Hands-On With The Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon

Audemars Piguet’s Concept line is one of the most exciting to watch develop. For the brand, it’s used as a vehicle to find balance between form and function. As they put it, the goal is to seamlessly integrate an ultra-modern ‘engine’ within an ultra-modern ‘chassis’, or case.


In this particular case, a titanium case with black-ceramic octogonal bezel, pushespieces, and crown, which protect the hand-wound Calibre 2913, a new engine featuring a twin barrel ensuring 10-day power reserve, tourbillon and second time-zone ‘GMT’ display.


The Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon is an interesting entry in the Audemars Piguet family. In terms of design, it sits in between the classic lines of the Royal Oak, and the modern materials and sizes of the Royal Oak Oaffshore. However, inside, it’s a whole new beast.


Its timekeeping is regulated by a 3Hz (21,600vph) escapement, rotating inside a tourbillon carriage every 60 seconds, and compensates for the negative effects of Earth’s gravity on the mechanism.


The watch looks very different from this year’s white ceramic iteration. That one was cool. It inspired Californian pool-parties. The Black version is “l’enfant terrible” of Audemars Piguet, and sits perfectly on the wrist of rebellious collectors. Pharrell Williams picked it up for his collection, and if it’s good enough for me, well…


On the wrist, it’s feels incredibly light because of the materials used. It’s also very comfortable thanks to the black rubber strap, and very legible. The GMT display provides an instant reading of the time in a second time-zone.


It is adjusted using the pushpiece at 4 o’clock. The indication of the second time-zone, based on 12 hours, comprises two superimposed discs, making it easy to tell the time. I’m also really impressed with the selection indicator mechanism. This allows the wearer to select the specific function he wants to adjust by position the winding stem at 6 o’clock towards that function. A simple but very user-friendly device that will also save you some time when making those changes.

Photo Credit: Haute Time. For more information, please visit the official Audemars Piguet website.