A Dual Time Royal Oak
Shortly after the original Royal Oak 5402, Audemars Piguet experimented with integrating a range of complications within its iconic, angular case. From the mighty perpetual calendar to a range of chronographs, they repurposed the design to fit a wide range of functions, catering to consumer’s evolving tastes and appetite for variety. Having first developed the dual time functionality for an earlier reference, Audemars Piguet decided to marry this practical complication with their increasingly popular Royal Oak silhouette in 1992. However, it was confined to a 36mm case for quite a while, as this size was favoured by a wider range of clients at the time.
However, Audemars Piguet eventually integrated the complication into their “Jumbo” Royal Oak case, with this reference, the 26120. Classically sized, at 39mm in diameter, it resembles the original proportions of the ref. 5402, within a more contemporary design. Featuring a date, dual-time and power reserve functionality, the model was discontinued around 2015. Bearing some resemblance to the dial layout of Patek Philippe's Nautilus 5712, it retains legibility and balance, despite the wealth of information displayed.
The dial of this Royal Oak 26120ST is rendered in a shiny black colour, which wonderfully complements the stainless steel case and bracelet. Not typically used within the Royal Oak family, the black dial is deep and legible, enhancing the varied reflections and textures of the case. The dial integrates a range of different finishing techniques, with the lightly recessed subdials standing out against the "Grande Tapisserie" pattern.
The different complications are displayed throughout, with the date function at 2 o'clock, the second timezone at 6 o'clock, and the power reserve indication at 9 o'clock. A day and night indicator is also conveniently included, overlapping with the second timezone sub-dial. Subtle red accents are included throughout, bringing a welcome touch of colour to the design. The "Audemars Piguet" signature is discretely nestled at the top of the dial. The white gold applied hour-markers and the distinctive Royal Oak hands are filled with luminescent material, for added legibility.
The case and bracelet are excellently finished, with angular, bevelled and polished edges throughout. The polished screws, bezel and case edges contrast with the brushed surface of the case and bracelet, creating a distinctive effect on the wrist. At 39mm in diameter, and only 10.3mm thick, the case proportions remain relatively restrained, despite the additional complications. In fact, it is only around 3mm thicker than the Royal Oak 15202, one of the brand's most sought-after modern offerings.
This Royal Oak Dual Time 26120ST is powered by the self-winding calibre 2329/2846. This automatic calibre features 33 working jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 VpH, while delivering 40 hours of power reserve.
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time 26120ST is accompanied by its outer box, inner wooden box, instruction manual, and Certificate of Origin. The piece was first sold in Eye Jewellery Umaki, in Japan, in 2008. The stainless steel bracelet features 22 links, including 8 removable ones.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this Royal Oak 26120ST will be subject to 20% VAT. Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.