‘Openwork’ 25668BA Audemars Piguet Quantieme Perpetual
Why spend hundreds of hours whittling away at each individual component a perpetual calendar movement until just the necessary structures are left? Openworking, or skeletonization, yields no performance benefit. You even wind up with less gold. But the resulting calibre is so breathtaking to look at that an openwork 25668 will often sell between double and triple the ask of a 25661. I did just write in depth on a bracelet 25657, but when AVW listed one of the greatest AP QP references of all time yesterday, I simply had to share it.
The openwork was produced in just 205 examples across all metals. 94 in the YG shown here, 79 in PT, 30 in PG, and 2 in WG. AP made the courageous decision to visually display the openworked calibre 2120/2800 from both sides, revealing every part of the dial which was not necessary. That’s a good thing, because every surface that remains has been highly polished, engraved, or perlaged. I say brave because, in early 90s, openworked watches weren’t nearly as desirable as they are today. They sold at premium, but very, very slowly. Hence the overall low production which spells increased collectability today. There aren’t many openwork perpetual calendars at 36mm just 7.5mm thin, that’s for sure.
This example sports a moderate degree of surface wear but full case. I see no egregious bashes, just the signs of normal daily wear. That is how I personally like these things. It comes with its full set from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this 25668BA here from Amsterdam Vintage Watches for 62000 EUR.