Rolex has brought fire to many dial colours, such as green and ice blue. While green dials have become more common in recent years, ice blue dials are less common, not to mention a near-perfect match like the Rolex Ice Blue Diamonds. So when Audemars Piguet launched an ‘ice blue dial’ Royal Oak chronograph some time ago, it was hard for me to ignore it.
But Audemars Piguet doesn’t officially call the colour of its new watch “Ice Blue Plate”, instead describing it as “light blue”. In fact, back in 2019 Audemars Piguet launched a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in the same colour (Ref. #26574PT.OO.1220PT.01), interestingly with a 950 platinum case and platinum strap, in a limited edition of 50 pieces. The “Ice Blue Plate” Royal Oak self-winding chronograph (REF. #26317BC.OO.1256BC.01), introduced in 2020, has been downgraded to an 18-carat white gold case and bracelet, but is a three-eye chronograph like the Ice Blue Diamonds. Not only that, but it is considerably cheaper than the Rolex Ice Blundy.
Compared to the dreamy dial colour of the Rolex Ice Blues, the Audemars Piguet “Ice Blues” Royal Oak Automatic Chronograph has a more subdued and refined dial colour. The light blue dial is engraved with a large “Grande Tapisserie” pattern,perfect replica rolex watches with a blue subdial and a dark blue outer zone, with white gold luminescent applied hour markers and hands. The different shades of blue are both visually appealing and easy to read as a chronograph, with a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. Personally, I prefer the calendar-free design of the Rolex Ice Blundy. But luckily the calendar has the same base colour as the dial, which somewhat blurs the outline of the calendar window.
Apart from the material differences from the Rolex Ice Blundy, which is made of 18-carat white gold, the watch is also a different size from the Ice Blundy. Whereas the Rolex Ice Blundy is 40 mm in diameter, this “Ice Blue Plate” Royal Oak self-winding chronograph is a little smaller at 38 mm in diameter. But in the same way that the Ice Blue Diamonds have captured the hearts of both men and women, this Royal Oak Chronograph with Ice Blue Dial is certainly not limited to men.
The watch features a glareproofed sapphire crystal and a screw-down crown. It is slightly unfortunate that it is only water resistant to 50 metres.
Inside the watch is the self-winding Calibre 2385, oscillating at 3Hz, with a power reserve of 40 hours, an automatic oscillating weight in 18-carat gold, 37 stones and 304 parts, based on the legendary Frederic Piguet Calibre 1185. In fact, the Caliber 1137, which powers the Vacheron Constantin Admiralty chronograph, and the Calibre 576, which powers the Breguet Nautical chronograph, are also modifications of the Calibre 1185.
The “Ice Blue Plate” Audemars Piguet Royal Oak self-winding chronograph is a boutique exclusive, limited to 100 pieces. Officially priced at RMB 470,000, it is considerably cheaper than the Ice Blues, which cost around $600,000. But just like the Ice Blues, which are not always available, this “Ice Blues AP”, which is limited to only 100 pieces, will probably be hard to find.
The new “Ice Blue Plate” Audemars Piguet Royal Oak self-winding chronograph is the same, but the difference is between a diamond-set bezel and a non-diamond-set bezel rather than hour markers. The “Ice Blue AP” is priced higher than the diamond-set Ice Blue Diamonds, although one is made of white gold and the other of platinum, the grams of diamonds used are considerably more. The diamond-set ‘Ice Blue AP’ (Ref. #26318BC.ZZ.1256BC.01) is officially priced at RMB 726,000 and is limited to just 10 pieces.