SNOW-SET DIAMONDS GRACE AUDEMARS PIGUET’S ROYAL OAK
Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet proudly introduces its inaugural Royal Oak models adorned with shimmering snow-set diamonds.
Designed with smaller wrists in mind, these Haute Joaillerie timepieces are available in 34 and 37 mm sizes, crafted from a choice of 18-carat white or pink gold, and embellished with a variety of brilliant-cut diamonds. The intricate and highly technical snow setting creates a radiant effect that accentuates the multifaceted architecture of the Royal Oak, evoking the charm of a winter wonderland.
Snow Setting Reflecting the Light
The new Royal Oak Selfwinding models in 34 and 37 mm seamlessly blend Haute Horlogerie with Haute Joaillerie. These four timepieces are entirely encrusted with brilliant-cut diamonds ranging from 0.5 mm to 2.2 mm in diameter, using the artisanal technique of snow setting—a first in the Royal Oak collection. The 34 mm models represent the first fully gem-set timepieces available in this diameter, boasting 2,255 brilliant-cut diamonds (~6.6 carats). Meanwhile, the 37 mm models showcase 2,123 brilliant-cut stones (~7.2 carats), all meeting the highest standards in terms of clarity, cut, and color set by the Manufacture.
The snow setting, meticulously executed by master gemsetters, involves individually selecting and placing diamonds on the dial, bezel, case, bracelet links, and studs, creating an irregular yet harmonious shimmering design. Each claw is custom-crafted to hold its designated diamond securely. The brilliant-cut stones are arranged so precisely that the gold components that secure them appear almost invisible to the naked eye. The result is a mosaic of interlocking diamonds, reminiscent of freshly fallen snowflakes glistening in the light.
To ensure water resistance, reliability, robustness, and ease of repair, the design and production teams collaborated closely with the gemsetters throughout the manufacturing process, while preserving the Royal Oak’s distinct aesthetic identity.
Glamorous and Scintillating Design
The brilliance of the snow-set diamonds is further accentuated by the watches’ precious metals. Available in 18-carat white or pink gold, the four new Royal Oak Selfwinding models offer a unique, sparkling aesthetic. The mirror-polished chamfers that outline the case, bezel, and bracelet links create an ever-changing interplay of light.
The 18-carat white gold models present a monochromatic design, while the pink gold timepieces provide an elegant two-tone contrast. The snow-set dials, adorned with 879 brilliant-cut diamonds (~1.32 carats) for the 34 mm models and 699 for the 37 mm models (~1.4 carats), feature 13 baguette-cut diamond hour-markers. The hour and minute hands in 18-carat white or pink gold are enriched with luminescent coating for readability in low-light conditions. The “Audemars Piguet” signature is elegantly printed in black on a satin-brushed gold cartouche, echoing the case and bracelet colors.
Elegant Selfwinding Movements
These novelties house two of the Manufacture’s latest selfwinding mechanisms for hours, minutes, and seconds.
The 34 mm models are powered by Calibre 5809, operating at a frequency of 4 Hz and offering a 50-hour power reserve when not worn. For the first time in the 34 mm collection, the date indication has been omitted to showcase the refined gemsetting on the dial.
Their 37 mm counterparts are equipped with the selfwinding Calibre 5909, which also excludes the date indication. This 4 Hz movement provides a power reserve of 60 hours, catering to the demands of contemporary lifestyles.
Both movements feature exquisite Haute Horlogerie decorations, including Côtes de Genève, traits tirés, circular satin, snailing, and polishing, visible through the sapphire casebacks along with the 22-carat pink gold oscillating weights.
A Haute Joaillerie Legacy
The four new Royal Oak Selfwinding models continue Audemars Piguet’s enduring tradition of Haute Joaillerie timepieces. Since 1883, Audemars Piguet’s women’s watches have combined technical mastery with unconventional design. The Manufacture has collaborated with esteemed jewelry brands like Tiffany, Cartier, Oscar Heyman, and Bvlgari to house its movements in unique Haute Joaillerie creations.
From the 1970s onward, Audemars Piguet began designing high-jewelry watches in-house, merging externally crafted cases with in-house movements. In 1982, the first gem-set Royal Oak models were introduced. Over the years, Audemars Piguet has created numerous Haute Joaillerie Royal Oak timepieces in various sizes, many featuring regular gemsetting patterns to complement the collection’s symmetrical architecture.
This year, Audemars Piguet ventures into high jewelry techniques with the release of its first snow-set Royal Oak models. This highly technical gemsetting, previously reserved for Haute Joaillerie creations like the Diamond Punk (2015) and Diamond Outrage (2017), marks a new chapter in the Royal Oak’s evolution.