Le Brassus, September 2020 – Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet is delighted to announce its partnership with British luxury fashion house, Ralph & Russo. Pursuing Audemars Piguet’s commitment to fostering dialogues among creative fields, this collaboration brings together two family-owned companies driven by a strong spirit of independence and dedication to age-old craftsmanship, creativity and reinvention.
Audemars Piguet’s latest Royal Oak and Royal Oak Concept models will complement Ralph & Russo’s Spring/Summer 2021 Prêt-à-Porter collection this fall to mark the beginning of the partnership. These unique pairings will highlight how the two brands’ latest collections mirror one another in savoir-faire and refinement.
The encounter between Ralph & Russo and Audemars Piguet will provide an exclusive lens into the natural synergies between the world of Haute Horlogerie and luxury fashion. Combining inventive designs with the technical precision of age-old skills, savoir-faire remains at the heart of both brands. With teams of highly trained artisans, each expert in fields old and new, Ralph & Russo and Audemars Piguet consistently reinterpret and develop coveted skills to set pioneering trends within their industry, while bringing people together all over the world through a unique language of emotions.
“Audemars Piguet has always developed cross-disciplinary collaborations that have fuelled the creativity of our artisans. Our partnership with Ralph & Russo came together naturally. I was struck by Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo’s warm welcome when we first met; they represent talent at the highest level mixed with simplicity and authenticity. The fun part was when we actually realised that our watches had already been paired with their exceptional designs many times by clients in real life who didn’t need to wait for this partnership to match our two brands!” – François-Henry Bennahmias, Chief Executive Officer
“We have long been admirers as well as clients of Audemars Piguet and their exceptional watches, and as such, were thrilled by the prospect of a partnership. Beyond our personal affinity for the brand, we felt a strong connection and alignment through our mutual dedication to both uncompromising craftsmanship and the creation of wonderfully unique styles that withstand the test of time. Given we both share the same core values and ethos for our respective brands, we feel this is just the beginning of what we hope will be a longstanding relationship and look forward to officially launching our partnership with Audemars Piguet this fall.” – Tamara Ralph, Creative Director of Ralph & Russo and Michael Russo, Chief Executive Officer
New Royal Oak Selfwinding models for the smaller wrists
To complete Ralph & Russo’s Prêt-à-Porter collection, Audemars Piguet presents its latest Royal Oak Selfwinding models in 34 mm conceived for the smaller wrists. This new line includes 4 models in stainless steel and/or 18-carat pink gold which will appeal to different styles.
The 18-carat pink gold model is adorned with a diamond-set bezel and a silver-toned guilloché “Grande Tapisserie” dial. The dial’s guilloché design—which has become one of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak’s trademarks—is achieved through a complex manufacturing process based on a rare in-house know-how no longer taught in horology school. Little squares are carved out on the dial’s thin metal plate by an engraving machine dating back to the 1970s that reproduces the motif of a pattern. Small diamond shapes are simultaneously cut out in the thin grooves separating the squares in a seamless “weave” that creates a tapestry appearance. This process requires extreme dexterity and precision.
The two steel models are enhanced by a silver-toned or blue-grey “Grande Tapisserie” dial. The blue-grey watch is embellished with a diamond-set bezel.
The Manufacture also presents an elegant two-tone model combining a stainless steel case and bracelet with an 18-carat pink gold bezel and bracelet links. This model comes with a silver-toned “Grande Tapisserie” dial.
These four references are powered by a new selfwinding movement, calibre 5800, endowed with a dedicated oscillating weight specifically developed for this new 34 mm version which complements the Manufacture’s existing Royal Oak Selfwinding and Quartz collection.
A new feminine look for the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon
Ralph & Russo’s new collection is further enhanced by a new take on the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon, which pursues the Royal Oak Concept’s interweaving of refined feminine aesthetics and complicated micro-mechanics.
Available in 18-carat pink or white gold, the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon combines the case’s shimmering Frosted Gold finish with a contemporary dial composed of multiple layers. For the first time, the Royal Oak Concept’s case is adorned with Frosted Gold—an ancient Florentine jewellery technique revisited by jewellery designer Carolina Bucci and adapted to adorn the Manufacture’s watches. Tiny indentations are created on the gold surface with a diamond-tipped tool, giving a sparkle effect similar to that of precious stones, like diamond dust. Superposed to the bezel’s polished bevels, this finishing highlights the watch’s design codes, while capturing attention from a distance.
The shimmering case nicely frames the multi-layered dial composed of four juxtaposed circles of increasing size and graded hues of blue emanating from the flying tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock. The graded nuances and sunburst motif further accentuate the dial’s depth and refinement. The flying tourbillon cage also presents a modern design with openworked gold-toned circles topped with an elegant touch of brilliant-cut diamonds. No hour-markers have been included on the dial to enhance the purity of this contemporary design.
Combining tradition and modernity, these watches are powered by hand-wound Audemars Piguet Manufacture calibre 2964. The flying tourbillon—a high-end complication compensating for the effect of gravity on a watch—is today considered as of one the greatest expressions of watchmaking art. Only a few expert watchmakers retain the necessary skills for its realisation. The movement’s circular motif, visible through the sapphire caseback recalls the dial’s pattern. The alternation of sandblasting and satin-brushing also echoes the finishes of the Frosted Gold case and sunburst dial.
The two highly contemporary models are adorned with a blue “large square-scale” alligator strap for an elegant contrast. The strap is complemented with a folding clasp adorned with Frosted Gold for a Couture look to the slightest detail.
“Born in Le Brassus, raised around the world.”
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