New Limited Edition Royal Oak Frosted Gold

«A reflection on contemporary women»

Do you remember when I flew to Florence in the end of 2016 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of AUDEMARS PIGUET’s Royal Oak (for the previous post click here please)? It was love at first sight when I spotted the outcome of the creative collaboration between the Swiss watch manufacturer and my beloved Italian jewellery designer Carolina Bucci who was enlisted to reinvent the iconic watch model while paying tribute to its rich heritage. The Royal Oak Frosted Gold, which has been available in pink or white god so far, is absolutely divine and is still on top of my wish list.

This fall, they deliver another surprise with this eponymous 37mm limited edition Royal Oak in yellow gold. The shiny, silver-toned mirror, framed with the shimmering sparkle of a Frosted Gold case and bracelet, replaces the trademark «Tapisserie» Royal Oak dial. Described by its designer as «rebellious» in character, this is an attention-grabbing piece, made in the image of a contemporary woman: spontaneous, true-to-life and totally unapologetic.

Carolina Bucci’s original 2016 Frosted Gold design celebrated 40 years of Royal Oak for women. With this limited edition of 300 pieces, her design evolves in new directions. For the first time, the «diamond dust» finish appears in yellow gold – the designer’s favourite version of this precious metal. There’s novelty in the packaging as well, with a mirrored box bearing a Frosted Gold AP insignia. This mirrored box is also designed by Carolina Bucci, who believes in pulling out luxury watch packaging from the back of the closet to put it on display.

For me, Royal Oak is the watch. I wear it all the time; it’s part of my style, my signature.
Above all, being almost without precedent in the annals of the Manufacture, this mirrored dial is stunning. Carolina Bucci explains her inspiration with a certain, yet unexpected, creative logic: “With the first Frosted Gold design, I took the perfection of the Royal Oak case and bracelet and ‘roughed them up’ a little, juxtaposing the perfectly imperfect Florentine finish with Swiss watchmaking precision. Now I’m doing the opposite, taking the textured surface of the ‘Tapisserie’ dial and flattening it out into a perfectly smooth mirror. The motive for both is to create something interesting and unpredictable. It’s a fresh take on an icon made in the image of a contemporary woman. I know women with a great eye for keynote accessories who are going to love this. The mirror is always interacting with its environment, ever-changing according to what clothes you’re wearing, the décor of the room, the lighting, the time of day, the weather.

I designed the Royal Oak Frosted Gold in response to a challenge from Audemars Piguet.”

It’s a creation that has come with technical challenges. The mirrored dial is the most unforgiving component; only perfection will do. Carolina’s complete satisfaction with the result, which, has surpassed her own expectations, is testament to the Manufacture’s rigorous quality control, Carolina being known for her eagle eye and uncompromising standards.

Chairwoman of Audemars Piguet’s Board of Directors, Jasmine Audemars is an established fan of Frosted Gold and has been wearing the first edition 37mm selfwinding model since 2016. For her, “the creativity behind the Frosted Gold watch is simply amazing. It is both art and a very high level of technology. With Carolina Bucci, we created a kind of masterpiece.” She sees the new limited edition with its mirrored dial as «the final touch:» “It’s unique and fun. Who needs a selfie when you can look at yourself in your watch?

This new limited edition ROYAL OAK FROSTED GOLD in yellow gold is in stores now for CHF 53’900.-.

Personally speaking, one of the most beautiful watches I have ever seen! Bravo Carolina for your creativity and bravo Audemars Piguet for this collaboration.

TO SHOP CAROLINA BUCCI’S JEWELRY DESIGNS SHE IS WEARING IN THE PICTURES, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: ©Audemars Piguet 2018

Visiting the Audemars Piguet Manufacture

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Straight from sunny Florence I flew to back to snowy Switzerland to visit the manufacture of Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus in the Vallée de Joux. Being the oldest fine watchmaker that is still in the hands of its founding families (Audemars and Piguet), I had the chance to indulge in the brand’s history and to explore the craftsmanship first hand.

sandra_bauknecht_audemars_piguet_manufacture_visitWearing a work coat and shoe covers for protection at the manufacture.

img_4949The modern part of the manufacture.

Since 1875, the company has written some of the finest chapters in the history of Haute Horlogerie, including a number of world firsts. At the heart of the Swiss Jura, numerous masterpieces are created in limited series embodying a remarkable degree of horological perfection, including daring sporty models, classic and traditional timepieces, splendid ladies’ jewellery-watches, as well as one-of-a-kind creations.

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I was deeply impressed seeing the precision that goes into the assemblage of the 3120 movement that comes also with my favorite watch, the Royal Oak Frosted Gold  – 37 mm .

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img_4951The entrance to the museum.

Over the years, Audemars Piguet has collected vintage models that are beautifully presented in the in-house museum that is only open to private tours.

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audemars_piguet_manufacture_11audemars_piguet_22An impressive family history

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montre_musique_audemars_piguetMusical watch, around 1840, Piguet & Meyland

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audemars_repetition-minuteRepetition Minutes, 1875, Louis Audemars

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royal_oak_audemars_piguetThe first Royal Oak was designed by Gérald Genta in 1972.

dates_audemars_piguetUntil today, all information on sold watches are written down by hand. In the ’30s, customers included Bulgari, Van Cleef and Bucherer.

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At the moment, Audemars Piguet is building a new museum in Le Brassus designed by Danish architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group). Incorporating the existing building, the new form of a hairspring will showcase the history of the oldest, family owned watchmaker (see below).

LoL, Sandra

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Collage and last photo: Courtesy of Audemars Piguet, all other photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold

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After today’s earlier post about the launch event of the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold by Audemars Piguet in Florence, I would like to show you this beauty in detail. For me, it was love at first sight. Since quite some time, I have been wishing for a rose gold watch but have not discovered the one I truly liked. Now I have found my match.

carolina_bucci_audemars_piguet_frosted_gold_royal_oakThe new Royal Oak Frosted Gold from 2016 interpreted by Carolina Bucci.

royal_oak_jacqueline_dimierA design icon – the Royal Oak from the ’70s created by Jacqueline Dimier

Celebrating 40 years of a women’s design icon, this contemporary timepiece is available in both white gold and pink gold and has been created in collaboration with Florentine jewellery designer, Carolina Bucci whom I met in her studio in Italy for an amazing interview that will be published shortly. Just like the Royal Oak Frosted Gold, I was immediately taken by her style, grace and sophistication. Moreover, she is a warm-hearted person and it felt like we have been knowing each other for ages.

audemars_piguet_ro40_08_carolina_bucci_officergbHaving fun at work: Carolina Bucci and Jacqueline Dimier

The original Royal Oak was designed by Gérald Genta in 1972 und reinterpreted by Jacqueline Dimier in 1976 as the first version for women. It was a first task when she joined the company in 1975. Rather than play down the masculine looks of the Royal Oak, Jacqueline Dimier shifted the approach and played to its strong character, adapting its handsome proportions to obtain a lighter, sleeker look.

In 2016, the Le Brassus Manufacture honours the style and character of another female designer, Carolina Bucci, who has contributed to the Royal Oak legacy.

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The launch of the Royal Oak Frosted Gold enriches Audemars Piguet’s tradition of experimenting with jewelry techniques. Its defining feature resides in its shimmering sparkle reminiscent of diamond dust, which in turn comes from a surface treatment process rooted in an ancient gold hammering technique, also called the Florentine technique which is an iconic style element used by Carolina Bucci for her eponymous jewelry line.

By beating the gold with a diamond tipped tool, it creates tiny indentations on the surface that give a sparkle effect similar to that of precious stones. After many months of trial and error, Audemars Piguet’s experts developed it into a horological craft suited to the unique case and bracelet construction of the Royal Oak.

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One of the challenges for Audemars Piguet’s craftsmen was for example that the original gradating bracelet construction demanded that the order in which the rest of the finishing (polishing and satin finish) is executed be reconsidered.

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It took many weeks between both parties, Bucci’s Florentine craftsmen and Audemars Piguet’s manufacture to alter the surface of the gold in such a way that it sparkles when catching the light, while retaining the softness and flexibility of the Royal Oak’s bracelet. It is a very delicate alchemy to operate: nothing is added, nothing is removed, but the watch is transformed.

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Today Audemars Piguet merges Jacqueline Dimier’s timeless design with Carolina Bucci’s contemporary approach, marking a dazzling link between modern horology and contemporary jewellery: The Royal Oak Frosted Gold, when a watch icon turns 40 years young!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

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ROYAL OAK FROSTED GOLD – 37 mm (MY FAVORITE!)
Ref: 15454OR.GG.1259OR.01

CASE
Hammered 18-carat pink gold case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback, water-resistant to 50 m.
DIAL
Silver-toned dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.
BRACELET
Hammered 18-carat pink gold bracelet with AP folding clasp.
FUNCTIONS
Hours – Minutes – Centre seconds – Date

 royal_oak_frosted_gold_rose_33

ROYAL OAK FROSTED GOLD – 33 mm
Ref: 67653OR.GG.1263OR.01

CASE
Hammered 18-carat pink gold case, glareproofed sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 50 m.
DIAL
Silver-toned dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.
BRACELET
Hammered 18-carat pink gold bracelet with AP folding clasp.
FUNCTIONS
Hours – Minutes – Date

royal_oak_frosted_gold_white_gold_37

ROYAL OAK FROSTED GOLD – 37 mm
Ref: 15454BC.GG.1259BC.01

CASE
Hammered 18-carat white gold case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback, water-resistant to 50 m.
DIAL
Rhodium-toned dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.
BRACELET
Hammered 18-carat white gold bracelet with AP folding clasp.
FUNCTIONS
Hours – Minutes – Centre seconds – Date

royal_oak_frosted_gold_white_33

ROYAL OAK FROSTED GOLD – 33 mm
Ref: 67653BC.GG.1263BC.01

CASE
Hammered 18-carat white gold case, glareproofed sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 50 m.
DIAL
Rhodium-toned dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.
BRACELET
Hammered 18-carat white gold bracelet with AP folding clasp.
FUNCTIONS
Hours – Minutes – Date

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I am so in love… hope you will like it, too!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Audemars Piguet

With Audemars Piguet in Florence

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As the women’s Royal Oak celebrates its 40th anniversary, I was invited last week by Audemars Piguet to join them for the unveiling of the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold in Florence at Palazzo Vecchio, which is the town hall of the Italian city.

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The dinner was held inside the breathtaking Salone dei Cinquecento that has a length of 52 m (170 ft), is 23 m (75 ft) broad and dates back to 1494. On the walls are large and expansive frescoes that depict battles and military victories by Florence over Pisa and Siena by Giorgio Vasari. You immediately understand why it plays such a key role in Dan Brown’s «Inferno».

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Interesting to know is that before the entrustment of Vasari, the two greatest Florentine artists of the time, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, were commissioned for the construction of two large murals to decorate the walls of the room. Leonardo started working on the «Battle of Anghiari», while Michelangelo focused on another portion of the wall for the «Battle of Cascina», but none of their work was ever completed. Attempts made to find Da Vinci’s original work behind the Vasari fresco have so far been inconclusive.

ap_royal_oak_frosted_gold_launch_09_jacqueline_dimier_and_carolina_bucci_officergbTwo creative minds united: Jacqueline Dimier and Carolina Bucci

royal_oak_frosted_gold_audemars_piguetPersonally speaking: The new Royal Oak Frosted Gold was love at first sight for me.

Coming back to the shining reinvention of an iconic design, that fast first created in 1976 for women by Jacqueline Dimier, the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold has been reinvented in collaboration with Florentine jewellery designer, Carolina Bucci. Both attended the gala dinner along with Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Audemars Piguet, François-Henry Bennahmias, Chief Executive Officer, model Arizona Muse, as well as actress and brand ambassador Freida Pinto.

sandra_bauknecht_francois_henry_bennahmiasWith Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias

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sandra_bauknecht_freida_pintoWith Freida Pinto

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Power Ladies: Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm, Editor in Chief Style Magazine/Bolero, Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Audemars Piguet and Dominique Lohm, PR Audemars Piguet/The Pool with my humble self

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table_setting_audemars_piguetBeautiful table setting

sabina_hanselmann_diethelm_david_pantillon_sandra_bauknechtHaving a great time with Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm, Editor-in-Chief Style Magazine/Bolero and David Pantillon, Country General Manager Switzerland

ap_royal_oak_frosted_gold_launch_14_palazzo_vecchio_firenze_officergbChef Annie Féolde and her team framed by Freida Pinto and François-Henry Bennahmias

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After a sensational dinner imagined by local 3* Chef Annie Féolde, the evening ended with a showcase concert by Brocken Back, sending us off in the crisp Florentine night with lots of amazing memories.

ap_royal_oak_frosted_gold_launch_21_broken_back_officergbLive performance by Broken Back

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The next day my adventure continued. I flew with a private jet back to Switzerland to visit Audemars Piguet’s manufacture in Le Brassus.

Stay tuned for more for more details on the visit and the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold that has captured my heart in a second as well as an amazing interview with Carolina Bucci and Freida Pinto.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Audemars Piguet and © Sandra Bauknecht