An early and extremely rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with date and tachymeter scale, accompanied by presentation box and certificate of authenticity

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1992
    Reference No: 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01
    Movement No: 369'381
    Case No: D23813, Number 070
    Model Name: Royal Oak "Off Shore"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 2226/2840, 54 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet link bracelet, max. length 180mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 42mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by presentation box and Certificate of Authenticity

  • Catalogue Essay

    Collectors across the globe have admired the beauty of this “Beast” for years. A historic milestone for Audemars Piguet, Reference 25721 ST marks the beginning of the Royal Oak Offshores that we know and love today. The inspiration behind the Offshore came from one of Gerald Genta’s most iconic designs, the Royal Oak. Still in production today, the Royal Oak was first introduced to the market in 1972, during the depths of the quartz crisis. At the time, it was the most expensive steel watch ever offered to the public. In 1989, designer Emmanuel Gueit conceptualized his ideas as an evolution from the beloved Royal Oak from its classic form into a more robust and substantial watch that is able to withstand exposure to inclement weather conditions and rough terrain. When unveiled at Basel Fair in 1993, reference 25721 was shortly thereafter nicknamed “The Beast” due to what was, at the time, its astonishing 42mm case size. The Offshore was revolutionary, and arguably, it established the trend for large-sized watches, becoming the norm in today’s modern production watches.
    The present example is number 70, making it one of the earliest examples of the Offshore to appear on the market. Interestingly, the first 100 examples of this rare reference omit the ‘Offshore’ designation on the caseback - simply engraved ‘Royal Oak’, as seen on the present watch.
    The Offshore incorporated a chronograph complication with silicon caps on the pushers and crown, curved bracelet links, and a thick, visible gasket on the bezel. Due to the substantial size of the case, the automatic caliber 2226/2840 was placed inside an inner anti-magnetic case. The dial features a guilloché “petite tapisserie” pattern – a motif resembling small paver stones. Scholarship suggests that dials found on later Offshores have a total of nine squares along the top of the ‘Audemars Piguet’ signature, whereas these earliest versions only have eight. For over twenty years, the Royal Oak Offshore has remained a centerpiece within the firm’s collection with well over 100 different variations in existence. Its iconic, robust case with signature octoganal bezel can easily be spotted from a distance, and continues to be a favorite amongst collectors. As the only example of the first 100 Offshore’s made to ever be offered at auction, it is a rare gem. Accompanied by its presentation box and certificate of origin, it will surely delight collectors who appreciate historically significant examples of iconic watches.

  • 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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Ref. 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01
An early and extremely rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with date and tachymeter scale, accompanied by presentation box and certificate of authenticity

1992
42mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF10,000 - 15,000 
€9,200-13,800
$10,300-15,500

sold for CHF27,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016