The Collection

40 Year Old Phenom


Audemars Piguet is one of the worlds leading watch manufacturers, if not THE leading watch manufacturer. Known for their impressive world firsts, Audemars is no stranger to raising the bar, or setting it. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Swiss watchmaker's revolutionary timepiece The Royal Oak.

Royal Oak over the years. 1972(left) 2012(right)
The Royal Oak debuted in 1972. For Audemars Piguet it marked there last chance at surviving one of the roughest periods in the company’s century-old history. Making the Royal Oak was a risky venture. What made it so was the fact that it was constructed entirely out of stainless steel yet cost more than any gold watch Audemars was producing at the time.

At launch the Royal Oak sold for over 3 grand (roughly $3,200). At the same time one could pick up Rolex’s Submariner for a mere $270. The Royal Oak was insanely expensive in the eyes of consumers, yet Audemars seemed to know exactly what they were doing.

Audemars' vision of the future, realized in the Royal Oak, would prove to be right as the watch would go on to sell in incredible numbers. The watch sold so well that Patek Philippe even hired the very same designer to build them their own steel sport watch.

Since the release of the original Royal Oak, AP has launched several spin-offs – chronographs, dual-times, and, the crown-jewel, the Grand Complication. AP’s most popular model, the Royal Oak Offshore still has many of the same attributes of the original, but, for purists, AP continues to make the original Royal Oak just as they did in 1972.

Different iterations of the Royal Oak
Audemars Piguet has a lot planned for the Royal Oak's 40th anniversary. Plans that take the Royal Oak and its impressive history all over the world from New York to Paris to Beijing, and numerous other places. At these stops Audemars has planned exhibits that feature photography, design, sound, and film - each telling a different part of the Royal Oak's rich origins.

2012 also brings a special iteration of the Royal Oak. This time Audemars goes back to its roots and reimages the classic Royal Oak in a extra-thin case with a radiant 'Petite Tapisserie' dial motif and the AP logo at 6 O'Clock. The distinctive blue color of the dial reflected in this instance by the date disk and the signature seamlessly integrated Royal Oak bracelet compile for an impressive piece. Audemars honors the legend of the Royal Oak with this modern classic.

The Royal Oak is Audemars Piguet's masterpiece. A watch that redefined watchmaking, and one that will not soon be forgotten. To see more from Audemars and the Royal Oak's 40th Anniversary click here.

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