Insider: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrono ref. 26320ST.OO.1220ST.02. Hands-on with the Most Versatile Royal Oak Chrono Out There.

While in the past, we have already brought you our in-depth hands-on reviews of several of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronographs, the silvered dial Royal Oak Chronograph ref. 26320ST.OO.1220ST.02 is one that deserves its own post as it is the most versatile Royal oak Chrono thanks to its clean year-round type of dial. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrono was first released in 1998 under the Audemars Piguet ref. 25860ST with a 39 mm case. Almost 20 years later, the Royal Oak Chrono continues to be one of the most iconic Royal Oaks out there and one that has seen no less than 12 references throughout its history.

For those of you interested in the previous hands-on reviews, you can find the one for the previous iteration of the Royal Oak Chrono ref. 26300ST with a 39 mm case here and for the latest iteration ref. 26320 with its 41 mm case and blue dial —boutique exclusive— here. Additionally, we also brought you the Royal Oak Chronograph ref. 26326ST Tribute to Italy here. Or just simply click on the images below to be redirected.

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The Dial & Case

While the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrono is still not an in-house chrono, this particular chronograph is one of the most beautiful chronos out there. The latest iteration of the Royal Oak Chrono maintains the same case design and finish as its predecessors but with a more robust 41 mm case diameter. When fitted with the silvered dial under the ref. 26320ST.OO.1220ST.02, this Royal Oak Chrono is one of the most versatile timepieces out there.

Its ‘Grande Tapisserie’ dial with a silvery/whitish color, clearly reflects the work of the talented and skillful hands that work at the manufacture back in Le Brassus in the Vallée de Joux. The dial, featuring the iconic ‘Clous de Paris’ guilloché motif of the legendary Royal Oak, features a clean uncluttered layout with contrasting textures on its chrono registers —snailing in the center and smooth borders—, making it perfectly suited for year-round wear and a perfect companion for casual or elegant outfits.

The dial, features applied baton markers, a 12-hour chrono register at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute chrono register at 3, a running seconds subdial at 6 and a handy date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock. All rounded out by the beautiful double baton at 12 o’clock, the white gold hands and the applied ‘AP’ logo also at 12.

The Bracelet

In our opinion, the Royal Oak bracelet is the best bracelet in the industry along with the Rolex Oyster bracelet, these two bracelets are without a doubt, two of the most iconic bracelets out there. What makes the Royal Oak bracelet so special is the way it’s constructed and the way it is polished. The bracelet is made up of a juxtaposition of small parts graduated by decreasing size into seven different sizes, alternating bracelet links and connecting studs. All links —including full and center links— are extremely solid and feature a satin brushed finish with highly polished chamfers to refract light in a beautiful and captivating way. Additionally, one just needs to hold this bracelet to feel its unmistakable satin grain texture unlike the finish of any other satin brushed bracelet out there.

The Movement

Sadly, the only bad thing about the Royal Oak Chrono ref. 26320ST.OO.1220ST.02 is that the movement is still not an in-house movement fully designed and developed by Audemars Piguet. Additionally, the Royal Oak Chrono features a solid case back that prevents the wearer to admire the beautiful movement inside. The beating heart in the Royal Oak Chrono is the automatic calibre 2385 based off of the legendary Frederic Piguet calibre 1185 —also used on the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph as caliber 1137 and the Breguet Marine Chronograph as calibre 576. This movement composed of 304 parts and 37 jewels,  still remains the thinnest automatic chronograph calibre ever made measuring only 5.5mm in thickness and providing a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, what can we tell you, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph ref. 26320ST.OO.1220ST.02 wears simply remarkably. The replica watch wears true to its size and slightly smaller than the Royal Oak ref. 15400 due to its thicker case construction. While the boutique exclusive blue dial Royal Oak Chronograph is without a doubt the most elegant one, the silvered dial we have here, offers the most versatility for every day wear with any type of outfit.

Sticker Price $23,900 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.