Audemars Piguet 25668PT “Open Worked” and Cartier Pasha Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar

As I write this, I see Malaika’s also chosen an AP QP. And not only that, but a white gold Royal Oak, with a yellow dial that honestly, I didn’t know existed before today.

To me, this ref. 25668 represents nearly the polar opposite of AP QPs. Audemars Piguet has always been THE perpetual calendar maker (but don’t listen to me, take it from Stacey). In 1978, AP introduced the ref. 5548, the first ultra-thin perpetual calendar. I’m one of those enthusiasts who fetishizes firsts, and I’ve always loved the AP QP for this reason. It ushered in an entire era of ultra-thin QPs; soon, Patek, Vacheron, and a legion of others would follow with their own ultra-thin perpetuals.

But the AP, designed by Jacqueline Dimier, something of a protege to Gérald Genta, is still my favorite.

According to AP, it produced about 7,200 perpetual calendars over a 15-year period (including Royal Oak QPs) from 1978 through the early ’90s. Only 79 of these were the platinum ref. 25668, making this one of the rarer of the more than 70 references and 200 AP QP variations from this era.

No, it doesn’t have the size or heft of a Royal Oak, especially one with a bright yellow dial. But somehow it manages a wrist presence all its own. Most of this is thanks to the impressive skeletonization, which surely would’ve been like shouting at those quartz disruptors in the ’80s: “This is mechanical watchmaking, and it’s here to stay!” And now, I love this thing even more, knowing it somehow existed alongside a bright yellow Royal Oak.
I’m a bit in the throes of a personal love affair with Cartier’s Genta-designed Pasha as of late, so when called upon to name my favorite perpetual calendar of the moment, this yellow gold Pasha Automatic Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar was already at the forefront of my mind.

There’s an almost fairy tale-esque quality about the dial, from the typeface to the swirling layout of the different functions within each subdial. Maybe it’s that splash of blue outlining the gold moon phase indicator front and center that reminds me of the book Goodnight Moon on the subconscious plane. This is a very, very positive association for me.

While I won’t be forsaking my affection for the Tank and a Panthère anytime soon, there is something magnetic about the Pasha’s unique flavor of boldness that I’m finding myself more and more intrigued by. This is most acutely felt for me when there’s a perpetual calendar and yellow gold involved. This 1989 reference was covered way back in a 2020 edition of Auctions and has an additional minute repeater as the cherry on top. An easily attainable or realistic choice for my wallet, it is not. For now, I will have to make things work with a screen between me and the object of my unwavering affection.