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Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Iconic Luxury, Pioneering Design

Experience the iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, a masterpiece of horological artistry that transcends time with its pioneering design and impeccable craftsmanship. This iconic timepiece represents a bold leap in watchmaking, marrying rugged luxury with technical brilliance. The octagonal bezel, adorned with 8 hexagonal screws, has become a hallmark of this prestigious collection, instantly recognizable and revered among watch enthusiasts.

Every aspect of the Royal Oak exudes elegance, from the refined hand-polished and satin-brushed finishes that accentuate its aesthetic lines to the emblematic guilloché “Tapisserie” dial, crafted with a level of expertise that is rare in the watchmaking world.

Owning a Royal Oak is not just about telling time; it’s about wearing a piece of Audemars Piguet‘s rich history, a symbol of unparalleled luxury and an enduring commitment to innovation and excellence in design.

History of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The conception of the Royal Oak began in 1971. Amidst the quartz crisis in the Swiss watch industry, Audemars Piguet sought to create a distinctive, luxury sports watch.

In 1972, the Royal Oak was officially launched. Designed by the legendary Gerald Genta, the Royal Oak was groundbreaking with its octagonal bezel which was inspired by a ship’s porthole, secured by eight hexagonal screws, an integrated bracelet, and a distinctive tapisserie dial. Initially, its large size (39mm) and use of stainless steel for a luxury watch were considered bold and unconventional.

In 1978, Audemars Piguet introduced the Ref. 5548, a significant development in their lineup. This watch housed the Cal. 2120/2800, a novel automatic perpetual calendar movement based on the already renowned Cal. 2120. This release marked a departure from AP’s traditional offerings, encasing the movement in a dressier, precious metal timepiece.

The Maison made another leap in horological sophistication in 1984 with the debut of the Royal Oak Ref. 5554. This timepiece was the first from Audemars Piguet to be equipped with a quantieme perpetual calendar, showcasing the brand’s technical prowess in a highly complex mechanical complication.

The 30th anniversary of the AP Royal Oak in 2002 marked another milestone for Audemars Piguet with the debut of the Royal Oak Concept, a timepiece that pushed the boundaries of watchmaking and materials science.

Just like other Audemars Piguet watches, the Royal Oak collection continues to evolve with new variations, including different materials, sizes, and complications, while maintaining its core design elements. It solidifies its position as a symbol of luxury sports watchmaking.

FAQs

What Are the Main Features of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches?

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection is renowned for its distinctive design elements and advanced horological features. One of the most iconic elements is the octagonal bezel, which provides a unique and instantly recognizable look. This design was a radical departure from traditional watch shapes when it was first introduced.

The bezel is fixed with eight visible hexagonal screws, adding to the mechanical and robust aesthetic of the watch. This feature contributes to the watch’s signature look and has become synonymous with the Royal Oak design. Additionally, the dials of many Royal Oak models feature a unique “Tapisserie” pattern, a kind of intricate guilloché decoration that adds depth and texture to the watch face.
Lastly, the Royal Oak often comes with an integrated bracelet, meaning the bracelet is seamlessly connected to the watch case. This design feature enhances the watch’s streamlined look and adds to its comfort and wearability.

What Are the Best Pre-owned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Models?

  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jubilee 20th Anniversary Limited Edition ref. 14802ST: A limited edition (1,000 examples) Royal Oak produced in 1992 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the model. It’s a special edition that holds significant value for collectors.
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin Stainless Steel ref. 15202ST: Originally released in 2000 and redesigned in 2012 to more closely resemble the original Jumbo reference 5402ST. 
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 15300: Launched in 2005, this model retained the 39mm case size and defining Royal Oak traits but introduced some significant changes, including a thicker case and a more solid bracelet.
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Stainless Steel Blue Dial ref. 15400ST: This 41mm case model replaced the 15300 in 2012. It continued the legacy of the Royal Oak with updates fitting its time.
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pink Gold Ref. 15500: Launched in 2019, this 41mm Royal Oak model is a modern flagship, continuing the evolution of the Royal Oak with contemporary design elements and a new Caliber 4302 movement.

Are Pre-owned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak a Good Investment?

The Royal Oak series, with prices ranging from S$8,213 to S$598,405 on the private sales market, has established itself as a coveted line among collectors and enthusiasts. Notably, the Audemars Piguet 15500ST stands out as a popular model. As of December 2023, the average price of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15500 Stainless Steel (15500ST) on the private sales market is S$49,357, surpassing its retail price of S$40,400.

This appreciation in value indicates a strong secondary market demand. The Royal Oak’s iconic design, quality craftsmanship, and the brand’s esteemed reputation contribute to its investment potential. However, like any investment in many other luxury watches, there are risks involved. Market trends, the condition of the watch, and its rarity can significantly influence its value over time.

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