IN-DEPTH: How Are The Dials Of The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Made?

IN-DEPTH: How Are The Dials Of The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Made?

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IN-DEPTH: How Are The Dials Of The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Made?

  • SIHH is just 10 days away, and the story of this year's show will likely be the 40th anniversary of Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak. While the famed ultra-thin movement (the thinnest in the world with a full rotor), the amazing Genta design, the incredible finishing on the stainless steel case, the fact that the watch essentially created the luxury sport watch category are all great things, the one thing most often overlooked is the unique design to the Royal Oak's dial.

    Since the very first Royal Oak was sold to the Shah of Iran, and those 1000 A-Series pieces left Le Brassus, they featured dials with a tapisserie pattern on them, a weaving pattern that forms the square and lozenge motif that captures the light and accentuates the timepiece s "geometric relief." 

    But just how exactly is this pattern created? Well, AP has been subcontracting replica omega speedmaster the production of its Royal Oak dials to one famed dial manufacture all the way from the beginning - Stern Creations. Stern probably sounds familiar to you. That's because it was founded by the Stern Familiy, the family that would later go on to purchase a little Geneva watchmaker called Patek Philippe. Stern Creations founder Henri Stern is also known on HODINKEE as the grower of one super mean mustache.

    But the dialwork on the RO's is special. The patten has become all but iconic, and it was later adopted and enlarged for use in the Offshore series. But, the creation replica tag heuer monaco of this pattern is done with the help of some not-so-high-tech machines, a burin and a pantograph. A burin is a simple chisel, and a pantograph is a mechanical linkage system that allows for copying and tracing using a system of parallelograms that dates to 1603. They work just like this:

    On one side of the pantograph is an oversized model for the Royal Oak's tapisserie pattern, and on the other side is the burin pointed towards the blank, brass dial. The pantograph follows mold at left, and at right, the fine pattern is created on the Royal Oaks' dial. 

    The motif engraving takes between 20 and 50 minutes for each dial, and the engraving happens from the outside in. Considering how small a dial is, this is a very delicate process, and a small skip will mean scrapping the entire dial. The process emits a gentle ticking, and as the engraving moves towards the center of the dial, the speed of the ticking gets gradually more rapid.

    Most http://www.attrinity.com/hublot-big-bang-watches-for-sale.html of the RO dials are, as mentioned above, created by Stern (who also make dials for a lot of the brands you know and love), but AP's factory in Le Brassus does have a few pantograph machines of their own that are used to produce service dials, when necessary. These below in the first picture, for example, were made in Le Brassus by AP, while those in the second picture were made by Stern. Can you tell the difference?

    After the dials are cut using this centuries-old machine, they are sent off for painting and finishing, and finally end up on the case of the Royal Oak! Pretty cool, no?

IN-DEPTH: How Are The Dials Of The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Made?

IN-DEPTH: How Are The Dials Of The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Made?
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Advertiser An Individual

Local Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Published 04/03/2015 07:42:06

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