From the mid-1970’s and all the way through to the late 1980’s, Audemars Piguet used a host of different methods to make its watches more exciting – mesh bracelets, link bracelets and specially hammered gold bracelets that gave a textured appeal to the timepiece. Perhaps those hammered gold watches were the inspiration for the new Audemars Piguet 40th Anniversary Frosted Gold Royal Oak watches from Audemars Piguet unveiled earlier this year at SIHH. Truth be told, though, those early hammered gold watches were not as sophisticated in looks as the new “Frosted Gold” watches, but they are hammered.
In fact, back in 1976, the brand’s top designer, Jacqueline Dimier, interpreted the Royal Oak for women for the first time. Now, the brand once again partners with a woman for the anniversary pieces. Smartly, they went to the mecca of gold jewelry design, Italy, and turned to Florence-based Carolina Bucci to create a new finish for the anniversary Royal Oak watches for women. Though the concept has been extended to Frosted Gold Royal Oaks of larger size so that men could also indulge in the shimmering textured appeal of the timepieces.
Much like her colleague jewelers in Florence, where the technique of offering Florentine (hammered) Gold was perfected more a century and a half ago, Carolina Bucci has developed a special technique for hammering gold wherein she makes every tiny indentation by hand, working with a diamond-tipped tool to create the “frosted” effect. The anniversary collection includes rose gold and white gold versions. While the smaller, 33mm-sized watches are powered by quartz movements, the larger siblings house mechanical calibers.