Audemars Piguet - The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX Geneva Friday, November 10, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1974
    Reference No: 5402ST
    Movement No: 158'014
    Case No: 099'351 - A859
    Model Name: Royal Oak "A Series"
    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 and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet service papers dating, 20 October 2009, 26 October 2012 and 19 March, 2015.

  • Catalogue Essay

    There are watches with powerful and timeless designs and then there are watches whose design has defined other timepieces in their category. The Royal Oak is such a piece. Not only did Audemars Piguet create the first luxury sports watch with the Royal Oak in 1972, but it set the benchmark for this category, and is a model other luxury sports watches are systematically compared to.

    The quartz crisis of the 1970s hit Swiss manufacturers hard. To face the surging waves of cheap Japanese quartz watches and instead of offering a more affordable watch, Audemars Piguet decided to challenge the market with audacity and disruption. It is believed that the brand gave independent designer Gerald Genta only a day to come up with a groundbreaking design. The result was a surprisingly bold maritime inspired design featuring an octagonal bezel secured by eight hexagonal gold screws, visible water resistance gasket, and a dial adorned with a tapisserie motif.

    The Royal Oak was presented in 1972. It was at the time the world’s most expensive steel watch, costing even more than some of the brand’s gold cased watches. Interestingly, the Royal Oak housed the extra slim caliber 2121 (developed by Jaeger LeCoultre as caliber 920), a caliber used by the three great Swiss makers in their luxury steel sports watches of the 1970s: Patek Philippe's Nautilus, Vacheron Constantin's 222 and of course Audemars Piguet with the Royal Oak.

    The first Royal Oak model reference 5402 is also referred to as the "A-Series" or "Jumbo". The "A-Series" is distinguished by the placement of the “AP” logo above 6 o’clock, compared to later examples typically bearing the “AP” logo at 12 o’clock. The dial is fitted with a dark tapisserie dial, aperture for date at 3 o’clock and luminous white gold hands and hour markers.

    The present example features an ususual and highly attractive dark grey dial with copper accents giving the watch an added dash of exuberance.

    The present example is number 859, indicating that it was the 859th Royal Oak produced. Adding to the collectability of this piece, the watch is presented with Audemars Piguet service papers.

  • 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 very rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with date, bracelet and service papers

39mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF50,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX

Geneva Auctions 11 - 12 November 2017