It all started in the Women’s Novelties section. Summer had arrived in New York, and Cara Barrett and I had popped over to Audemars Piguet’s New York headquarters to see a new piece before its public release. The room was buzzing over one particular watch, a 34mm black ceramic 1:1 replica Audeamrs Piguet Royal Oak watches. “Ooh, ceramic!” everyone seemed to be whispering. I didn’t quite understand why.
Granted, I was new to the game. I’d recently founded the blog and Instagram account Dimepiece to celebrate women in Swiss fake watches, and I was learning along the way. Dimepiece was strong on the culture side of top UK replica watches, which I felt had been underrepresented (especially for women), but I wasn’t exactly the kind of enthusiast who could rattle off reference numbers, and I couldn’t quite figure out why this Royal Oak was so different from any other. I feigned enough enthusiasm to match the mood of those surrounding me, ooo-ing and aah-ing as I momentarily replaced the still-fresh Cartier Tank Française on my wrist with the new AP.
While it didn’t blow me away, I was struck by its near-weightlessness and took a few steps toward the window to see it in the natural light (and to take a wrist shot, obviously). As I snapped a photo, the best Audemars Piguet copy watches representative gently warned me against posting this on social media, as this watch was under embargo until next month. I made a mental note to google the formal definition of embargo, but understood then the privilege bestowed upon me in this preview. A clandestine watch meeting! A secret to keep!
I tucked away that memory until early July, when Audemars Piguet’s new releases were no longer my own little secret but rather the talk of the town. I scrolled on to read Danny Milton’s coverage. Danny declared it a heavy hitter, reporting on its material, features, and size. “If this was a 37mm watch,” he concluded, “it might very well be the Swiss made replica watches of the Summer – nay the year.” I was once again taken aback. Sure it was nice, but watch of the year? What was I missing? What separates the sheep from a GOAT?
The Royal Oak
Before creating Dimepiece, I first became acquainted with the Royal Oak in 2019, learning about it during my editorial stint at Sotheby’s. YouTube became my best friend (“How To Pronounce AUDEMARS PIGUET like a FRENCH Native Speaker”), and the Watches Department was gracious enough to let me try on various high quality fake watches available at auction. I soon discovered the name Gérald Genta, the man behind the design.
In the early 1970s, Genta, or “GG” as I like to call him, was tasked with creating a new luxury replica watches for AP. What resulted was a design that changed the industry indefinitely: A sports watch, in steel, with just as much luxurious sex appeal as a dressy gold counterpart. The choice of steel here was to communicate a more utilitarian approach, but because GG’s design was so intricate, the price tag remained sky-high when it eventually debuted in 1972. A steel sports watch that cost more than a gold Patek? Damn right.
In time, this peculiar creation emerged as a diamond in the rough thanks to its octagonal diver-helmet-inspired design, its clean tapisserie dial, and that sweet integrated bracelet. It sold, and sold, and sold; and now it transcends personal taste, with everyone from LeBron James to Shawn Mendes rocking one. Good for them. But what about the women?
The Ladies’ Royal Oak
The first ladies’ Swiss movements fake Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches was designed by Jacqueline Dimier, debuting just four years after the original dropped. Dimier joined Audemars Piguet in 1975, having developed her own personal style independently designing jewelry in the ’60s, and took the time to play with GG’s mold-breaking design. Paying homage to the distinct character of its predecessor, the lady Royal Oak managed to strike a balance between sporty and elegant. Coming in at 29mm, Dimier’s Reference 8638 was a far cry from the typical jewelry-like women’s replica watches for sale. It has undergone several iterations since then and has become a real IYKYK item for talent like Mary-Kate Olsen, Serena Williams, Megan Thee Stallion, January Jones, and of course Cara Barrett. Icons only.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Dimier’s design in 2016, AP launched a 33mm version with Carolina Bucci, famous for her “Florentine finish.”
Bucci was deeply inspired by GG’s design, challenged and inspired by its perfection to create another female-first alternative. Much like Dimier, she wanted to break the rules: “The industry is very masculine and very technical,” Bucci told The New York Times. “Anything done for women is an adaptation, whether it’s smaller, given a pink strap, or slapped in diamonds.” That’s a more articulate way of framing the “shrink it and pink it” approach that, until recently, has been the patronizing go-to for many luxury super clone watches wholesale online brands.
Reporting in 2016, Cara lauded Bucci’s design for breathing new life into the Royal Oak lineage. But she wasn’t completely sold: “The 33mm replica watches site are powered by the caliber 2713, which, unfortunately, is a quartz movement,” she wrote. “AP makes such great in-house movements that are often found in Royal Oaks, and it’s a bit of a letdown to see something quartz used here.” No shade to quartz fake watches paypal, but she did have a point: For this special 40th-anniversary watch, wasn’t it fair to expect a mechanical movement? It’s hard to imagine any Swiss watchmaker using quartz for such a high-profile piece if it were designed for men.
Where Are We Now?
So then, back to black – as in this 34mm ceramic, with reference number 77350CE.OO.1266CE.01.
This one, my friends, has a mechanical movement. The fact that it’s a small size and automatic legitimizes “ladies” timepieces. Incidentally, AP also released an updated version of the Bucci in this same July round of novelties and – are you ready? It’s also automatic, powered by the self-winding Calibre 5800, featuring 50 hours of power reserve. Between these two, it seems best quality Audemars Piguet replica watches has learned a bit in the last five years, reframing what it might mean to make a women’s watch.
Then there’s the material. Royal Oaks are often steel, which sounds tough, but because they’re so finished and so polished, they’re prone to scratching (regardless of whether or not you wear your watch Kylie Jenner-style, stacked with three Cartier Love bracelets). But ceramic? Stack away! It’s essentially scratch-resistant. Plus, it’s durable, lightweight and, fun fact, it’s also hypoallergenic. This material choice feels particularly timely, as the market has already been acclimated, just this year alone, via Tudor’s successful Black Bay Ceramic and the similar Omega Seamaster Professional 300m Black Black. Unlike those releases, however, this 2021 imitation watches is enhanced with 18-carat pink-gold screws, applied hour markers, and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. And pulling it all together is the unmistakable “Grande Tapisserie” dial.
Nestled within the case you’ll find the self-winding Calibre 5800, featuring 50 hours of power reserve, which is supplied by Vaucher Manufacture, where it goes by the name VMF 3002. AP’s version of the VMF 3002 is highly finished with a gold winding rotor. Purists may weep, but in my view, nothing is lost by using this movement versus an in-house movement. “Audemars Piguet, like virtually every high-end maker, has used a combination of in-house and supplied movements for most of its history,” Jack Forster reminds us. The decision to use this particular movement, we presume, came down to a practical matter of size – better not to wedge the larger 3120 into this 34mm case. Vaucher, by the way, is a very respectable source for high-end movements, having been established by Michel Parmigiani in 2003. It’s now under the Parmigiani Fleurier Watchmaking hub. All good company.
Now, 34mm, by most people’s standards, would be considered ladies’ fake watches shop. And it was launched as such. But if you look at its official listing on the Audemars Piguet website today, you may have yourself a chuckle. This piece, they say, is and I quote: “Dedicated to the slenderest wrists.” The slenderest of wrists! They don’t mention anything about this being a ladies’ or a men’s watch. It’s just for our slender-wristed friends, which as we all know, could be anyone. It’s me, it’s Ryan Gosling … is it you? I like to believe that AP execs read Cara Barrett’s piece on why All Watches Should Be Unisex and then locked themselves in a design studio until they spun this baby up, although this watch is still listed under the Ladies collection. My editor, a certain male vice president, has said he’d wear this watch in a heartbeat.
A Week On The Wrist
Remember when I couldn’t figure out why everyone was geeking out over this watch back in June? Well, it’s fair to say that I now get the hype. But before we dive into my experience with it, I want to bluntly say that this would still not be my first pick of the AP litter. My taste is more akin to the original, Jacqueline Dimer-designed piece, which happens to be 29mm and two-tone, aka a Teeny Tiny Two-Tone Royal Oak (or, affectionately, TTTTRO). I love small China replica watches, and although 34mm is considered petite by even most female collectors, it was a leap for me. My current watch collection is modest: Over the past year, I’ve acquired my Tank, a 26mm pre-owned Datejust, and a vintage ladies’ Seiko Diver. Next to my lil’ guys, 34mm might as well be a Jumbo.
I also was a bit turned off by the aesthetics. I’m a classic gal and I like classic-looking top quality fake watches – steel, gold, muted, minimal. My wardrobe consists mostly of black, so you would think that this black watch complements my style swimmingly, but when I first tried this watch on at AP HQ, it felt a bit too Kendall-Roy-Flies-To-The-Hamptons-In-A-Helicopter. In that room, looking at the AP novelties, I was far more drawn to the Bucci frosted gold. It was simply more me.
I had to spend a week with it to actually get why the black is so cool.
I decided to lean into the black-on-black vibe, embracing it as very New York. Sleek, cosmopolitan, cutting-edge. The New York of fashionistas as opposed to finance bros. Looking at it from that perspective, I took the opportunity to experience NYC to the fullest. I rented a suite at the Plaza Hotel in homage to Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and decided I’d be a tourist in my own city, vacationing from my regular routine, incognito.
A yellow cab – because, of course! – transported me from my East Village apartment to the hotel steps; and as we whisked up Madison Avenue, my eyes beheld the ceramic bracelet poetically catching the light. Ceramic behaves differently than steel. I could see the faint brush strokes on the links and noticed how the whole AAA best replica watches played with the sun’s rays and the shadows, gleaming with city life.
I also was reminded of its weightlessness. It was there, solid and sturdy – but subtly so. Tucked under my sleeve, this watch could be as discreet or as in-your-face as I wanted it to be. And any seasoned New Yorker will tell you there’s a time to be flashy and a time to lay low.
The price tag made me nervous. This fake watches with Swiss movements retails for $46,200 – by far the most expensive thing I’d ever had on my person. So, in the cab, I put on my shades and laid suuuper low until I entered the protected atmosphere of The Plaza, home to Eloise, where nothing bad could ever happen.
I hopped out of the cab, escorted by the bellman through the gilded revolving doors and into the climate-controlled lobby populated by trained security. Now I could raise my sleeve to sport the watch in its full extravagance: A five-figure timepiece in a five-star lobby. Appropriate for my marvelous staycation.
When I took a walk around the neighborhood, I went back into stealth mode. Even in a ritzy part of town I still felt anxious, especially with the Philippe Chow Submariner-jacking incident still fresh in my mind. The thing about a watch like this, though, is that it makes you feel amazing even when nobody can see it, because you know it’s there. As I strolled the Upper East Side, Gershwin might as well have been playing in the streets. The fact that this luxury Swiss replica Audemars Piguet watches was hidden from passersby made it even better, more discreetly feminine. The experience was solely mine. The RO became less of a watch and more of a glowing orb of energy, source of a goddess-like superpower.
I rented a limousine to carbon-copy the iconic Home Alone scene when Kevin McCallister feasts on a pizza in the backseat, his thirst quenched by Coke fizzing in a champagne flute. A lovely cheese pizza, just for me! Had FAO Schwarz been in its original location, I’d have been tempted to buy myself a big plush toy. In a funny way, the watch made me feel like a kid again, but also like a very self-assured woman. A Shiv Roy, not a Kendall. Rolling around in a limo didn’t hurt either – strangers did double-takes as I popped my Celine-shaded eyes out to gander at the skyscrapers whirring by. Who was she? No, really, who was she? Who was I?
This Royal Oak hit different, its little heartbeat merging with mine. Wearing it felt like I was visiting New York for the first time, in awe of the sheer magnitude of it all. This cheap online fake watches against this backdrop held me in a still point of the turning world.