Get ready for a mouthful because we’re taking a look at the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked Rainbow.
(Ref 15412BC.YG.1224BC.03 but lets just shorten it to 15412BC as the title is long enough already)
This is an absolute showstopper from AP.
Launched in 2021 as boutique only, this was released in yellow, white, and pink gold.
This is a rare RARE bird, to the point that if you search for it on YouTube you’ll return nothing but crickets.
We're taking a look at the white gold variant which is no bad thing because in my opinion, this is the killer of the trio as far as contrast and colour goes.
41mm but wears closer to 42 due to the angular case and integrated bracelet.
10.1mm thick so an easy wearer
18-carat frosted white gold case and bracelet.
32 cascading gemstones around the bezel mixing sapphire, emerald and rubies.
50m water resist so according to AP will survive a dip in a pool or a shower.
On to the case and bracelet.
The white gold is “frosted” using a diamond tipped chisel technique to create an overlayed series of micro indentations that when complete take on a beautiful glistening finish very similar to frost on a winter morning.
The technique is known as the Florentine Finish and AP collaborated with Carolina Bucci, an Italian jeweller (based in Florence, hence the finish name) who is a master of the very particular art of frosting having previously used it on some of her smaller creations.
AP started working with Bucci in 2016 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ladies Royal Oak, which is where frosted gold was first debuted.
Audemars wanted to explore new and different finishes for the Royal Oak line and I have to say, Bucci really knocked it out of the park to the point that she is now in regular collaboration with AP and together they are producing some of the most sought after models.
Its a match made in heaven.
All frosted gold pieces are hand finished so no two watches will ever be the same due to the random “human” nature of the workmanship.
To ensure that each piece shines post hammering, it’s treated to a platinum coating which cools the naturally warmer tone of the white gold and creates a bright glistening finish.
If you consider the sheer amount of hours it takes to hand hammer each piece you can start to understand the rarity, and price for that matter.
The coolness of the coated white gold really brings out the brighter tones of the multi baguette cut gemstone bezel.
It just works so well and as much as I hate the done to death watch reviewing phrase “makes it pop” thats exactly how the stones and frosting work together here.
AP’s direct competitor for the Rainbow has to be Rolex with the similarly set Daytona but I have to say that the Rolex has less of an immediately noticeable contrast between its gems and metalwork, and I think the AP has nailed it just that little bit harder.
Going on a poke around the dial area, first thing of note is that unlike the 2019 37mm variant which had a silver skeleton dial, this one has been NAC treated.
NAC stands for (N-acetylcysteine), probably best not to try and pronounce it.
Nonetheless it’s an electrolysis treatment that results in the anthracite or slate grey colour.
This offers yet more contrast both for the polished and lumed white gold hands which make it infinitely more readable at a glance and the un-treated parts of the movement such as the bridge and balance wheels.
You could stare at it for ages.
The movement is Audemars in house calibre 3132, A 35 jewel automatic skeleton movement which has a second balance wheel and spring that increases mass and inertia to offer more stability and precision.
A technical way of saying “more accurate timekeeping”.
Power reserve is approximately 45 hours so its not going to make it through a weekend on the nightstand but the simple answer to that is WHY WOULD YOU NOT BE WEARING IT?
On the subject of wearing it, although we’re spotted the 37mm rainbow and a few other frosted gold models on well known wrists, the only two so far that have been seen wearing this particular reference are Karim Benzema the French football genius and striker for Real Madrid, and Dan Bilzerian who likes poker, women, and needlessly taking his top off.
If you want exclusivity and presence, this is it.
We think its absolutely phenomenal and hope you do too.