, then you only need to spend around 30,000 euros.
The Royal Oak Chronograph's closest competitor is the Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph. The Royal Oak is inexpensive compared to the Patek watch. A pre-owned stainless steel Nautilus Chronograph costs at least 40,000 euros. New stainless steel models cost over 50,000 euros. The difference in price with the gold watch is about the same. A pre-owned gold Nautilus with a chronograph function in very good condition costs around 60,000 euros, while a new version costs 80,000 euros. The Patek chronographs cost more than double the Royal Oak Chronographs.
|Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Ref. 26470
||Stainless steel, gold, platinum
||17,000 - 60,000 euros
|Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
||39 or 41 mm
||Stainless steel, titanium, gold
||12,000 - 55,000 euros
|Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph
||40.5 or 44 mm
||Stainless steel, stainless steel and gold, gold
||CH 28-520 C
||40,000 - 80,000 euros
Royal Oak Chronograph Variants
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph is available in around 20 different variants. Each model has the characteristic porthole design, octagonal bezel, and eight hexagonal screws keeping the bezel on the case. The slots in the screws are perfectly aligned, creating a harmonious circle. This is made possible by tightening the screws from the other side. The screw-down push-pieces have, like the screw-down crown, six sides. Since 2012, the diameter of the timepiece has been 41 mm. Older models were a bit smaller, with diameters of 39 mm. With a thickness of only 11 mm, the Royal Oak is quite flat. The case is made of either stainless steel, titanium, or 18-karat white, pink, or yellow gold.
One feature of the Royal Oak Chronograph is its unique "tapisserie" dial, called "Grande Tapisserie"
by Audemars Piguet. The pattern is found on many other Royal Oak dials. The manufacturer produces their guilloched dials
using rare, automated engraving machines. The Royal Oak Chronograph is available with many different dial colors
, such as black, blue, silver, and brown. As this Royal Oak is a chronograph, it has multiple subdials. The small seconds is located at six o'clock, the 30-minute counter at three o'clock, and the 12-hour counter at nine o'clock. The date display is located between four and five o'clock. The central stopwatch hand is a part of the chronograph function; you can use it to time fractions of a second
You have many different options for the strap. The Royal Oak is traditionally paired with a metal bracelet; depending on the case material, it is made of stainless steel, gold, or titanium. However, there are also straps made of rubber or hand-stitched alligator leather. If the case is gold, it features a gold clasp as well.
The Royal Oak Chronograph is perfectly made. Its polished and satinized surfaces couldn't be of a higher quality. The strap fits comfortably on your wrist, not pinching or otherwise disturbing you.
- Porthole design with an octagonal bezel and hexagonal screws
- Stainless steel, titanium, or white, pink, or yellow gold case
- 39 or 41-mm case diameters
A Flat Movement: Royal Oak Chronograph with Caliber 2385
The caliber 2385 is responsible for the Royal Oak Chronograph's slender nature. At just 5.5 mm thick, it's one of the flattest automatic chronograph movements in the world. The Valjoux 7750, probably the most successful automatic chronograph caliber to date, is 7.9 mm - almost 2.5 mm thicker than the 2385 from Audemars Piguet. The Valjoux 7750 is used by many prominent manufacturers, such as TAG Heuer, IWC, and Breitling.
The Audemars Piguet caliber 2385 has a 40-hour power reserve. It has a balance frequency of 21,600 alternations per hour (A/h), which is equal to 3 Hz. The movement is comprised of 304 total pieces, and features an 18-karat gold winding rotor which winds the movement unidirectionally. The chronograph is controlled via a column wheel.
The caliber 2385 is based on the 1185 movement from Frédéric Piguet
, a member of the Swatch Group. F. Piguet is Blancpain's internal movement supplier. Vacheron Constantin uses the caliber 1185 as well. The Geneva-based manufacturer uses this movement in their Overseas
collection. The Audemars Piguet caliber 2385 is thus not an in-house movement. However, there are very few manufacturers who make their own chronograph movements. Patek Philippe is one of the few. The Nautilus Chronograph with reference number 5980 is powered by the caliber CH 28-520 C. The differing calibers help explain the significant price difference between the Nautilus Chronograph and Royal Oak Chronograph.
- 5.5 mm thin, one of the flattest automatic chronograph movements
- 40-hour power reserve
- Caliber based on the 1185 by F. Piguet