If you are a watch enthusiast, you must have heard of the iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection. This collection is considered one of the most significant timepieces in the world of luxury watches and horology.
Audermars Piguet is also a part of the holy trinity of watchmaking which consists of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and of course Audemars Piguet. The Royal Oak collection was first introduced in 1972 at the now famous Baselworld watch fair and became a sensation in the world of horology.
The Royal Oak collection is known for its unique and iconic design and impeccable craftsmanship.
- The octagonal bezel with its eight hexagonal screws has become the collection's trademark and one of the most copied designs in the world of horology.
- The hand-polished and satin-brushed finishes add to the aesthetic appeal of the watch.
- The emblematic guilloché "Tapisserie" dial is manufactured with rare expertise, making each watch a true masterpiece in the way it catches light at different angles.
The Royal Oak collection is available in a variety of sizes, complications, and materials, catering to the diverse preferences of watch enthusiasts.
History of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is a luxury sports watch that has become one of the most coveted timepieces in the world. It was first introduced in 1972 and was designed by Gerald Genta, a renowned watch designer (think Patek Phillipe Nautilus).
The Royal Oak was a revolutionary watch at the time of its introduction, as it was the first luxury sports watch made of stainless steel. People were shocked at the price Audemars Piguet was asking for a steel watch.
Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 by Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet. The company quickly gained a reputation for creating high-quality watches with intricate complications.
By the early 1970s, Audemars Piguet had established itself as a leading manufacturer of luxury watches.
The Royal Oak was created in response to a changing market. Audemars Piguet wanted to create a watch that was both sporty and luxurious, and that could be worn in any setting.
The name "Royal Oak" comes from a series of eight British Royal Navy battleships named after the oak tree in which King Charles II of England hid to escape capture during the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
The Royal Oak's design was inspired by traditional diving helmets, with an octagonal bezel and exposed screws. The watch was also the first to feature an integrated bracelet, which was made of the same stainless steel as the case.
The Royal Oak was powered by the Calibre 2121, which was the thinnest automatic movement in the world at the time.
Despite its initial high price, the Royal Oak was a commercial success and helped to establish Audemars Piguet as a leader in luxury sports watches for decades to come. It didn’t happen overnight though, at first the Royal Oak received some criticism about the high price.
The Royal Oak’s success can be greatly attributed to being worn by Giovanni Agnelli, the CEO of Fiat in the 70s. Regarded as one of the most fascinating men in history, Mr Agnelli was the first famous individual to make the Royal Oak popular. He even wore it on top of his cuff, which caused a worldwide fashion trend.
There’s a fantastic documentary about his life called “Agnelli” which we highly recommend.
Today, the Royal Oak remains one of the most iconic watches in the world and has been produced in a variety of materials and styles, including the Royal Oak Offshore, which was introduced in 1993.
AP Royal Oak - Design and Aesthetics
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch is a true icon of luxury watch design. Let's take a closer look at some of the key design elements that make this watch so unique.
Iconic Octagonal Bezel
One of the most distinctive features of the Royal Oak is its octagonal bezel.
This shape was inspired by the portholes of a ship, and it has become one of the most recognizable design elements in the watch industry. The bezel is attached to the case with eight hexagonal screws, which not only provide a secure fit but also add to the visual appeal of the watch.
The porthole design of the Royal Oak is another key element that sets it apart from other luxury watches.
The watch's case is made up of multiple layers, with the bezel, caseback, and middle section all held together by screws. This creates a distinctive layered look that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Compared to Other Luxury Watches
The Royal Oak has often been compared to other luxury watches, such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the IWC Ingenieur, mainly because of the integrated bracelet, and being designed by Gerald Genta.
While these watches share some similarities, the Royal Oak's unique design elements set it apart from the rest, namely having a circular dial whereas the Nautilus has a case matching octagonal dial.
The Royal Oak is also considered to have the best bracelet of any watch on the market.
Variations in Material
The Royal Oak is available in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, titanium, ceramic, yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.
Each material offers a different look and feel, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your style.
Variations in Function
In addition to its iconic design, the Royal Oak is also available with a variety of complications, including chronographs, perpetual calendars, tourbillons, and even grand complications like minute repeaters.
These additional functions add to the watch's versatility and make it a popular choice among collectors. Royal Oaks are like chips, you can't have just one.
Variations in Case
Finally, the Royal Oak is available in a range of case sizes, from 34mm to 44mm. This allows you to choose the size that best fits your wrist and personal style.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak's design and aesthetics are truly unique, with its octagonal bezel, porthole design, and layered case.
Its availability in a variety of materials, functions, and case sizes make it a versatile and popular choice among luxury watch enthusiasts.
Royal Oak Price Evaluation
If you are considering purchasing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch, it is important to evaluate the price to ensure you are getting a fair deal. The price of a Royal Oak watch can vary widely depending on the model, year, condition, and other factors.
One way to determine the value of a Royal Oak watch is to get a free appraisal from a reputable dealer or appraiser. This can help you understand the current market value of the watch and ensure that you are not overpaying.
Additionally, an appraisal can provide documentation of the watch's value for insurance purposes.
When evaluating the price of a Royal Oak watch, it is important to consider factors such as the watch's condition, rarity, and provenance. Watches in excellent condition with original parts and documentation are typically worth more than those in poor condition or with aftermarket parts.
It is also important to consider the watch's worth in relation to other watches in the Royal Oak collection. Prices for Royal Oak watches can vary widely depending on the model and features, with some models selling for tens of thousands of dollars or more.
Ultimately, the price of a Royal Oak watch will depend on a variety of factors, including the watch's condition, rarity, and provenance.
By getting a free appraisal at a reputable dealer such as Wrist Aficionado and carefully evaluating the watch's worth, you can ensure that you are getting a fair deal on your purchase.
Wrist Aficionado: Your Go-To Destination for the Royal Oak
Now, where does one get their hands on this iconic timepiece? If you’re lucky enough to live next to an Authorized Dealer, they’ll tell you it’ll be years before you can get an allocation.
Even worse, you’ll be told you’ll have to buy other pieces to get the one you really want, spending tens of thousands of dollars extra.
So what’s the solution? Look no further than Wrist Aficionado. We're not just selling watches; we’re offering you a piece of horological history and immediate gratification when you’re losing sleep over your next grail piece.
Whether you’re looking to get your first steel Royal Oak, or dive deep into the brand with a ceramic grand complication… We’ve got you covered.
In the odd chance we don’t have your Royal Oak in stock, our dedicated sales experts will help source it for you. We look forward to helping you fullfil your Royal Oak dreams.
Buying, Selling, and Consigning—We Do It All
Already own a Royal Oak or a different watch and thinking of trading it in for a new model? We’ve got you covered.
At Wrist Aficionado, we buy and consign Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches all the time. It’s one of our favorite models to buy and sell.
We are here to make your upgrade and trade in path smooth and hassle-free. Your dream watch is just one call away.
You Ask, Wrist Aficionado Answers:
What is the price range for an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak?
The price range for an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak can vary greatly depending on the specific model and its features.
Generally, the starting price for a smaller sized and used Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is around $20,000. However, prices can range up to $100,000 or more for limited edition models or those with special features.
What are the differences between the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore?
The main difference between the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore is their size and design.
The Royal Oak Offshore is a larger and more rugged version of the Royal Oak, with a sportier and more modern look.
The Royal Oak Offshore also typically has additional features such as a chronograph and is water-resistant to a greater depth.
How does the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak compare to other luxury watch brands?
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is widely considered to be one of the most iconic and prestigious luxury watch brands in the world. Its unique design and high-quality craftsmanship set it apart from other luxury watch brands.
While there are other luxury watch brands that offer similar features and quality, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak has a distinct look and feel that is unmatched.
What is the history and significance of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak?
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was first introduced in 1972 and was designed by Gerald Genta. It was the first luxury watch to be made of stainless steel and featured a unique octagonal shape and exposed screws.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak quickly became a status symbol and has since become one of the most recognizable and iconic luxury watch brands in the world.
What are some unique features of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Skeleton?
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Skeleton features a transparent case that allows the wearer to see the intricate inner workings of the watch. It also has a unique skeletonized dial that adds to its distinctive look.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Skeleton is a highly sought-after model and is often considered a collector's item.
Are there any limited edition versions of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak available?
Yes, there are several limited edition versions of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak available. These limited edition models often feature unique designs and special features, making them highly sought-after by collectors.
Some limited edition models also commemorate special events or collaborations with other brands.