In Mini mode, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Mini

Watches this year seem to have followed Alice and drank the same potion. Diameters shrank and display now miniature mensuration extremely desirable for delicate wrists. For Audemars Piguet’s icon, the rule applies as well. Designed by the talented Gérald Genta, the Royal Oak is downsized to an elegant 23 mm and adorns itself with Frosted Gold, more ravishing than ever.

By Chloé Redler

The Royal Oak Mini, time set in a jewel

A legacy of miniaturization

This is not the first time that small watches are ticking with the big ones. The new Frosted Gold Quartz Mini Royal Oak is none other than the worthy heir of the miniature watches created by the manufacture since the 19th century. 

The Royal Oak Mini Frosted Gold Quartz, worthy heir of Audemars Piguet’s small watches.

Destined to be fitted in pendants, pins or rings, their innovative movements for the time were the premisses for Audemars Piguet of the infinitely small quest. The birth in 1921 of the world’s smallest 5-minute repeater movement, the 7MV5 Calibre (15.8 mm) and the one in 1927 of the 5/6SB Calibre – the smallest baguette-type movement of the Maison (15.9 x 5.8 x 3.3 mm) – enabled the creation of wristwatches and pendants.

A historic turning point

Yet, the true revolution came with the amazing Gérald Genta who designed the iconic Royal Oak in 1972. A few years later, in 1976, destiny took matters into its hands and relayed the watch into the hands of Head of Product Design, Jacqueline Dimier. While keeping the aesthetic codes of the original piece, the Royal Oak II got slimer with a 29 mm diameter. Thanks to the miniaturization of quartz movements many references with reduced mensuration followed: 26 mm (1980), 24.5 mm (1986), 20 mm (1977).

The miniaturization experienced a turning point moment with the creation of the Royal Oak in 1972 by Gérald Genta.

“These mini creations pay tribute not only to Audemars Piguet’s long tradition of miniature and jewellery watches, but also to the women who have left their mark on the history of the brand, including Jacqueline Dimier to whom we owe the first Royal Oak for women, and Carolina Bucci, the mastermind behind the Frosted Gold finish.”
Audemars Piguet CEO, Ilaria Resta.

The Royal Oak Mini, an icy Queen

Today, Audemars Piguet manufacture proudly introduces a quartz miniature Royal Oak breathtaking trio of only 23 mm wide and 6.6 mm thick. In 18-carats yellow gold, rose gold or white gold, these watches distinguish themselves all dressed in their Frosted Gold.

The Royal Oak Mini Frosted Gold Quartz, a blurred line between jewellery and watchmaking.

Coming from a Florentine ancestral technique, the finish blurs the lines between jewellery and watchmaking with its shining and shimmering gold. Reimagined in 2016 by jewellery designer Carolina Bucci, this remarkable savoir-faire consists in creating tiny indentations on the gold surface with a diamond-tipped tool. The numerous repetitions of indentations create a striking illusion of a diamond snow setting.

The Frosted Gold elegantly contrasts with the polished bevelling of the bezel and the bracelet’s links.

Curiously soft to the touch, the minuscule relief brightly shines like diamond dust. This light show contrasts with the polished surfaces of the octagonal bezel’s bevelling – with six perfectly aligned screws – and the built-in bracelet’s links. The alternation of polish, satin finish and sandblasting highlights a dial with a tone-on-tone Petite Tapisserie pattern. For the astute eye, the small squares of the pattern display a circular print. The dial is punctuated as well with matching gold faceted index. Coated in luminescent matter, they share the show with the black Audemars Piguet signature at 12 o’clock.

The Royal Oak Mini Frosted Gold Quartz, highly feminine and desirable.

A dedicated calibre

The Maison placed at the heart of this Royal Oak Mini a quartz movement. The 2730 Calibre, highly efficient in this size category, is equipped with a power reserve of seven years. It is also equipped with a “switch” which by simply pulling on the crown deactivates the watch and thus saves on battery.

The case back is ornate with sandblasted, satin-finished and polished surfaces.

With their highly desirable and charming demeanour, this is not the only time you will hear about the Royal Oak Mini. Each more creative than the other, they already sparked our curiosity and our impatience. We are eager to see more variations…


Click here to read the full Royal Oak Mini Frosted Gold Quartz technical sheet.


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