In 2017, Audemars Piguet debuted an all-ceramic, jet-black timepiece that changed the watch game. Two years later, the Swiss watch brand may have outdone itself with a new version made from the same, hard-to-work-with material.
Like its predecessor, the 2019 Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked is crafted from scratchproof, brushed black ceramic—and still features the essential leap year indication that the watchmaker introduced back in 1955. But with this model, the transparent, glare-proof, sapphire-crystal dial lets you peer into the mesmerising inner workings of the skeletonised watch, which comes in a commanding 41 mm case while being just 9 mm thick.
Under the dial, the latest iteration has been equipped with a new caliber 5135 movement—a new version of the 5134 found in the previous model—which beats at a frequency of 2.75Hz and boasts 38 jewels and a 40-hour power reserve.
Perhaps, the most drool-worthy new feature is the addition of rose gold, which is used on the indexes, subdial surroundings and the baton-shaped hands. A touch warmer than the original silver, the pink hues work to balance the decidedly masculine black case and matching black bracelet.
Though ceramic timepieces are by no means new within the watch industry, they still demand a high level of attention (and patience) to cut and finish. On average, the intricate brushed-pattern finishing on this watch takes six times as long to create in ceramic as it does in metal. (That’s 30 painstaking hours instead of 5—and all that work is done by hand.) The upside? This timepiece will never rust, rot or scratch. Plus, it’s temperature-resistant, hypo-allergenic, water-resistant to 20 meters and seven times harder than steel.
Of course, this indestructible wrist candy comes at a price: The 2019 Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Open worked Black Ceramic will set you back around £100,000 and should be available for purchase by the end of this year.