The Audemars Piguet Escapement
Invented by Robert Robin in 1791, the Robin escapement intended to combine the best qualities of two types of escapements: the détente escapement and the Swiss lever escapement. However, due to the limitations of technology of the period, Robin was unable to achieve the precision required to execute his idea. A breakthrough was finally made in 1999, when Audemars Piguet redesigned the system and eventually released it within a watch in 2006, in the form of the Tradition d’Excellence No.5.
An escapement keeps time by tracking the number of oscillations the balance and spring assembly make. The most important part of this system is that the balance wheel interacts directly with the escape wheel, while the lever is only involved in locking and unlocking the escape wheel, resulting in less energy being lost, and an increase in timekeeping precision.
The movement used within this Audemars Piguet Chronometer is the calibre 2908, a COSC-Certified Swiss Chronometer, a test that requires the watch to retain its precision with an allowed variation of up to 10 seconds per day. The watch is also fitted with a double hairspring, positioned on top of each other to reduce any errors.
An 'In-House' Creation
This watch combines the know-how of two distinct manufacturers, which then became one - Audemars Piguet and Renaud et Papi. Audemars Piguet's relationship with this legendary manufacturer stretches back to when the founders, Dominique Renaud and Giulio Papi met whilst working at the brand. The two then peeled off to start their own eponymous brand, Renaud et Papi, taking work from prestigious brands and becoming the place where many watchmakers, such as Greubel and Forsey, Bart Grönefeld, and Stepan Sarpaneva got their start.
But much later, in their quest for funding, the business allowed Audemars Piguet to purchase a majority stake in the business, in turn allowing the brand to take advantage of the business' expertise and skill. Audemars Piguet would eventually own most of the business in 2000 after Dominique Renaud left, and reflected this change in 2003, when their name switched to Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP). Released in 2009, this watch then marks an almost entirely in-house creation, merging tradition with a cutting-edge approach.
Renaud et Papi have long been known for their experimental style and their ethos, which seeks to push the boundaries of complicated watches. It stands to reason that this Jules Audemars Chronometer represents part of their quest for innovation, remaining both technically and visually outstanding.
This Audemars Piguet Chronometer boasts an openworked dial that showcases the two wheels, with the part-skeletonisation giving the piece a sense of depth and detail. The primary dial and secondary sub-dial are slightly elevated above the face, and both dials are made of black enamel, in stark contrast to the rose gold case and accents on the rest of the face.
The hour dial makes use of white Roman numerals, and has a chapter ring surrounding it, with red accents marking off each hour. Meanwhile, the seconds sub-dial allows the user to track the exact time down to the millisecond, with a red-tipped rose gold hand that is a nod to the more traditional style of a chronometer.
The openworked areas of the dial feature a combination of brushed and polished surfaces, allowing for the interplay of light across the face at different angles. Additionally, the arrangement of the wheels and gears give this piece an especially balanced, symmetrical look that is in keeping with its penchant for precision.
This Audemars Piguet Chronometer is powered by the calibre 2908, a beautifully finished movement that can be viewed through the sapphire caseback, and which makes use of a dual-balance spring that regulates the watch and compensates for errors. The movement operates at 43,200 vph (6 Hz), and there is no lubrication present between the pallets, reducing the services needed for the watch. The watch also has 72 hours of power reserve.
This Audemars Piguet Chronometer comes with its outer and inner box and is accompanied by its COSC certificate, in addition to instructions for use detailing the inner workings of the escapement, and a certificate of guarantee.