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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1975
    Reference No: 5402
    Movement No: 147'354
    Case No: 99'108
    Model Name: Royal Oak
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 2121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by original fitted box, open papers, a letter from Audemars Piguet Germany dated May 21, 1979 confirming the watch was made without serial numbers on the caseback and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present reference 5402 in 1975 without serial numbers.

  • Catalogue Essay

    We would tend to think that everything about Audemars Piguet’s groundbreaking and iconic reference 5402 is already known. Yet we can still delightfully stumble on a piece, like the present model, which adds scholarship to one of horology’s most documented models.

    When Audemars Piguet introduced the Royal Oak in 1972, it caused an immediate sensation as the watch industry had never seen anything comparable before. It was at the time the most expensive steel wristwatch available and marked the beginning of the luxury sports watch market as we know it today.

    The models bore a serial number on the back preceded with a letter corresponding to a “batch number” the first 2000 had the letter A, then B followed by C and finally D.
    The present example from 1975 has the particularity of not having a letter nor a serial number on the caseback.

    It is believed that these models, dating circa 1975, are transitional models between the A and B series. According to Audemars Piguet archives less than 100 of these versions are thought to have been made, with only a handful having appeared on the international auction market.

    In all aspects identical to the A series, the reference 5402 houses the extra slim caliber 2121 based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre cal. 920, that would later be found in the Nautilus wristwatch.
    In overall very appealing condition the dial of the present example is showing copper reflections giving it a superbly charismatic appearance.

    The present watch is offered with original fitted box, open papers, a letter from Audemars Piguet Germany dated May 21, 1979 confirming the watch was made without serial numbers on the caseback and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present reference 5402 in 1975 without serial numbers.

    Today, the Royal Oak remains as iconic as ever, with both modern and vintage examples being exceedingly popular and collectible. The present ultra-rare example without serial numbers is a grail that cannot be missed.

  • Maker Bio

    Audemars Piguet

    Swiss • 1881

    A specialist in the manufacture of complications since it was established in 1881, Audemars Piguet never ceases to impress with a rich history of creating bold, even audacious, timepieces underpinned by traditional watchmaking at its finest. This Le Brassus-based Swiss manufacturer is one of only two major manufacturers still owned by the founding family. Since its earliest days, AP is considered a leader in the field of minute repeaters and grande complication pocket and wristwatches. The brand is devoted to preserving the history of watchmaking in the Vallée de Joux, showcased at their superb museum in Le Brassus.

    Today, the brand is best known for its Royal Oak models, a revolutionary luxury sports watch launched in 1972. Other key models include early minute repeating wristwatches, vintage chronograph wristwatches, such as the oversized reference 5020, perpetual calendar watches and the Royal Oak Offshore, first introduced in 1993.

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209

Ref. 5402
A highly rare stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet, copper "tropical" dial without serial number on caseback

1975
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF40,000 - 80,000 
€37,600-75,200
$41,200-82,400

sold for CHF100,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020