Audemars Piguet's new addition to the Royal Oak line is universal in its appeal

The Swiss horologer underlines the ‘royal’ in Royal Oak with the amethyst-studded 38-millimetre Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph

Audemars Piguet royal oak watch

If we had to describe Audemars Piguet’s new 38-millimetre Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph in a single word, it would have to be ‘dichotomy’. The sharp-as-ever octagonal bezel embedded with purple amethysts; the geometric dial pattern expressed with a PVD coating that shows off a range of colours; and the chronograph function in a watch size that’s suitable for more wrists than usual. Given these traits, the universal appeal of this new addition to the Royal Oak line is self-evident. By themselves, these contrasts may not be firsts, but combined as they are here, they form a watch that is a welcome deviation in a collection that generally skews understated.

Audemars Piguet royal oak watch

Thirty-two baguette-cut amethysts line the bezel of this 18-carat pink-gold watch—four to a side, if you’re doing the math. They share the stage with a uniquely designed dial. Audemars Piguet’s signature Tapisserie pattern can be seen in different sizes through its range—here, it’s the bigger-blocked Grande version— but the Swiss horologer has attempted a new presentation with what it calls a “chameleon” effect. Angle your watch to the light and it’ll show off a (limited) spectrum of colours.

On the inside, however, things are a little less adventurous as Audemars Piguet opts for the tried-and-tested calibre 2385 to power its self-winding chronograph, and offers a minimum power reserve of 40 hours and water resistance up to 50 metres. Which brings us back to the word we chose to describe this new 38-millimetre Royal Oak. The bold design choices on the outside might clash, for some people, with the conservative choices under the dial. And yet, for others, those conservative choices may provide just enough reassurance, and impetus, to take a bolder step with how they dress their wrist