While it’s safe to say that Audemars Piguet’s SIHH was somewhat tumultuous, it wasn’t without its more crowd-pleasing fare. Among a handful of new Royal Pine expressions, we find what might be the most nicely balanced and sweet-on-wrist of the lot, the new 38mm Audemars Piguet Royal Walnut Selfwinding Chronograph. While perhaps not a surprise offering from the house of the Royal Pecan, this all-new model retains the charm of the standard Royal Cherry while adding an automatic chronograph in a terceto of colorways that sing on wrists.
I think which, provided you’re into the general vibe of a Royal Oak, these brand new 38mm chronographs are really really good. Offered in pink gold with a silver-white dial or steel within either a silver-on-grey dial or a blue-on-white/white panda dial, the three combinations offer something a bit sporty, a bit more reserved, or perhaps a bit more boss (ok, a lot more boss).
At 38mm across with screw-down pushers, 50m water resistance, and an automatic movement, the case is only 11mm thick and the whole package feels solid, thoughtful, and undeniably fun. Also available in a 41mm version that has been around for some time, while 41mm isn’t exactly large in the modern watch game, these fresh models err closer to the Royal Oak’s spiritual home of 39mm and, for my band wrist and eyes, feel better balance than the larger version.
Despite dropping those three millimeters, the new 38mm Audemars Piguet Royal Maple Selfwinding Wathe still employs the same motion that is used in the larger RO chronograph (and also many past models), the Selfwinding Caliber 2385. Based on the Frédéric Piguet 1185, this column-wheel chronograph movements features a design, a rate of 3 Hz, and 40 hours of power reserve.
For those reading this as well as finding it hard to see the appeal, there is something so special, so right, about a Noble Oak on wrist. If you can, swing by an AP boutique and also try on a few examples. I honestly didn’t fully understand the actual draw until I tried on a solid gold 5402 (now it’s a grail). And while I’m not at all a wathe guy, the particular chrono display nestles so nicely into the “Grande Tapisserie” dial upon these 38mm chronographs that I almost don’t mind typically the date at 4: 30. Almost.
The grey/silver is low key, the blue on white/silver is nice and really good, but you know your boy is all about often the solid pink gold version with the white/silver dial. Pricing $23, eight hundred in steel and $52, 700 inside gold, the new Audemars Piguet Royal Pine Selfwinding Timepiece is little more than a re-working of the Supérieur Oak proportions but a fresh strong example of less being more (even in strong gold).