26 Jun, 2024

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak MINI 23mm

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Meet the Haute Couture of timepieces

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When it comes to watches, it doesn’t get better than Audemars Piguet.

Known as a Haute Horlogerie manufacturer (which essentially means the finest kind of watchmaker), this Swiss brand has held onto one of the hallowed few top spots in the world of watchmaking for almost 150 years – not an easy feat. And now it’s downsizing its most iconic model.

I travelled with the brand to Milan for the opening of the new AP House Milano, along with its Shaping Materials exhibition and was treated to the delight that is the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini. This timepiece, a smaller version of a true house icon designed for women, is a masterpiece too. A marvel of innovation and techniques and, of course, a forever investment.

In this post, I’m going to take you through all of the details and design features (being sure to decode any technical jargon) to discover what makes this style a true trailblazer on the luxury watch market.

A little bit of history

To appreciate the true significance of the Royal Oak Mini and what makes it a work of art, we have to take a look at Audemars Piguet’s heritage. The house has garnered a reputation for pioneering smaller styles for women within the luxury watch market.

Pushing the boundaries of craftsmanship and innovation, is in Audemars Piguet’s brand DNA. The watchmaker has long experimented with shape and scale, creating small and mini watches without compromising on functionality, fusing the worlds of jewellery and timepieces to create original and enduring designs that empower women.

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The story of the Royal Oak began in 1972.

The original Royal Oak became a house icon and, in 1976, Audemars Piguet’s Head of Product Design, Jacqueline Dimier, was tasked with designing a version for women, the Royal Oak II. Then in 1997, the first miniature version of the Royal Oak was released, crafted in celebration of the collection’s 25th anniversary. These smaller models have long served as a platform for innovation.

The newest iteration of the Royal Oak Mini is all about continuing this legacy. It’s the smallest timepiece in the current Royal Oak collection. A revived heritage style that’s as delicate as a gemstone-clad bracelet and as trusty as a treasured timepiece. Mini yet mighty.

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About the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak mini watch

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Material options – 18-carat yellow, white or pink gold

Size – 23mm

Thickness – 6.6mm

Water resistance – 50m

Unique Frosted Gold shimmering finish

Royal Oak signature Petite Tapisserie pattern on dial

Gold hour-markers filled with luminescent material for visibility in the dark

Audemars Piguet emblem printed at the 12 o’clock mark

Hammered 18 – carat gold bracelet with AP folding clasp

Satin finish on case and bracelet flanks

Quartz movement offering over seven years of battery life

It's all in the details

When it comes to Audemars Piguet, it’s not just about the beauty of a classic watch that can tell the time. The new Royal Oak Mini was created to shine like a diamond. It’s got a unique Frosted Gold finish that’s inspired by an ancient Florentine jewellery technique masterminded by Italian jewellery designer Carolina Bucci. Indentations are made on the gold surface with a diamond-tipped tool to create a sparkly shimmering finish with a diamond dusted effect.

It will twinkle as it catches the light but has the appeal of an everyday classic, just a little more special. Blurring the lines between jewellery and watchmaking, it’s a piece of art, a precious gem to treasure.

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Put simply, this is the haute couture of watches.

Trends in the watch world seem to be shifting from women favouring statement oversized designs that are bulkier like men’s watches to instead embracing smaller, daintier iterations. The new Royal Oak Mini is set to consolidate this shift but the design is about a lot more than changing styles. A heritage masterpiece scaled down to perfection, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini is a brand icon reborn.

Three versions of AP mini Royal Oak

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I am so thankful for being the part of this experience, to see which AP I secured, be sure to check my YouTube channel.

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xoxo, Tamara

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