Chronometry is the science of accurate time measurement but as exemplified by the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph, it can also be an art. This watch debuted in 1997, 25 years after the Royal Oak first appeared on the market, and like all great design icons, it evolved over the decades to reflect the sensibilities of each era. Set to replace the 2012 model, this facelifted model retains the watch’s core elements but reveals a fresh new aesthetic for the Royal Oak Chronograph that takes us back to 2008.
A gentleman’s chronograph bar none, this year’s rendition oozes a charismatic appeal redolent of vintage wrist timekeepers made between the 1930s and 1960s. The two-toned dial is a dead giveaway, as chronograph counters made in contrasting colours reached their prime in the 1960s. And where its predecessor is about refinement and harmony, this watch evokes a sportier spirit thanks to new yet subtle details.
Two of the three counters have been upsized for greater legibility, and to further distinguish them from the running seconds, Arabic numerals are used. Finally, shorter but wider hour markers add robustness to the overall design, which remains unchanged.