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AP Royal Oak Review: The Timeless Fusion of Sports and Luxury

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Audemar Piguet Royal Oak review

Since its introduction in 1972, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak has revolutionized the luxury watch industry. Designed by Gerald Genta, it is the world’s first luxury sports watch in steel.

The Royal Oak’s daring and unconventional design initially faced skepticism but quickly gained widespread acclaim in the watch industry, becoming a symbol of innovation and style. Its distinctive features, such as the polished surfaces and the signature Grande Tapisserie dial, reflect the brand’s unwavering commitment to meticulous attention to detail and artistic excellence.

In this comprehensive Audemar Piguet Royal Oak review, we will examine and compare several models from the AP Royal Oak collection. Here are their respective reference numbers:

The Case

The newly revamped AP Royal Oak collection showcases an impressive array of upgraded models. This update showcases a compelling ensemble of upgraded models that strike a graceful balance between ergonomics and aesthetics, highlighting the brand’s continued commitment to innovation.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 15550BA.OO.1356BA.01 case

Starting with the slim, 37mm Selfwinding model (Ref. 15550BA.OO.1356BA.01), it’s a paradigm of elegance with its 18-carat yellow gold case, protected by a glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback. This compact yet luxurious model marks a significant evolution in the Royal Oak line.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 26240BC.SS.1320BC.01 case

Next, the Special Edition Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph (Ref. 26240BC.SS.1320BC.01) stands out with its 18-carat white gold case and baguette-cut sapphire-adorned bezel, underscoring the brand’s attention to fine detailing.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 16202ST.OO.1240ST.02 case

The Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin (Ref. 16202ST.OO.1240ST.02) pays tribute to the original 1972 model with a hand-finished steel body and unique dial. It further sets itself apart by incorporating the latest selfwinding movement, Calibre 7121.

AP royal oak Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.01 case

Adding to this series, the Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph (Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.01) shines in its 18-carat white gold case and diamond-studded bezel, protected by a glareproofed sapphire crystal.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 77451BC.ZZ.1261BC.01 case

Lastly, the Royal Oak Selfwinding (Ref. 77451BC.ZZ.1261BC.01) boasts an 18-carat white gold case and baguette-cut diamond-set bezel, proving the brand’s ability to harmoniously blend performance and luxury.

These enhanced models underscore the Royal Oak collection’s continuous evolution, merging tradition with innovation.

The Dial

Diving into the nuances of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak collection, let’s explore the distinctive dials that truly set these models apart.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 77451BC.ZZ.1261BC.01 dial
AP royal oak Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.01 dial

Emerging with a rich smoked blue “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, the dials of the Royal Oak Selfwinding Ref. 77451BC.ZZ.1261BC.01 and the Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.01 are strikingly similar. These models elevate luxury with their baguette-cut diamond hour-markers, set against the canvas of white gold Royal Oak hands. The luminescent coating takes these timepieces beyond the conventional, enhancing visibility in low-light scenarios.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 15550BA.OO.1356BA.01 dial

Taking a color detour, the Royal Oak Selfwinding Ref. 15550BA.OO.1356BA.01 reveals a refreshing turquoise dial. It creates an enthralling contrast with its yellow gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands. The use of luminescent coating, a trait common in these new models, ensures these timepieces remain as functional as they are beautiful.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 16202ST.OO.1240ST.02 dial

Embracing a classic yet contemporary look, the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Ref. 16202BC.OO.1240BC.02 presents a blue dial with a unique “grainy effect”. Here, the luminescent coating enhances the white gold hour-markers and Royal Oak hands, adding a layer of sophistication.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 26240BC.SS.1320BC.01 dial

Lastly, the special edition Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. 26240BC.SS.1320BC.01 stands out with its blue dial, highlighted by light blue counters and a “Grande Tapisserie” pattern. White gold hour-markers and Royal Oak hands, both coated with luminescent material, round off the timepiece with refined elegance.

The Strap/Bracelet

The AP Royal Oak collection masterfully integrates form and function, delivering a plethora of exquisite strap and bracelet options that perfectly complement each watch model.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 26240BC.SS.1320BC.01 strap

The Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Special Edition, Ref. 26240BC.SS.1320BC.01, is a true statement piece. Its bracelet is fashioned from 18-carat white gold, further accentuating the watch’s allure. The AP folding clasp ensures a secure and comfortable fit, combining elegance with practicality.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 15550BA.OO.1356BA.01 strap

The Royal Oak Selfwinding model, Ref. 15550BA.OO.1356BA.01, boasts an 18-carat yellow gold bracelet, creating a seamless aesthetic unity with its case. The bracelet, like the watch itself, embodies the timeless elegance of Royal Oak.

AP Royal Oak Ref. 16202ST.OO.1240ST.02 strap

For enthusiasts who appreciate classic metal bracelets, the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin, Ref. 16202ST.OO.1240ST.02, features a stainless steel bracelet with an AP folding clasp. The cool, silver sheen of the steel is versatile and sporty, complementing any attire.

AP royal oak Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.01 & Ref. 77451BC.ZZ.1261BC.01 strap

Showcasing elegance and sophistication, both the Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.01 and the Royal Oak Selfwinding Ref. 77451BC.ZZ.1261BC.01 feature 18-carat white gold bracelets. With the iconic AP folding clasp, these bracelets not only offer an exquisite aesthetic appeal but also ensure a secure, comfortable fit. 

The Movement

AP movement

The latest innovation from Audemars Piguet sees the revered Royal Oak collection receiving an impressive update. New thinner movements have been introduced in both the Selfwinding and Jumbo Ultra-Thin models, epitomizing the brand’s commitment to horological innovation.

The 37mm Selfwinding Royal Oak now hosts the brand’s in-house 5900 movement, operating at a higher speed of 4Hz. This improvement not only ensures smoother, more precise timekeeping but also allows for a more streamlined case thickness of 9.3mm.

Furthermore, the Jumbo Ultra-Thin model now boasts the brand-new 7121 movement. This advancement extends the power reserve to an impressive 52 hours, enhancing the wearer’s experience and the practicality of these luxury watches.

To honor the collection’s heritage, Audemars Piguet has integrated a unique “50 years” decorated rotor in select models. This feature celebrates the Royal Oak’s rich legacy, adding a layer of exclusivity and sophistication. These advancements fortify the Royal Oak collection’s standing in the realm of luxury watchmaking.

Top 3 Popular Models

1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – Stainless Steel & Grande Tapisserie Dial Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04

AP Royal Oak Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04

About

The AP Royal Oak Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04 features a stainless steel case. Its sapphire glass and open back showcase the intricate inner workings of the watch. The dial, known as the Grande Tapisserie, boasts a silver color and a beautiful guilloche finish, adding a touch of elegance to this timepiece.

Features

This watch sets itself apart from its predecessor, the 15400, with the introduction of a brand new self-winding movement, the caliber AP 4302, offering a generous power reserve of 70 hours.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2020-2022
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – SilverGrande Tapisserie”
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel
    • Bezel – Stainless steel
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: AP 4302 Automatic Self-winding mechanism

2. Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph – 18-Carat White Gold & Black Onyx Dial Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.02

AP Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.02

About

The AP Royal Oak Ref. 26715BC.ZZ.1356BC.02 features an 18-carat white gold case with a height of 11mm. The gem-set bezel adds a touch of luxury and elegance to the watch. With a closed back and a water resistance of 50 meters, this timepiece is designed to withstand daily activities while maintaining its exquisite appearance.

Features

This Audemars Piguet watch differentiates itself from its previous iteration with a longer power reserve, of 40 hours and operating at a frequency of 3 Hz or 21,600 vibrations per hour, this wristwatch distinguishes itself from the 15400 model.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2022
  • Case Size: 38mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black Onyx dial, baguette-cut diamond hour-markers
    • Bracelet – 18-carat white gold
    • Bezel – 18-carat white gold
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Chronograph
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber AP 2385

3. Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar – Stainless Steel & Blue Grande Tapisserie and Blue Counters Dial Ref. 26574ST.OO.1220ST.03

AP Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574ST.OO.1220ST.03

About

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26574ST.OO.1220ST.03 showcases a stainless steel case with its sapphire glass and open back offer a glimpse into the intricate inner workings of the watch. The dial features a captivating Blue Grande Tapisserie pattern and Blue Counters, adding a touch of sophistication to this timepiece.

Features

The timepiece boasts a remarkable capability to function for a duration of 40 hours, accompanied by a compact 29 mm diameter, comprising 374 components, and operating at a frequency of 2.75 Hz or 19,800 vibrations per hour.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Blue dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, blue counters
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel
    • Bezel – Stainless steel
  • Function: Perpetual Calendar with Week Indication, Day, Date, Astronomical Moon, Month, Leap Year, Hours, Minutes
  • Mechanism: AP 5134 Self-winding mechanism

The Competitive Landscape

Here are five notable competing collections of other luxury sport watches that showcase the artistry and craftsmanship synonymous with audemars piguet royal oak watches:

  • Patek Philippe Nautilus Collection: Patek Philippe’s Nautilus Collection stands as a worthy competitor to the audemars piguet royal oak line. With its distinctive porthole-inspired design and luxurious finishes, the Nautilus offers a blend of elegance and sportiness that appeals to sophisticated watch connoisseurs.
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Collection: Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Collection is renowned for its timeless and iconic designs. The collection encompasses a wide range of models, from understated classics to bold and adventurous variations, capturing the essence of precision, durability, and style that Rolex is known for.
  • Omega Seamaster Collection: The Omega Seamaster Collection is a formidable competitor with its rich heritage and association with the prestigious world of diving. Offering a range of models including the Seamaster Diver 300M and the Seamaster Planet Ocean, this collection combines exceptional functionality with enduring style.
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Collection: Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Collection boasts a distinctive reversible case design, allowing wearers to showcase a personalized engraving or a second time zone on the reverse side. 
  • Hublot Big Bang Collection: Hublot’s Big Bang Collection is characterized by its bold and contemporary designs, incorporating innovative materials and intricate complications. With its fusion of unconventional elements and exceptional Swiss craftsmanship, the Big Bang Collection presents a unique and compelling alternative to the audemars piguet royal oak watches.
CollectionKnown forAverage SGD Price
Patek Philippe Nautilus CollectionElegance and SportinessS$56,737 – S$713,753
Rolex Oyster Perpetual CollectionTimeless and Iconic DesignsS$2,435 – S$13,376
Omega Seamaster CollectionDiving HeritageS$488 – S$26,272
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso CollectionReversible Case DesignS$4,139 – S$26,118
Hublot Big Bang CollectionBold and Contemporary DesignsS$8,052 – S$60,238 

Why You Should Invest?

Royal Oak holds a prestigious position as one of the most sought-after and iconic luxury watch collections in the world. Its distinct design, with its octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet, seamlessly merges sportiness and elegance, making it a timeless and versatile choice. With prices ranging from S$8,930 to S$562,926 on the secondary market, these watches have proven their ability to retain and even increase their value. 

Investing in the Royal Oak not only offers the potential for financial gain but also grants access to a distinguished world of horological artistry and craftsmanship. Each Royal Oak timepiece is meticulously crafted, utilizing exceptional materials and intricate movements, ensuring exceptional quality and performance.

Pricing & Availability

The pricing and availability of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches vary depending on the specific reference number and market demand. For instance, reference number 15500ST typically has a market price of around S$56,531 and can be found in approximately 3,796 listings. 

Another sought-after reference is the 15400ST, which has a market price averaging around S$50,231. With 3,590 listings available, this model presents an attractive opportunity for those seeking a timeless and iconic Royal Oak timepiece.

When considering the purchase of an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch, it’s advisable to research and consult reputable sources to ensure that you are well informed about current market prices past models and availability of new models. This will help you make an informed decision and potentially find the perfect Royal Oak timepiece that suits your preferences and budget.

Final Word

Those who admire the Royal Oak are drawn to its larger movement, and the introduction of the new movement models continues to captivate. With each feature carefully considered, the Royal Oak collection truly makes sense to both watch connoisseurs and casual admirers alike.

Key Takeaways

  • The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the first steel luxury sports watch, revolutionizing the industry with its iconic design and exceptional craftsmanship.
  • The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak showcases a captivating range of cases, dial designs, and strap/bracelet options, reflecting the perfect fusion of sports and luxury.
  • Investing in the Royal Oak grants access to a distinguished world of horological excellence and offers the potential for both aesthetic and financial appreciation.

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