Forged carbon for the case. The Tourbillon, Chronograph Royal Oak Concept Carbon is based on the Royal Oak Concept model brought out in 2002 for the 30th
anniversary of the Royal Oak collect ion. Aiming for lightness and sturdiness, its designers preferred a very dense carbon (52% fibres) to either titanium or platinum. The nanofibres of this ultra-light material are not woven but compressed with a particular polymer at a temperature of around 240°C and a pressure of 7.5 tons per cm². The product of this technology is a carbon watchcase that is remarkably lightweight, sturdy and hard. Light yet rigid, the resulting compressed molecular structure makes this material extremely strong mechanically and exceptionally stable in resisting thermal shocks.
Eloxed aluminium, PVD, amorphous carbon and ceramics
The Tourbillon, Chronograph Royal Oak Concept Carbon pioneers in the use of these new materials, widely used in the aviation and motor industries.
The mainplate is made of green aluminium that has been sapphire-blasted and eloxed to prevent direct contact between the chronograph components and the carbon.
The bridges are made of nickel silver with a black PVD coating while the power-reserve cone is clad in amorphous carbon coating that gives the material extraordinarily high resistance to wear.
Research work in another f ield led to the development of innovative ceramics. For the bezel, crown and pushpieces, Audemars Piguet selected a ceramic material with very specific physical properties. The ceramic has undergone particularly delicate treatments calling on all the knowhow of the Manufacture’s engineers and watchmakers. The essential qualities of this technical ceramic are its tremendous resistance to friction and wear and its exceptionally smooth final finish.
Of course, other materials are also used to make the various parts that make up the movement. Yet what makes this watch truly outstanding are the different treatments applied to these visible parts : some are hand-drawn and polished, others are eloxed (an oxidation process to colour and protect aluminium), sapphire-blasted to obtain a smooth surface or coated with black PVD to increase scratch resistance.
These finishes also give The Tourbillon, Chronograph Royal Oak Concept Carbon a sporty, contemporary look.
Thanks to Laurent Picciotto et all Chronopassion team.
Thierry Castagna / The Watch Quote™
Photos Luc Virginius