Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak

We have a ladies Royal Oak wristwatch, from the esteemed Audemars Piguet, at the gallery. This one is particularly special because it entirely encrusted with factory diamonds.  

Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak

Gérald Genta is the designer of Audemars Piguet’s first “luxury sports watch": the Royal Oak. A “sports watch” is a watch of action, robust, light, and inexpensive. Genta interpreted a concept rooted in utilitarianism, aesthetically. Inspired by a deep-sea diver’s helmet, the model features an unconventional tonneau-shaped case with a prominent octagonal bezel; eight visible, octagonal screws, reinforce the aquatic theme. The name itself, Royal Oak, is derived from a series of eight British Royal Navy vessels.

HMS Royal Oak

Upon its release at the 1972 Swiss Watch Show, at 3,300 Swiss francs, the Royal Oak was many times the price of a contemporary Rolex Submariner. Obscene price notwithstanding, the watch caught on. It has since firmly established itself as a modern classic in the world of luxury wristwatches

“It takes more than money to wear a Royal Oak,” went another. (The best? “Would you buy a Rembrandt for its canvas?”

Read a campaign that ran in the American market.

The first Royal Oak, model 5402ST

Factory Vs. Aftermarket Diamonds

When diamonds are applied onto a timepiece outside of the factory, it is said to be “aftermarket”...“custom”, “iced-out”, “blinged-out”, “bust down”, etc. “Iced-out” watches have proportions that don’t sit right because they were never designed nor manufactured with that intent. In factory set pieces, the diamonds will always be of a better quality. This often comes by means of higher grade/karat and/or dimensions; something that is near impossible to find on an aftermarket set because of supply costs. Aftermarket pieces often clock in at a lower value than their original counterpart thanks to this “upgrade”.

This Royal Oak can be viewed at our Manhattan gallery, APR57. If you like Audemars Piguet you will like our radio show. Tune into WOR 710 AM, every Sunday evening between 8pm-9pm.
If you have anything you would like to sell or have appraised please contact us. We are the only free appraisal service in town and we would love to tell you more about your piece. 
200 WEST 57TH ST.
NEW YORK, NY 10019
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