Most recently, as part of replica Audemars Piguet’s ongoing celebration of the Royal Oak’s 50th birthday, this is the new Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Ultra-Thin RD#3, which has a very purple dial. While this is far from the first time the brand has equipped the Royal Oak with a purple dial, the dial isn’t the only change to the RD#3 platform.
As Mark teased when he introduced the 39mm blue dial 26670 in April, the new 26660ST has a metallic purple dial wrapped in a 37mm steel case. The new 37mm model maintains the same 8.1mm thickness as the 39mm RD#3, is water resistant to 50 meters and comes on a steel bracelet with the standard AP folding clasp.
The movement is also found in an earlier release this year, AP’s ultra-thin (just 3.4 mm) automatic calibre 2968, which beats at 3 Hz and offers a 50-hour power reserve. You can watch lovely titanium flying tourbillon flush to 6 on the dial.
Audemars Piguet calls the dial colour “plum”, and the 26660 features a small checkered pattern with white gold luminous hour markers and hands. The back of these best replica watches have display that reveals the 50th-anniversary rotor design. Audemars Piguet’s new RD#3 will retail for $165,400, and while it is not a limited edition, production is certainly limited and will be few and far between.
For Audemars Piguet enthusiasts and speculators alike, the RD collection (for Research and Development) represents the essence of Audemars Piguet’s work on the Royal Oak. Offering the RD#3 in 37mm is a huge vote of confidence in Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak size, which has become a sweet spot on the same scale as the Jumbo.
While I will probably always love the look and high level of execution of the 2018 RD#2, a 41mm perpetual platinum calendar fake watch with a crisp modern dial design and a case that is only 6.3mm thick, but the RD#3 does feel more like the heart of the Royal Oak. Maybe it’s because it starts with the Jumbo profile, or maybe it’s because both 26670 and 26660 are made of steel, but both feel like Royal Oaks that have been around for a while, albeit as special creations.
While I don’t think I’d go so far as to call a bright purple dial and tourbillon equipped Royal Oak subtle, in the world of Royal Oaks, the RD#3s manages to fit in nicely and add a bit of “if you know, you know” appeal.
An extension of RD#3, this new variant is more than just a new dial colour. With its smaller case – and plum colour – RD#3 26660 has a unique appeal that complements the previously released 39mm model while continuing with a special model for the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak collection.