It may not be quite as complicated as some of their minute-repeater or tourbillon pieces but this gorgeous COSC certified chronometer from Audemars Piguet’s Jules Audemars collection certainly looks the part. First introduced in 2009, the ChronAP is powered by the in-house Calibre 2908, a high-frequency movement that beats at 43,200 vibrations per hour and features a lubrication free escapement.
One of the first things to strike you about the dial is just how attractive it is to look at. At first I thought it was just the clean lines and good use of contrasting color but then I realized what was really attracting my eye was the perfectly symmetrical layout. The effect is subtle at first but once you become aware of it, it is almost overt and you can’t but help admiring how balanced everything feels.
I think the AP designers and engineers have been especially clever here, finding ways to incorporate the key components of the movement, namely the escapement and double barrel spring, into the dial layout without making them the primary focus of attention. It’s almost a subtle acknowledgement that whilst this piece has been designed largely to showcase the technical prowess of the high-frequency Calibre 2908, its owner still wants to be able to read the time easily and look good doing it.
The case, offered in pink gold or platinum, is undeniably on the large side at 46mm, however this allows for perfect spacing across the dial, critical to achieving that symmetry I was talking about earlier (and it’s necessary to accommodate the 40mm movement). Look on the bright side though, a watch this striking is likely to draw a crowd of admirers everywhere you go, so I’m sure the slightly larger size will be appreciated by those trying to get a good look from further away.
The indications are relatively simple, with hours and minutes shown on the top sub-dial, whilst seconds are shown on the bottom. To maintain the sense of symmetry a power-reserve indicator placed at seven o’clock counter-balances the placement of the AP escapement at four o’clock, and keeps you apprised of how long before the 90-hour power reserve runs out.
The movement itself is manually wound and as I mentioned before is a COSC certified chronometer, meaning that it is not only visually appealing but also highly precise. The finishing on both the dial and the movement itself is extremely well done, without being excessive and the attention to detail is evident everywhere you look.
The Final Word
When the Jules Audemars Chronometer was first released pricing for the Platinum model was around US$350,000. I’m not sure if there has been much change since but I have to say this certainly seems a bit on the high side given that it doesn’t feature any additional complications. That being said, the ChronAP – as it’s more affectionately known – does offer a very attractive, technically advanced alternative for those who want something little more distinctive hanging from their wrist.
For more information please visit the official Audemars Piguet website: www.audemarspiguet.com