While we get access to some pretty special cars, bottles of whisky, and watches here at Man of Many, it’s not every day you get to spend a few hours up close and personal with some of the rarest and most sought-after new models from Audemars Piguet. And it’s a particularly special occasion when the vast majority of those watches are Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 67656 references.
Not only are some of these pieces worth upwards of AUD$100,000, but they represent the pinnacle of what it means to be very successful. So what’s it like to wear these watches? Do you feel like you made it? If you’re fortunate enough to buy one, should you? We put them on the wrist to find out.
First off the rank is the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-thin ref. 16202 with the new blue grained dial. Powered by the Calibre 7121 movement – introduced back in January 2022 for the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak – it’s one of the most perfectly executed pieces we’ve ever had the pleasure of putting on the wrist.
It starts with the 39mm white gold case. Comfortable, perfectly balanced, and matched with a hardly believable 8.1mm thickness. In the modern tie-less era of business casual, it’s the ultimate timepiece. Sliding under a white business shirt during the week, a linen shirt on the weekend, or paired with a polo shirt on the tennis court, we could see ourselves wearing this piece every day.
Beyond the integrated links on the white gold bracelet, the blue grained dial is the standout. With details that hark back to 1992 and the 20th anniversary of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 67656 (reference 14802), it’s best seen in dimmer natural light. The way in which even the smallest amounts of light reflects off the dial is hard to explain. We chose to photograph these in darker conditions to test the theory, and you’ll notice that you can still make out the details in the background of the date window. Individual grains shine like stars and with the addition of a white gold case and bracelet, the contrast adds the right amount of modernity to this timeless piece.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 67656 Chronograph. This is a watch that is so known to many of you, it may not need much of an analysis – but this is HODINKEE and you can believe you’re gonna get one. The Royal Oak Chronograph is a watch that has thousands of lovers the world over, and a few detractors, too. The ROC, as I’ll call it henceforth, is something of a middle ground between two completely distinct Audemars Piguet buyers – the collectors, and, well, everyone else. The Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore families often appeal to very different people, but I’ll get to that shortly. In this review, I tackle a mainstay in the AP lineup, and an interesting piece of haute horology, though one without its own in-house movement. I will look at how this 41mm column-wheel, vertical clutch chronograph wears, and if the matter of where the movement came from is even something worth noting at all. This is your HODINKEE Week On The Wrist with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 67656 , and it’s one worth spending some time with.