5 Apr 2022 By Betty Chung

Audemars Piguet unveils the New Royal Oak RD#3

Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet proudly unveils its latest research and development breakthrough (RD#3) with the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin. This 39 mm stainless steel anniversary model, measuring 8.1 mm in thickness, represents the first “Jumbo” in history to be equipped with a selfwinding flying tourbillon. It is powered by the Manufacture’s new selfwinding ultra-thin flying tourbillon movement, Calibre 2968, measuring just 3.4 mm thick and adorned with a novel combination of traditional and contemporary hand-crafted decorations. Audemars Piguet’s watchmakers have met several technical challenges to bring this timepiece to life, while devoting particular attention to aesthetic details. Pushing the boundaries of feasibility, this model will be complemented in September by a second 37 mm version for the slimmer wrists, enriched with a dial of a different hue.


At the heart of this new innovation is Calibre 2968, an ultra-thin selfwinding flying tourbillon movement that was developed over a five-year period. Audemars Piguet’s engineers and watchmakers took on numerous challenges in order to accommodate this complication – previously reserved for 41 mm diameters – into the smaller volume of a “Jumbo:” a first for the Manufacture and one of the rare examples in the watch industry as a whole. Given the extra-thin nature of the form language, this selfwinding flying tourbillon had to be creatively rethought to reduce the thickness required to house this complication by repositioning certain components. The tourbillon cage, which is crafted in titanium, is notably equipped for the first time with a peripheral drive.[1] The combination of these two elements not only makes the distribution of energy to the tourbillon more fluid, but also served to lighten and refine this regulating organ.

In order to provide optimum visibility of the tourbillon and the movement, Audemars Piguet engineers completely redesigned the architecture of the mechanism. The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin features a new escapement to accentuate the aesthetic details while revealing part of the movement’s workings. The geometry and positioning of the balance wheel arms have notably been revised in such a way as to make the watch’s beating heart even more perceptible. The technical design of the movement results in the flying tourbillon being placed at the dial level, for a greater visual experience.

The hand decoration of the movement components, visible through the sapphire caseback, combines the dynamism and classicism of V-angles with the modernity of traits tirés – a finish that appears on the mainplate and bridges and replaces the traditional Côtes de Genève. The openworked, rhodium-toned bridges offer an unobstructed view, contrasting with the pink-gold-toned colour of certain mechanism elements.

The tourbillon cage’s peripheral drive enables to reduce the tourbillon’s thickness and gain a level, thus making it possible to fit it into the extra-thin “Jumbo” case. This solution also improves energy transmission as the smaller angular pitch provides more constant energy distribution.

“The Royal Oak continues to evolve and cut through the timeline 50 years after its creation and will do so for the next 50 years and beyond. It remains a platform for both technical and aesthetic development, as demonstrated by the new ultra-thin flying tourbillon making its debut on both the classic 39 mm and the celebrated 37 mm Royal Oak models. The movement architecture was designed to offer a unique view of the smaller cage while showcasing an engaging contrast of hand-finishing techniques throughout. ”

Michael Friedman

Head of Complications


The new RD#3 remains true to the aesthetic codes of the iconic “Jumbo” models. The stainless steel case and bracelet feature the collection’s signature satin-brushed and polished hand finishes, while the timepiece is graced with a Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50 Petite Tapisserie dial which pays tribute to the original model. The colour is obtained using a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) process that guarantees a uniform and lasting tone across all the dials.

Just as on the 1972 model, this new “Jumbo” reference is distinguished by bathtub-shaped hour-markers and hands filled with luminescent material to ensure optimal readability in the dark. The Audemars Piguet signature, like the minute track, is printed in white on the Tapisserie motif. The titanium flying tourbillon cage rotating at 6 o’clock stands out against the blue Tapisserie backdrop to create an airy effect.

Contrary to the original model, the contemporary version is endowed with a sapphire caseback, which reveals the new ultra-thin movement and the dedicated oscillating weight.


The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin features a central oscillating weight mounted on ball bearings and equipped with two reversers[1] that ensure bidirectional winding. The timepiece is fitted with the dedicated anniversary openworked oscillating weight in rhodium-toned 22-carat pink gold, which bears the “50-years” logo and the Audemars Piguet signature engraved on its surface. Matching the tones of the stainless steel case and bracelet, it is also adorned with the collection’s trademark polished and satin-brushed finishes.


In 1986, Audemars Piguet introduced the world’s first selfwinding tourbillon wristwatch. Imagined by Jacqueline Dimier, the design placed the tourbillon escapement on the dial side for the very first time. Calibre 2870 is housed in an ultra-thin case measuring a mere 5.3 mm thick. Its titanium tourbillon cage remains one of the smallest in the world today with a diameter of 7.2 mm, as well as one of the lightest with a weight of only 0.123 grams. This model became known as the Tourbillon Selfwinding Ra (in reference to the Egyptian sun god) because Jacqueline Dimier’s design gave the tiny regulator the appearance of a sun, with its rays spreading across the dial. This complicated wristwatch, of which 401 were produced until 1992, opened up a new avenue for Haute Horlogerie, which began to see a comeback of prestigious mechanisms including tourbillon watches.

Thirty years after Jacqueline Dimier’s model, the Manufacture, known for its ability to innovate, launched a series of Research and Development models. In 2015, Audemars Piguet revealed its first RD#1 Royal Oak Concept Minute Repeater Supersonnerie prototype at SIHH, after eight years of research in partnership with EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and a panel of experts composed of watchmakers, engineers, musicians and sound specialists. This watch marked a significant step forward in terms of acoustic performance, sound amplification and sonic beauty, with the launch of the Supersonnerie mechanism.

This system, for which three patents were filed, combines a novel chiming mechanism with an innovative case construction. The commercial Royal Oak Concept Minute Repeater Supersonnerie version, which followed one year later, won the “Mechanical Exception Watch Prize” at the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

In 2019, Audemars Piguet unveiled a new innovation with its 41 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin, whose prototype was presented a year earlier at SIHH under the name RD#2. This 6.3 mm-thick calendar watch houses a movement that is only 2.89 mm thick, making it the world’s thinnest automatic calendar wristwatch of its time. To achieve this feat, the calendar functions usually mounted on three levels were brought together on a single plane. The experts at the Manufacture also developed two patented innovations relating to the integration of the end-of-month cam with the date wheel and the association of the month cam with the month wheel. Marking a turning point in the history of complication watches, the Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin earned Audemars Piguet the “Aiguille d’Or” award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in November 2019.

This year, the Manufacture’s latest technical advance, the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin, follows in the footsteps of previous innovations. This RD#3 timepiece, powered by the new Calibre 2968, combines technical innovation and aesthetic refinement to pay a fine tribute to the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary.

“Born in Le Brassus, raised around the world.”

愛彼傳奇ROYAL OAK皇家橡樹系列50週年


4月布拉蘇絲訊瑞士高級製錶品牌愛彼推出引以為榮的最新研發成果RD#3腕錶。此Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列超薄飛行陀飛輪自動上鍊腕錶為週年紀念款之一,採用直徑39毫米的精鋼錶殼,厚度僅有8.1毫米,成為史上第一款配備陀飛輪的「Jumbo」超薄腕錶。伴隨此鉅作首度亮相的全新愛彼自製2968機芯厚度僅有3.4毫米,堪稱「極薄」陀飛輪自動上鍊機芯,兼具傳統及當代手工裝飾。愛彼製錶師克服了多項技術挑戰,同時一如既往地講究每個外觀細節,造就這件傑作。此外,RD#3腕錶還將繼續突破極限,於今年九月為手腕較纖細的人士推出37毫米版本,並搭配色彩不同的錶面。



愛彼工程師重新設計整個機芯架構,令陀飛輪與機芯細節更加醒目。Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列超薄飛行陀飛輪自動上鍊腕錶具備全新擒縱系統以強調所有細節的精修裝飾,並將部分機芯輪系呈現在觀者眼前。擺輪輪幅的幾何造型與位置亦經調整,讓腕錶「心臟」的律動盡收眼底。技術設計令飛行陀飛輪宛如懸浮於錶面,帶來更具震撼力的視覺體驗。

透過藍寶石水晶玻璃底蓋,可鑑賞機芯零件的手工精修裝飾,將動感十足的經典倒角打磨與富有現代感的traits tirés紋飾相結合。後者妝點主機板與夾板,取代傳統的日內瓦波紋。鍍銠鏤空夾板讓觀者飽覽機芯內部美景,色調與玫瑰金色零件形成鮮明對比。

Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列問世50年後依然繼續進化與挑戰成規,其演進發展的腳步在將來的50年也不會停歇。此系列為技術與設計的開發提供源源不絕的靈感,將超薄飛行陀飛輪納入直徑39毫米『Jumbo』腕錶及37毫米款式的全新力作就是最佳明證。機芯架構的設計開創了欣賞小尺寸陀飛輪的獨特視野,同時展現富有對比的手工精修裝飾。」

Michael Friedman




全新RD#3腕錶秉承經典「Jumbo」超薄腕錶的設計特徵。精鋼錶殼及鍊帶經系列經典手工霧面打磨與亮面拋光交錯裝飾,搭配「雲夜藍50」色調及「Petite Tapisserie」小型格紋錶面,向Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列原創款致敬。此特殊藍色採用PVD(物理氣相沉積)塗層技術製作,確保所有錶面色澤一致並持久不褪。



ROYAL OAK皇家橡樹系列50週年專屬自動盤

Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列超薄飛行陀飛輪自動上鍊腕錶的中央自動盤架設於滾珠軸承之上,利用兩個轉換器[1]進行雙向自動上鍊。這款鏤空銠色調22K玫瑰金自動盤專為慶祝Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列50週年而開發,刻有50週年logo以及愛彼logo。自動盤與精鋼錶殼及鍊帶色調一致,並同樣具備系列標誌性的亮面拋光與霧面打磨交錯裝飾。


1986年,愛彼推出世界第一款自動上鍊陀飛輪腕錶。出自Jacqueline Dimier筆下的設計,首次將陀飛輪的擒縱系統設於腕錶正面。這款2870機芯珍藏於厚度僅有5.3毫米的極薄錶殼中,其鈦金屬陀飛輪迄今仍是世界上最小(直徑7.2毫米)與最輕(0.123克)的陀飛輪之一。 由於Jacqueline Dimier設計的微小陀飛輪渾似一顆小太陽,向錶面釋放光芒,因此這款腕錶以「Râ陀飛輪自動上鍊腕錶」之名傳世(Râ是古埃及太陽神)。這款複雜功能腕錶直至1992年共生產401枚,為高級製錶業開闢了新的發展空間,陀飛輪等頂尖機制復興的熱潮隨之掀起。

Jacqueline Dimier的傑作問世30年後,素以創新能力著稱的愛彼陸續發表一系列研發(RD)款式。2015年於SIHH推出第一款RD#1原型,取名為Royal Oak Concept皇家橡樹概念系列超問錶。此腕錶是愛彼聯手瑞士洛桑聯邦理工學院(EPFL)以及由製錶師、工程師、音樂家與聲響專家組成的研究團隊歷時八年的研究成果,搭載超問技術[2]。擁有三項專利的技術結合報時機制與創新的錶殼結構,在聲學性能、報時音量與悅耳音聲三方面取得顯著的進展。愛彼先在日內瓦國際鐘錶展發表RD#1腕錶,隨後於2016年推出其可銷售的版本Royal Oak Concept皇家橡樹概念系列超問錶,一舉贏得日內瓦鐘錶大賞「非凡機械腕錶獎」。

2019年,直徑41毫米的Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列自動上鍊極薄萬年曆腕錶問世,其創新原型是於2018年日內瓦國際高級鐘錶展推出的RD#2腕錶。其錶殼厚度縮減至6.30毫米,搭載厚度僅有2.89毫米的機芯,成為當時世界上最纖薄的自動上鍊萬年曆腕錶。為取得這項重大突破,錶廠專家將萬年曆模組的結構從三層減為一層,並開發出兩項創新專利技術:將月末凸輪併入日期輪,同時將月份凸輪併入月份輪。2019年11月,Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列自動上鍊極薄萬年曆腕錶榮獲日內瓦鐘錶大賞「金指針獎」,為新一代複雜功能腕錶開創新格局。

今年,愛彼最新技術進展伴隨Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列超薄飛行陀飛輪自動上鍊腕錶而揭曉。RD#3腕錶追隨前兩件創新大作的腳步,集創新技術與精緻設計於一身並搭載全新2968機芯,以纖薄的身姿慶祝Royal Oak皇家橡樹系列50週年。

「Born in Le Brassus, raised around the world.」