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      06-23-2015, 05:51 AM   #3
Major General
tony20009's Avatar

Drives: BMW 335i - Coupe
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Washington, DC

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Did you buy an AP RO? If so, you may want to hang on to your CdC. The Royal Oak is a watch that, though no more likely to scratch than anything else, is far more susceptible to showing the scratches due to several design features that otherwise make it a very good looking watch.
  • Pronounced linear brushing -- scratches on these surfaces most likely won't be parallel to the buffing, thus they show up more readily
  • Very sharp edges -- it's not so much scratches, but rather the edges are easily dinged/dented because of how super fine they are. It's just a trade off between super fine edge finishing and strength of the edge to resist dings and whatnot
  • Highly polished bits -- self explanatory
Here are some links that illustrate the above:

One other consideration: did you buy the ultra-thin version (15202)? There's no question that model is the one collectors crave most, but it's not without a drawback: the movement inside isn't forgiving about one's being lax or late on regular servicing. Take a look at Walt Odets' discussion of the JLC 920 calibre that goes inside that version. (

Left unserviced for too long (or even not thoroughly monitored/serviced regardless of how frequent), the barrel tilts rather than laying flat in the plane of the barrel bridge. To get a sense of what's going on, think of vertical, rotating pin that spins around inside of a solid hole. When the pivot of the pin goes off from the vertical, it bumps into the edges of the hole. This creates wear on the hold and the pin. The abrading of the pin and hole edge produces metal dust that then distributes itself through the rest of the movement, building up, creating additional abrasion and so on and so on. Suffice to say, it's not pretty and it's a very expensive repair on a make of watch that isn't known for having modestly priced maintenance costs in the first place. (Basic service -- i.e., no repairs needed -- on an uncomplicated Royal Oak runs about $1500 right now. Two years back, it was about $1300. AP are definitely keeping ahead of inflation. LOL)

It's worth noting too that the discussion above pertains not only to the Royal Oak. AP's Jules Audemar Extra Thin watches utilize the same movement, the JLC 920-based, Audemars Piguet Calibre 2120. I know AP have developed a less thin movement (3120) and I've read a lot of the praise for it, but in truth I don't know for a fact that the issue of the barrel bridge wear has been resolved in that movement. I strongly presume it has because there's no way AP didn't know of the issue with the 2120 and it'd be quite surprising that they didn't correct for it in the development of their own basic calibre. My "strong" presumption -- driven largely by "benefit of the doubt" -- doesn't make it so.

Obviously, if you want to sell your CdC, you do; whether you do or not has no impact on me, so I don't really care if you do or don't. I just wanted to point out that as a very nice and a very notable example of Cartier's re-entry into internally developed and built movements, you may want to hang on to it, if only to have an equally fine and notable watch to wear while your AP is off being serviced. That's probably not a bad thing even if your AP doesn't use the calibre 2120 for six to twelve weeks every two year (three in a pinch) is still a good while to go without having access to a fine watch, at least for me it is. You may feel differently.

All the best.

'07, e92 335i, Sparkling Graphite, Coral Leather, Aluminum, 6-speed