Audemars Piguet took the lead in solving one of the oldest problems in the watchmaking industry: the double balance wheel inside the Royal Oak skeleton
The balance wheel is often regarded as the heart of a mechanical watch. The balance swings back and forth because it is connected to the hairspring, which is a flat metal spiral with a slight elasticity. Most balance springs are fixed at the center and outer limits of the spiral. Due to the two fixed endpoints, they cannot breathe concentrically. When the watch is placed vertically and gravity acts on the balance spring, this problem will be more serious, and even make the balance spring eccentric.
One solution is to use two stacked hairsprings, each of which mirrors each other and average out any errors. Laurent Ferrier and H. Moser & Cie. Both have double hairsprings installed on the watches (by the way, they all use the same hairspring made by Moser’s sister company Precision Engineering), and Montblanc even uses double cylindrical hairsprings, one inside the other.
Audemars Piguet went one step further and launched the Royal Oak Double Balance Skeleton CHEAP SWISS AAA Watch at SIHH in 2016. The watch is equipped with two superimposed balance wheels, each with its own balance spring.
In addition to the advantages of dual hairsprings, the two balance wheels also mean that the inertia of the regulator is doubled, which ensures a more stable timing, because the body with greater inertia is more likely to continue to move without being affected by vibration.
However, the downside is that moving the second balance requires additional energy-the power reserve of the dual balance is reduced by 45 hours, while the movement of the single balance is reduced by 60 hours. In general (no pun intended), the pros and cons outweigh the pros and cons, which is why this watch is introduced to the market.
When Gérald Genta conceived the original Royal Oak watch (arguably the best-designed sports watch to date) in 1972, he had a novel idea of incorporating the bracelet into the case. Prior to this, all watches had regular lugs. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak double hollowed-out wheels 37 mm hollowed out inherited this design element. By seemingly combining the watch head and bracelet together, the design has excellent cohesion.
Although I like some of AP’s Royal Oak Offshore models, I think Royal Oak is more attractive. The cleanliness of the 1972 model is extremely high, and the latest version of Royal Oak has this quality. The white gold screws on the stainless steel bezel in 1972 are now used on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked 37mm watch. The contrast between the white gold screws and the rose gold octagonal bezel is spectacular.
There is a wonderful sense of reciprocity between brushed and polished surfaces. I especially like the beveled upper edge of the strap. The gliding board made of polished metal sparkles near the soft brushed surface. The watch is equipped with a screw-locked crown with AP abbreviation on its vertical side.
The back cover of the display cabinet highlights the texture of the frame and allows light to support the movement. In addition, the back panel of sapphire crystal glass gives a wonderful sight from front to back, allowing the wearer to see through the movement.
People are ubiquitous in details, which makes this timepiece unique.
Except for the regulator, the rest of the movement 3132 is functionally the same as the automatic movement 3120 inside Audemars Piguet. It is decorated as a skeleton bridge, revealing the mechanical principle of the movement. In fact, this movement is almost the same as the movement of the Royal Oak Skull. 15305 except for one obvious gift: a red gold bridge with double balance wheels.
The movement is a typical Audemars Piguet case, made with a hollow process, hollowed out in a modern style, and has smooth lines and geometric shapes. The decoration of all movements is neat and clean, and there are obvious polished bevels on many of the edges of the bridge, which are obviously diamond cut, and besides the edges, they also have bright and shiny edges. The golden bridge of the balance seems to have hand-finished edges, causing slight unevenness.
All bridges are plated with ruthenium to obtain a dark gray coating, which means that the eyes will be immediately attracted by the bright, rose gold-plated parts of the dial, namely the hands and balance bridge.
The rest of the watch is a vintage Royal Oak, with a beautiful case, mirror-polished edges and a brushed flat surface. Royal Oak (Royal Oak) is one of the few reasonably priced replica watch cases, even in the stainless steel case, its look and feel are so expensive.
The Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked has a diameter of 41 mm and a height of 9.9 mm. The second balance requires additional height, which means it is slightly thicker than the skeleton Royal Oak, and the height of the single balance is 9.4mm. Although the watch is not big, it looks chunky and horny on the wrist.
Rose gold openwork Royal Oak double balance wheel (ref. 15407OR.OO.1220OR.01) and stainless steel version (ref. 15407ST.OO.1220ST.01).