The Coveted Royal Oak
Art on Your Wrist
What can be said about the Royal Oak that has not already been said before? How can you adequately describe something that is larger than life?
It was Baselworld, 1972 when a legend was born: Audemars Piguet and Gerald Genta unveiled the Royal Oak, an integrated bracelet, luxury steel sports watch, the likes of which the world had never seen before. Long before steel or sports watches were a thing, AP and Genta had the foresight to introduce this icon, but why? Like everyone else, Audemars Piguet was struggling due to the quartz crisis and they felt a financial collapse was on the horizon. Having done some research in the Italian market, they found that there was a longing for a steel sports watch, something to wear every day, beat around and not worry about it. Despite theoriginal intended use of the legendary Royal Oak, it is perhaps the most coveted watch in the market today.
It is said that Genta designed the Royal Oak just 24 hours before it was presented to the world; he had a carte blanche from Audemars Piguet to do what he wanted. According to Genta, the Royal Oak octagonal bezel was designed after a diver’s helmet. The famous Tapisserie dial of the Royal Oak is made on a rose engine that is over 100 years old, and is believed to be the only one of its kind. This watch, is one of a few that has transcended watches as a whole; it is akin to wearing art on your wrist.
The Royal Oak Jumbo is considered to be on the Mount Rushmore of vintage watchmaking. The present watch is an all-original B Series in top condition—the bezel is sharp and the bracelet shows little to no stretch—making it one of the best examples to be found.