Released just one year after the concept watch RD#2 was produced, this Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin reference 26586* was the thinnest perpetual calendar watch in the year 2018. The watch innovates the perpetual calendar movement by rearranging and condensing its structure to achieve an overall thickness of just 6.3mm.
The concept of an ultra-thin, automatic perpetual calendar seems like an obvious one in classic watchmaking – pairing one of the most prestigious complications with a convenient winding system and a slim, discrete profile. However, it would take the complete disruption of the industry, with the advent of the Quartz Crisis, for it to appear. Once the first one was released, it spawned an entire category, which feels distinctly its own.
Perpetual calendars were nothing new to Audemars Piguet. They had been making them in wristwatch form as far back as 1948, with the reference 5516. Apart from being the first in the trilogy, the Quantième Perpetuel stands out for being the most experimental of the perpetual calendars released during this period, with the brand producing an incredibly rich array of variations. Beyond the classic shape, Audemars Piguet also experimented with different types of case designs. For example, they integrated the perpetual calendar movement into their Royal Oak, combining their innovations from 1976 and 1978.