Introducing Small Adjustments and Big Influences in the Design Evolution of the Royal Oak Chronograph
The 38mm and 41mm products have been fine-tuned for the Royal Oak’s 50th birthday.
Among the many new and updated models launched to celebrate the Royal Oak’s 50th birthday this year, Audemars Piguet also announced a new reference collection of the Royal Oak Self-Winding Chronograph. 17 (!) new releases will form a new series for the series during 2022. The new models cover 38 and 41mm sizes, ranging from steel to rose gold and even a handful of diamonds.
There are 5 new references for the 38mm series and 12 new entries for the 41mm series. That said, the changes are relatively subtle, with each dimension continuing those established by the current range, including using the current movement (2385 for the 38mm and 4401 for the 41mm). The reference ranges for the new 38mm are 26715 (compared to the current 26315) and 26240 for the 41mm (compared to the current 26331). For a complete breakdown of each reference number, check out the specs at the end of this article (and other image galleries; use the arrow buttons to scroll through the series).
While the format of the 17 reference models has remained virtually unchanged, the 50th Anniversary Royal Oak Chronograph incorporates several improvements and offers some colorways that are not part of the current collection, including a reintroduction of the “Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50” dial color from 1972 Original Royal Oak with full Petite or Grande Tapisserie effect.
Other changes include adjustments to the bevel elements of the case, a more ergonomic caseback (close the 38mm example), a new link design to better accentuate the taper of the bracelet (as seen in the recent golden Royal Oak), and the use of more Thin updated bracelet design links – a steel (or titanium) Royal Oak first.
Some dial elements have been updated, including the size of the markers and hands to promote unity across the Royal Oak collection, as well as an updated logo design.
At the end of the day, this is a line-up update to a series of highly successful chronographs that perfectly blend sporty and more sophisticated elements. While most of the attention in 2022 will likely turn to the new 16202 Jumbo, I think these chronographs are a great way for Audemars Piguet to continue to iterate (slowly and carefully) on the original Genta design, while offering to capture much of the simplicity Something – the wearing style that helped establish the cheap Royal Oak as a watch design icon.
And, since I probably won’t get another chance to cover these specific models anytime soon, take a closer look at the “khaki green” 41mm stainless steel model – that’s how you make a green dial (rose gold looks great too) .
All in all, this isn’t the biggest news for La Brassus today (it’s not even close), but it’s a further improvement on another series in the Royal Oak family. While it’s fair to say that chronographs aren’t essential to celebrating the origins of the Royal Oak, it’s hard to dispute these latest updates to the 38mm and 41mm chronograph collections (though diamonds are a little too much for me) ).
Brand: Audemars Piguet
Model: Royal Oak Automatic Chronograph (38 and 41 mm)
26715ST.OO.1356ST.01 (steel, blue dial)
26715ST.OO.1356ST.02 (steel grey dial)
26715ST.ZZ. 1356ST.01 (stainless steel, light blue dial, diamond bezel),
26715ST.ZZ.1356ST.01 (rose gold, blue dial)
26715OR.ZZ.1356OR.01 (rose gold, silver dial, diamond bezel)
26240ST.OO.1320ST.01 (steel, blue dial)
26240ST.OO.1320ST.02 (steel, black dial)
26240ST.OO.1320ST.03 (steel, silver dial)
26240ST.OO.1320ST.04 (stainless steel, green dial)
26240OR.OO.1320OR.01 (rose gold, blue dial)
26240OR.OO.1320OR.02 (rose gold, black dial)
26240OR.OO.1320OR.03 (rose gold, silver dial)
26240OR.OO .1320OR.04 (rose gold, green dial)
26240OR.OO.D315CR.01 (rose gold, blue dial, alligator strap)
26240OR.OO.D404CR.01 (rose gold, green dial, alligator strap)
26240OR.OO.D002CR .01 (rose gold, black dial, alligator strap)
26242OR.ZZ.1322OR.01. (rose gold, diamonds)
Diameter: 38 and 41 mm
Thickness: 11mm (38mm) and 12.4mm (41mm)
Case Material: Steel or Rose Gold
Dial Color: Various
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap/Bracelet: 38mm – bracelet, 41mm – bracelet, or some versions with leather straps.
Movement: AP 2385 (38mm), AP 4401 (41mm)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, 12-hour chronograph Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 3 Hz (38mm), 4 Hz (41mm)
Jewels: 37 (38mm), 40 (41mm)