Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel 26609TI 'China Edition'

The limited ‘China Edition’ is the only Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ever to be offered in full titanium.

Museum Piece
Audemars PiguetAudemars Piguet is among the holy trinity Swiss maisons d’horlogerie alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.

Introduction

The limited ‘China Edition’ is the only Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ever to be offered in full titanium. How lucky are we to have gotten our hands on one!Speaking of luck, this special perpetual calendar Royal Oak was made especially for the Chinese market in a limited production run of 88 pieces, since the number 8 symbolises prosperity and joy in Chinese culture. Similar qualities are ascribed to the colour red, hence the red details on the dial.This 26609TI dates back to 2020 and is the first and only reference of the perpetual calendar Royal Oak produced fully in titanium. The watch features a 41 mm octagonal case and bezel and an integrated bracelet, designed by the legendary Gerald Genta. When the watch isn’t on the wrist, you can admire the 18k rose-gold rotor and hand-finished movement through the sapphire crystal case back.The slate grey dial is executed with Audemars Piguet’s iconic ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern with four black sub dials. The day, month, leap-year, and date functions are displayed in the three upper sub dials, whereas the smaller dial at the 6 o’clock position houses a lovely moon phase indicator alongside the Audemars Piguet signature. The dial features white-gold minute and hour hands, while a bright red arrow-tipped hand also allows you to read the week number on the black inner bezel.The watch comes with the original limited edition box and papers as well as an additional black alligator-leather Audemars Piguet strap and a red rubber Audemars Piguet strap.

Description

Audemars PiguetAudemars Piguet is among the holy trinity Swiss maisons d’horlogerie alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Audemars Piguet has a storied history of producing high-complication watches. It all started in 1875, when Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet founded the company in the heart of the Vallée de Joux, Le Brassus, Switzerland. This pure, rough and wild landscape, with deep, dark forests, ice-cold waters and the omnipresence of rocks and hills, provided inspiration and raw materials for the Swiss watch manufacture to develop the finest watches. Since its inception, Audemars Piguet has specialized in rare, valuable and highly-complicated watches like perpetual calendars, chronographs and chiming watches. Nowadays, the emphasis of Audemars Piguet lies on the iconic Royal Oak line.Royal OakIn 1970, Audemars Piguet instructed Genta to come up with an unprecedented steel watch. As the story goes, he found inspiration whilst seeing a diver at work with an old-fashioned diver’s helmet near Lake Geneva. Staying up all night, Genta drew the design for a circular case with an angular, octagonal bezel, eight visible screws, and an integrated bracelet. The Royal Oak was presented in 1972 as the most expensive steel watch available and it caused an uproar: why was a distinguished maison d’horlogerie putting out a sports watch, let alone in such pedestrian material? Some experts even predicted that the Royal Oak would put Audemars Piguet out of business. Though it took a while to catch on, the Royal Oak is now one of the most iconic and long-lasting watch designs and has spawned an entire product line. It wouldn’t be the first time that Genta would prove a brand’s owners, customers, and industry experts wrong.