Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual-Time 26120OR.OO.D002CR.01 Review
Presented as the “holy trinity” in the Swiss watch industry, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet are well-known names that have claimed this unofficial title.
Common for all three brands is that they are complex, exclusive, hard-to-get, feature advanced complications, and top-of-the-line finished watches to mention a few guiding stars. Often, this comes with an expensive price tag, however, it might not always seem to be the case, as there is one particular reference from the holy trinity that seems to be half-forgotten, which offers a lot of watch for the money, which includes many of the above-mentioned guiding stars when it comes to swiss watchmaking. Let’s take a deeper look at the Audemars Piguet 26120OR, often known as the Royal Oak Dual-Time.
The Audemars Piguet 26120OR is part of the Royal Oak model line, which perhaps is the most well-known model from Audemars Piguet.
This particular model features a pink gold case (also known as rose gold), a black stitched alligator strap, and a folding 18k pink gold clasp.
What’s interesting about the reference 26120OR is the busy dial, a complicated movement that offers a ton of complications which perhaps is the most eye-catching about the watch. The dial is black with the iconic Audemars Piguet Grande Tapisserie pattern. Now, let’s take a deeper look at the specifications of this watch, and an explanation of all the complications.
Caliber 2329 / 2846
This caliber’s base is a Jaeger Le-Coultre caliber 889, modified by Audemars Piguet. It is also used in other dual-time complication watches by Audemars Piguet, such as the references 26120 and 26380. The caliber used as the base is the Audemars Piguet modified caliber 2329 and has the module 2846 equipped on the movement.
Type of movement: Automatic
Number of Jewels: 33
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Frequency: 28800 VPH
Number of Parts: 261
The watch, as described above, features quite a lot of complications. Let’s take a deeper look at each complication and understand why this caliber and watch really is the pinnacle of Swiss watchmaking and why Audemars Piguet is seen as a brand that belongs to the holy trinity.
Power Reserve Indicator
The watch features a power reserve indicator, which can be quite useful considering the watch “only” has 38 hours of power reserve. This is actually rather unusual, as it is fairly low for being a mechanical watch by today’s standards.
However, considering all of the power that is required to power all the complications simultaneously, and the fact being that this watch is automatic, so while wearing the watch it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Also, the complication can actually become quite useful and fun to observe, as it is likely that the power reserve indicator will move and indicate the different power reserve hours throughout the day.
A power reserve indicator is just as the name suggests, a complication used to measure how many (in this particular case) hours of the power reserve remains before the watch mainspring is unloaded and stops ticking.
Dual Time Zone
The Dual time zone is the sub-dial positioned at the 6 o’clock position which indicates a desired second-time zone. Usually, this is set at the “base time” or “home time”, which would be the country you live in. This way, if you are out and traveling, setting the ordinary hands to a specific time zone, won’t affect this complication which makes it easy to access and keep track of the time zone back at home.
Day & Night Indicator
The circle on the left next to the dual time zone indicates whether it is 8 PM in the evening or 8 AM in the morning. When the hand is on the white half of the circle, the dual time zone which only indicated 12 hours, suggests that it is 24:00 – 12:00, and when the hand is pointing at the black side of the circle, the time indicated in the dual time zone complication would be from 12:01 – 23:59.
This way, it is easy to tell if it’s 08 AM or PM if you were to be in a completely different time zone where it might be night, whilst it’s daytime at home.
The sub-dial positioned at the 1-3 o’clock position is the date indicator, which, just as the name suggests, is where the indicator is. The date is determined by the local time (ordinary hands).
Sizing, Dimensions & Materials
Although the watch is rather complex with the different complications and the fact that the base movement caliber 2329 has the module 2846 equipped on top, the watch is actually not as big as you might think. It wears really comfortably, and with the black alligator leather strap, it can actually lean more towards a dressy watch that suits well for formal occasions, although the model itself is a sports model as Audemars Piguet presents it. Having said that, with the alligator leather strap together with the rose gold, we would more so call this a dress watch than a sports watch.
- Case diameter: 39mm.
- Thickness: 10.3mm.
- Strap: Black Alligator with Hand-stitched “large square scale” pattern.
- Glass: Sapphire.
- Water resistance: 50m (Not recommended to swim with).
- Dial: Black with Grande Tapisseries pattern, luminous hour markers.
- Hands: Luminous.
- Case Back: Solid 18k Pink Gold, unfortunately not a see-through case back as you might expect from a non-in-house movement.
- Case & Crown: 18K solid Pink Gold with White Gold Screws on the Bezel.
- Clasp: 18K Pink Gold Folding Clasp.
Our Editors’ Thoughts On The Watch
Considering this watch is in 18K gold, top of the line flagship model from Audemars Piguet, in an exclusive 18K pink gold material and a hand-stitched alligator strap, it’s actually fair to say that this watch at the point of this article being published, is fairly “affordable” compared to similar models not only from the brand, but also from competitors such as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.
At this point in time, this watch can be found in good condition and with box & papers for around 35.000 – 38.000 EUR. Seeing the complex watch you get, and having in mind that a 15300OR on a leather strap in a similar condition is being sold for more or less the same amount of money, it’s quite hard to understand why the Audemars Piguet 26120OR is not priced higher on the second-hand market.
With that said, although it can be considered a lot of money, the watch is fairly “affordable” for what you get. Great value for money in other words!
Below are some wrist shots of the beautiful Audemars Piguet 26120OR on an 18cm wrist. Enjoy!