December 14, 2014
For 2015 Audemars Piguet is again introducing a “concept watch”, this one focused around acoustic technology, as the name simply indicates. By my quick count this is the sixth such “concept watch” AP has introduced — last year it was the Concept GMT Tourbillon in white ceramic (the first Royal Oak Concept Watch debuted in 2002, for the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak). Audemars Piguet has again opted for a somewhat radical-looking design for the watch (the view through the dial, mainly), though this is not the least bit surprising for a “concept” product (the car industry takes similar approach with concept vehicles) as it is meant to convey the envelope-pushing nature of the watch.
The Royal Oak Acoustic Research Concept’s reason for being is its highly audible minute repeater mechanism, the result of more than 8 years of research & development, according to AP. That’s a lot of effort to make a striking watch strike louder, one might think — and it is. But this is an area ripe for innovation given that even some the most prestigious and expensive repeaters available today emit what many (certainly most all non-hard core watch types) would consider to be a paltry level of sound. Also, the governor (which regulates the striking mechanism) in many repeaters typically makes noise of its own which competes with the listeners ear. Which makes the AP Acoustic Research Concept all the more interesting for its almost-silent governor. At least that’s the initial indication from AP.
The dial is partially open-worked — you can see the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, the chronograph 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, and large Royal Oak Concept luminescent hands. The case is made of titanium, 44mm in diameter.
Intriguingly, there also appears to be two escape & balance wheels, one on top of the other — can’t exactly tell and this detail is yet to be confirmed by AP, but it is very interesting to say the least….very interesting….
words by Kyle Stults