Audemars Piguet - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: Circa 1975
    Reference No: 5402ST
    Movement No: 47'117
    Case No: 99'015
    Model Name: Royal Oak
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 2121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet bracelet, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a letter from Audemars Piguet Germany dated May 23, 1979 confirming the watch was made without serial numbers on the caseback and an Audemars Piguet Authenticity and Exclusivity Certificate.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Until very recently it was believed that the original Royal Oak reference 5402 was made in 4 batches or series: A, B, C and D. However a very small number of reference 5402s were made without any alpha-numerical serial numbers on the case back.

    The present example is part of this elusive batch that 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.

    This 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 June 2020 Phillips offered a reference 5402 sans alpha-numerical number with case number 99'108 - the present example bears case number 99’015 only 93 numbers apart.

    Not only is the present model extremely rare but its desirability is enhanced even further thanks to the beautiful “tropical” dial with light copper accents in the centre.

    The present watch is offered with an Audemars Piguet Authenticity and Exclusivity Certificate as well as a letter from Audemars Piguet Germany dated May 23, 1979 confirming the watch was made without serial numbers on the caseback.

    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.

  • Artist Biography

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

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

CHF40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF81,900

Contact Specialist

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

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021