The Royal Oak was a groundbreaking model both for the Audemars Piguet brand and for the watch industry as whole. The watch’s strikingly unconventional look turned the world of luxury watch design upside down. It features a hexagonal bezel, exposed screws, and integrated bracelet. Although its unique, bold, and unusual construction was polarizing at first, the Royal Oak was ultimately a hit. In fact, it has become the brand’s flagship model. Buying an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch means owning one of the most memorable and iconic designs ever made. Browse our selection of exceptional used Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches for sale.
On eve of the 1972 Swiss Watch Show (now known as Baselworld), the managing director of Audemars Piguet, George Golay, met with the famed watch designer Gerald Genta. Golay told Genta of his market research, the growing popularity of stainless steel, and the desire to create a sort of luxury sport watch. The only catch: they needed it the following day to present at the Swiss Watch Show. Genta delivered what he considered one of the great masterpieces of his career, and the Royal Oak was born.
The design of the Royal Oak was completely novel and strikingly unconventional. It featured an octagonal bezel, hexagonal exposed screws, and integrated bracelet. The Royal Oak also opened an entirely new category of watches: the luxury sport watch. Its superlative hand-finishing (once only reserved for dress watches) was contrasted by functions like a noticeable water resistance gasket. The Royal Oak was ready for a business meeting or an impromptu adventure. It had it all and could do it all. While the Royal Oak wasn't an instant success, the brand stuck with the design and it paid off. The first batch of 1,000 Royal Oak models with the Reference 5402, also known as the A-Series, have become some of the most highly sought after in the pre-owned market.
Today, the Royal Oak has become the centerpiece of the Audemars Piguet brand. In more recent years, the brand pushed the boundaries of watchmaking by experimenting with innovative techniques and materials for the collection. For instance, in 2018, they debuted the Royal Oak Frosted Gold, which incorporates a unique hammered finish. A year later, Audemars Piguet added several ceramic iterations to the Royal Oak collection.
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Selling Your Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Watches