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Watches: A High-Tech Royal Oak

By Lauren Jade Hill

This story originally appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.

At this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, Audemars Piguet released a watch that had everyone buzzing: a black-ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. Converting Gérald Genta’s iconic design to ceramic was not an easy task. It took more than 600 hours of research alone to develop the watch, which takes five times longer to make than the stainless-steel version. This is because the properties that make ceramic so desirable – being virtually scratchproof and able to handle both high temperatures and significant temperature variations – also make it more difficult to work with, leading to additional steps in the creation of this hand-finished watch. While the case and bracelet are high tech, a Grande Tapisserie decoration on the gray dial brings classic horology to the modern timepiece. It displays the weeks around the outer chapter ring, with subdials for month and leap year, date, day of the week and moon phase. The photorealistic astronomicalmoon brings a touch of lightness to the all-black watch.

$93,900, available at Audemars Piguet in New York, contact Susan Wallace, boutique manager, +1 212 688 6644,

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