The iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for women celebrates its 40th anniversary, and the watch manufacture from Le Brassus in celebration of the occasion, has unveiled a brand new Royal Oak Frosted Gold.
It was Jacqueline Dimier who first reinterpreted Gérald Genta's initial 1972 model and imagined the first Royal Oak for women, lighter and sleeker, in 1976.
A shining reinvention of an iconic design, the new timepiece available in both white gold and pink gold has been created in collaboration with Florentine jewellery designer, Carolina Bucci.
The defining feature of the Royal Oak Frosted Gold resides in its shimmering sparkle, which in turn comes from a surface treatment process rooted in an ancient gold hammering technique, also called the Florentine technique.
By beating the gold with a diamond tipped tool, it creates tiny indentations on the surface that give a sparkle effect similar to that of precious stones, like diamond dust.
In recent years Carolina Bucci has been using this effect in a bolder way on large cuffs and pendants, highlighting the finish more than any other part of the design.
The challenge for Audemars Piguet's craftsmen was to apply this surface treatment technique across the case and bracelet of the watch without altering the clean lines that define the Royal Oak's form.
Then the original gradating bracelet construction also demanded that the order in which the rest of the finishing (polishing and satin finish) is executed be reconsidered.
It took months of trial and error between Bucci's Florentine craftsmen and Audemars Piguet’s manufacture to alter the surface of the gold in such a way that it sparkles when catching the light, while retaining the softness and flexibility of the Royal Oak's bracelet.
Whilst Carolina Bucci's vision today is decades apart from Jacqueline Dimier's, she has managed to give the Royal Oak an appeal that captures the attention from a distance, injecting feminine sensibility while retaining the key design codes of the original piece.
The merger of Jacqueline Dimier's timeless design with Carolina Bucci's contemporary approach in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for women marks a dazzling link between modern horology and contemporary jewellery.