The cheap fake Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin RD#3, reference 26670ST.OO.1240ST.01 (if you can keep 20-character alphanumeric reference numbers in short- and long-term memory, bless you, because I can’t) landed with maybe a little less impact than it deserved when it launched last April. There are probably several reasons why. First of all, I think a lot of us were still suffering from a bit of 1:1 replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak overload from the announcement of the ref. 16202 Jumbo when it launched in January, along with several other models (including a non-Jumbo flying tourbillon). Secondly, the Jumbo Tourbillon RD#3 appeared in the context of a larger world in which Bulgari more or less owns the community mindshare of ultra-thin self-winding tourbillons.
The new AAA fake Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin RD#3, on the other hand, uses a new configuration for its tourbillon, and moreover places a flying tourbillon, for the first time, in a Jumbo case. The RD#3 has exactly the same dimensions as the Jumbo – 39mm x 8.1mm.
To get a flying tourbillon into the Jumbo case, cheap replica Audemars Piguet UK had to develop a new tourbillon movement. The Royal Oak Flying Tourbillons introduced earlier this year use the AP caliber 2950, which is 31.5mm x 6.24mm, and it has a larger case than RD#3, at 41mm x 10.6mm. The RD#3, on the other hand, uses the caliber 2968 – a smaller movement, at 29.6mm x 3.4mm, which is considerably flatter than the 2950. For comparison, Bulgari’s caliber BVL 288, used in the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic, is 1.95mm thick, but it’s also larger in diameter than AP’s caliber 2968, at 36.60mm which is getting into smaller pocket watch caliber territory. It’s sort of like squishing a jelly donut – you can flatten it but it’s going to spread out at the same time. This means that Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic has to be a little larger in diameter, at 41mm.
In order to fit the tourbillon cage into a Jumbo case, Swiss fake Audemars Piguet had to change several elements of the tourbillon cage from the classic version used in the caliber 2950 in the standard Royal Oak Selfwinding tourbillons. The caliber 2950 has an overcoil balance spring, while the newer caliber 2968 has a flat balance spring (most ultra-thin best replica watches uk don’t have overcoil balance springs as the overcoil adds height). The balance in the 2968 has timing weights on the inside of the balance rim (in the 2950 they’re traditional weights on the outside of the rim) set flush with the rim. The balance arms have steps milled into them, which form a sort of recess that lets the balance spring sit closer to the balance – another height-saving measure.
And aesthetically? What can I tell you, it’s a Jumbo, 39mm x 8.1mm, with that lovely Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50 dial. The only classic Jumbo element missing from the RD#3 Jumbo Tourbillon is the high quality fake Audemars Piguet logo at six o’clock, but it seems a reasonable thing to lose if you’re going to have an open dial flying tourbillon.
If you like the Jumbo, you’re probably going to like the Swiss movement replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Extra-Thin RD#3, unless the idea of an open dial flying tourbillon is just not your brand of vodka. Comparing ultra-thin automatic tourbillons can be a little tricky – it helps to know the history of the complication and it also helps to understand that a full rotor movement compared to a peripheral rotor movement is fair on one hand, but on the other hand it’s also a little bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison. Seen from that perspective, RD#3 is a beautiful, very well-thought-out piece of contemporary watchmaking.