Audemars Piguet – Fx in Rome (part 1): AP Boutique
I was very busy during my holidays in Rome. Usually, I “disconnect” from the watch world during my Summer holidays but things are moving a lot in Rome and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to discover these changes. I propose you to browse several sides of the horological context of the Eternal City with different reports and I took the decision to start with Audemars Piguet.
One of the main 2015 changes is the opening of the Audemars Piguet boutique at the #20 Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina a few months ago. Actually, this square is one of my fav locations in Rome. The Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina is a very elegant and wide square which bears this name due to the presence of a famous church in which can be found the tomb of Nicolas Poussin, the French Painter who died in Rome in 1665. Step by step, the luxury landscape is moving and the brands consider the Piazza as a new strategic location to avoid the “obvious” Via Condotti and its parallel streets. The Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina can be seen as the crossroad between the Via Frattina, one of the luxury and shopping streets and the Campo Marzio area which is also a very busy area. The Audemars Piguet boutique, even if it is a bit off-centered, remains visible from the Corso and takes advantage of the presence of the two large boutiques: Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta. Its neighbour is the also new Christian Louboutin boutique. And I don’t want to forget the two famous cafe of the Piazza: Ciampini and Vitti. The pleasure to enjoy a nice coffee or ice-cream before testing the new watches at the boutique is indescribable!
The boutique is not very large with a 550 square feet surface but well organized with a deep lay-out. Two displays are located just after the entrance door but almost all the watches are visible along the boutique sides. The center area of the surface is dedicated to the selling points. Obviously, due to the recent opening of the boutique, its decorative style follows the latest brand rules. The mix of wood and metal defines a refined and quiet atmosphere which was more than welcome to escape the heat of the streets of Rome during the Summer.
The good surprise for me was to be able to see a quite large selection of the current collection, including some very recent models as you can see below.
The entrance door of the boutique:
The “Brassus” style of the displays:
The two displays after the entrance door:
The table in the center of the boutique dedicated to welcome the visitors:
Let’s have a closer look on some representative watches of the collection.
The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm is without any doubt one of my fav novelties of these last years. At the beginning, I was a big fan of the blue version. But, slowly, the grey one has grown on me to become to my eyes the most attractive of the collection. It features a true harmony of colours and even if we don’t have 50 shades of grey, I’m sure that we are not far!
The work done by AP to improve the legibility enhances the beauty of the dial and I love the way the figures are highlighted:
The Hornback alligator strap brings character without spoiling the refined side of the watch:
With the daylights… a very enjoyable watch to wear. Even if I recently purchased an RO Chronograph, this one was also a very serious contestant!
In front of the boutique:
I don’t know if you watched Wimbledon this year but Stan Wawrinka played with the White Ceramic Royal Oak Offshore Diver to fully respect the rules of the Tournament! All white! But you don’t need to play tennis at Wimbledon to wear this watch. Its white colour makes it perfect for the summer!
I’m usually not a big lover of white watches (I tend to find them too “feminine”). I have to confess that this white Diver is pretty appealing thanks to a well balanced use of colours for the dial. Even if I prefer the “classic” Diver by far, I was quite surprised to appreciate its visual rendering. Of course, the comfort on the wrist remains indisputable.
I would like to point out the texture of the white rubber strap which contributes to the positive feelings:
With the daylights:
Another good surprise was the availability of the two-tones Royal Oak 15400.
It is a bit the same story than with the white Diver… the ability to see it in the metal made my mind change. Actually, I saw it at the SIHH but it is also important to be able to check if the feelings remain the same several months after.
I think that the two tones style work well with the 15400 due to the very geometric approach of the case. Even more than the bezel, the gold parts of the bracelets create a subtle design.
On the other hand, my main reproach to the 15400 remains the same. I find the watch too large and I regret the 39mm of the 15300.
With the daylights:
In front of the boutique… the gold parts work well with the wall colour!
The masterpiece available at the boutique is this superb Jules Audemars Tourbillon Chronograph.
It is a watch I had the chance to handle already in Paris but enjoying it in Rome, under the bright italian sun, was even better!
The black open-worked dial is a true piece of art and I could spend hours watching each and every detail!
I could say the same about the movement, bridges side. The lay-out of the skeletonized movement allows to properly “hide” the mainspring. Even if it remains visible, it doesn’t spoil the beauty of the movement.
Feeling of depth and superlative finishings without unnecessary effects:
The 41mm case is here the right size to fully enjoy the details of the movement.
The watch on my wrist on the Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina:
But sadly, I had to give it back to the boutique!
This is what I call an U-Turn!
After the delicate style of the Jules Audemars Tourbillon Chronograph, here comes a beast, the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph with Black Ceramic case:
The oversized pushers bring a very powerful touch to the watch in addition to the 44mm diameter.
Even if I could wear it without any problem thanks to the efficient rubber strap, my taste tends towards the 42mm Offshore.
With the daylights:
I would like to end the report with the latest star of the collection, the Ladies Millenary.
I presented with details the watch in the report dedicated to the event which took place in Paris:
I consider it as a very valuable ladies’ watch thanks to its original design. I’m a Millenary owner so it was not so difficult to convince me that such stylistic approach could work in a different context. The handwind caliber is nice to handle and I’m sure that the ladies who are fascinated by mechanical watches will be seduced by this piece.
On a lady’s wrist, you can notice the strong presence due to the oval shape. Fortunately, the watch doesn’t look too big:
A double-wristshot with my RO Chronograph:
And of course, the double Millenary wristshots! Millenary for her, Millenary for him!
I would like to thank a lot the AP Italy team and of course, Fabio and the staff at the boutique for the warm welcome. I wish to the boutique a successful activity for the next years. There is a strong love between Italy and Audemars Piguet, all the ingredients are gathered to make this new point of sale a hot spot! If you are in Rome, please walk two minutes from the Via Frattina and visit the boutique. Fabio and his team will have a lot of pleasure to welcome you.
This message has been edited by foversta on 2015-08-12 14:44:55 Next time I make it to Rome, the boutique will certainly be a place I shall visit.No message body
Thanks for the boutique report from Roma.
I decided that after my last Audemars Piguet watch, it would be my last. Not because it was a bad experience.
On the contrary, it is one of my better watches…Jules Audemars Tourbillon Chronograph Mk 1.
I decided that there was no need for another AP watch because once you have the best, no need for the rest.
Until I saw your photo.
Now, I’m not so sure again….
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I’ll take one of each. Such a line-up of beautiful timepieces. I have to say, the ladies Millenary is stunning.
Thank you for the photos and report.
M4No message bodyCool pics of your visit to the Rome AP boutique, nice to see the consistent style of the boutique itself with the lighter colored wood and the metal accents that look like an RO bracelet.
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The Jules Audemars Tourbillon Chronographe is something I will have to see in the flesh. Sophisticated, and elegant.
NicolasNo message body
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Well, at the JLC Manufacture, they allow me to do so. But this is the only place I know which allows such a thing. Amazing!
NicolasNo message body
Love to see how AP has standardised the boutique design all over the world… looks so familiar!
Thanks for sharing these high quality pictures! The image of the boutiques has to be the same in any place in the world… whatever are their locations or sizes. They did a great job here in Rome due to the small surface.
The pearl dial on the Ladies Millenary makes it superbly elegant! Even more so than the diamond-paved dial which is a little overkill imho
J I think that the Ladies Millenary is really successful in terms of design. Let’s see if it will seduce these ladies. I saw a big ad at the Paris Airport so AP really wants to communicate about it.
The RO Chrono/grey is a cool item..
– And the Jules Audemars Tourbillon Chrono pretty breathtaking..
Your last 2 shots of it are mesmerizing in that respect.
Thx a lot for sharing,
Cheers & Best, hs
No message bodyI was just in Rome a couple of months ago but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to visit the AP Boutique. Your photos definitely make me want to go back soon!
in Rome that have to come back to the Eternal City every year!
thanks for bringing the visit to us, HAGWE Fx!
-MWNo message body