The 2016 offerings from Audemars Piguet show the beginnings of a development pipeline that has been stoked in the last few years to provide a stream of complicated watch offerings. While the Supersonnerie unveiled last year garners the spotlight, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked showcases more out-of-the-box thinking.
It is one of a number of recent efforts to counteract the differing friction forces in the balance bearings as the watch changes position—the same basic problem that is so complexly solved by the tourbillon. In this case, the two wheels, supported by opposed and matched balance springs, not only cancel irregularities in oscillation, but do so evenly up and down the balance staff. The company claims as much as a 30-percent improvement in accuracy, which is enough to make chronometrically obsessed collectors take note. (audemarspiguet.com)