The Quest for a movement which performs under all conditions with great accuracy had brought Audemars Piguet to design this new Double Balance Wheel. It doesn’t only look great in this openworked Royal Oak is also make it to a very accurate movement.
At the beating heart of the mechanical watch is its regulating organ, the balance wheel and its essential counterpart, the balance-spring. This ingenious pairing, first introduced to horology in the 17th century, acts as the watch’s control unit, determining the precision of the watch’s pulse through the regularity of its back and forth oscillations.
It is a straightforward process — the swing of the balance wheel coils the balance-spring, which, when it reaches its maximum amplitude, starts to uncoil — yet it sets off a complex of transferred energies: each full swing releases a tooth of the escape wheel, moving the ensemble of precisely calibrated components and gears one increment forward.
Ensuring its reliability is among the toughest engineering challenges in watch technology because, unlike a stationary pendulum clock, the ever-moving wristwatch has to defy gravity, remain impervious to motion, resist changes in temperature and withstand all manners of shock.
TAKING OPENWORKING TO THE NEXT LEVEL
The Royal Oak Double Balance wheel Openworked tackles these stabilising issues by fixing a second balance wheel and balance-spring assembly on the same axis. The new “Dualbalance” patented geometry involves a very complex manufacturing procedure, but the payoff is huge: greatly improved precision and stability.
This is not only a new world-first, it is also an imposing combination of art and architecture, which is why Audemars Piguet has fully openworked the movement to reveal this two-fold beauty from both sides of the watch.
Openworking — also known as skeletonisation — involves cutting away material to reveal the mechanical artistry contained within. It is among the most exacting performances in watchmaking: cutting too much can jeopardise tolerances or affect shock resistance. Achieving the right balance between the beauty of the revealed components and the safeguarding of their performance and precision is a rare art.
Audemars Piguet has been a master of this indescribably intricate process since the 1930s. Today, it performs it in precisely the same manner: filing, decoration and finishing exclusively done by hand. The reasons for this are both aesthetic and technical. For example, a milling machine produces perfectly acceptable rounded angles, but it cannot produce the perfect interior angles (or v-cut angles) that so superlatively reflect light, expressing the artistry of Haute Horlogerie.
Available in stainless steel or pink gold, with slate-grey dial and pink gold applied hour-markers, the Royal Oak Double Balance wheel Openworked offers unencumbered viewing through the openworked front and the glareproofed sapphire crystal caseback. Front or back, the breathtaking views draw the eye repeatedly over the course of a day: sometimes, to register the time indicated by the luminescent hands, but more often just to watch the dance contained within.
Selfwinding Manufacture Calibre 3132 Total diameter 26.59 mm (11 . lignes)Total thickness 5.57 mmNumber of jewels 38Number of parts 245Minimal guaranteed power reserve 45 hFrequency of balance wheel 3 Hz (= 21,600 vibrations/hour)
Stainless steel case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback, screw-locked crown, water-resistant to 50 m.
18-carat pink gold case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback, screw-locked crown, water-resistant to 50 m.
Slate grey openworked dial, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.
Stainless steel bracelet with AP folding clasp.
18-carat pink gold bracelet with AP folding clasp.