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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT with Big Date

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT with Big Date


The year 2002 heralded the birth of the Royal Oak Concept, when Audemars Piguet launched a limited edition of 150 pieces to mark the 30th anniversary of its Royal Oak. It drew its inspiration from the concept cars in the automotive industry. Its aesthetic was disruptive and revolutionary; the Concept project provided Audemars Piguet with a playground for technical and innovative experimentation. For example, the first Concept in 2002 combined titanium with Alacrit 602, a lightweight but robust alloy used in the aerospace industry. It retained the characteristic octagonal shape of the Royal Oak, but with a 44 mm case diameter, it was much larger than the classic from 1972. From a technical perspective, the Concept held some innovative features, with avant-garde design meeting high-tech mechanisms. 

This year, AP is setting new standards with its progressive Concept. For the first time, the Haute Horlogerie watchmaker is introducing a split-seconds chronograph with flyback function and automatic winding, which is produced in series. At the same time, several other new features are also in store for us. 

High tech case

The Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT Large Date introduces a case with a diameter of 43 mm for the first time. The case is three-dimensional, with complex textures, depth and play of light; the result of complex programming and manufacturing processes. The slight curvature of the case and bezel are intended to provide greater wearing comfort, compensating for the 43 mm case size.

Sandblasted titanium inserts have been incorporated into the case. The octagonal bezel is satin-brushed, with its rounded outline highlighted by polished chamfers, providing more reflection. The pushers and crown are screw-down and made of black ceramic. The pushers have the same finish as the case, which is sandblasted and satin-brushed with polished chamfers. 

A high tech dial

The open-worked dial allows for a beautiful view of the complex micro-mechanics of the movement. The round apertures were cut out of a single German silver plate, sandblasted, PVD-coated in black and finished with polished rhodium-toned bevels.

The AP lettering was deliberately omitted to reveal as much of the watch’s interior as possible. Hour markers, hands, counters as well as the big date and GMT day/night disc are luminous coated. The black inner bezel features a white tachymeter scale. 

High tech calibre

The new automatic Calibre 4407 offers a flyback chronograph with split seconds mechanism, GMT function and big date. The first calibre of its kind to be mass-produced by the manufacture, it is an evolution of the Calibre 4401, which was introduced in 2019 in the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection. Upgrades include a new oscillator with a Breguet Spiral spring whose highly curved outer end ensures concentric expansion of the balance spring, increasing accuracy to 70 hours. The column wheel is operated by a vertical clutch system, which prevents jumping or jerking when starting or stopping the chronograph. A patented zero resetting mechanism allows the seconds to be reset to zero without delay. 

To make the movement flatter (8.92 mm), the split seconds mechanism has been integrated into the ball bearing of the semi-peripheral rotor in platinum, according to its height, and is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. The GMT day/night indicator can be adjusted via a coaxial pusher on the crown at 3 o’clock; one push corresponds to one hour. The white half of the display corresponds to daytime, the black half to night time. A large digital display at 12 o’clock shows the date. Of course, the movement has also been adorned with Haute Horlogerie decorations, including sandblasted surfaces, circular satin finishes, circular graining and polished chamfers. 

Price, availability and new interchangeable strap

The new Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT Large Date comes on a black rubber strap and is the first model from the Concept line to feature an interchangeable strap. The interchangeable strap system was directly coupled to the case and the folding clasp. Two other black rubber straps with contrasting yellow or red accents are available in boutiques. The new Concept creation costs 170,000 Swiss francs.


BRAND Audemars Piguet
MODEL Royal Oak Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT with Big Date
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 43 mm
Height: 17.4  mm
WATER RESISTANCE 50 m (~5 bar)
DIAL Open-worked dial display in nickel silver with black PVD coating and black inner bezel, applied indexes and Royal Oak hands in luminescent white gold.
STRAP/BRACELET Rubber strap in black and grey with AP folding clasp in titanium and exchange system. Additional interchangeable strap in black rubber.
MOVEMENT Calibre 4407
FREQUENCY 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
FUNCTIONS Flyback and drag hand chronograph, GMT 24 hrs, hours, minutes, small seconds and large date.
PRICE 170,000 CHF