Audemars Piguet - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: Circa 1978
    Reference No: 5402
    Movement No: 186'857
    Case No: C1969, inside caseback stamped B3969
    Model Name: Royal Oak "C Series"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 2121/1, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet bracelet stamped "AP" to the endlinks, max length 175mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, clasp and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet box and outer packaging.

  • Catalogue Essay

    According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the present watch was sold in Singapore in 1978.

    Launched in 1972, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was the world’s first stainless steel luxury sports watch with a fully integrated bracelet. Designed overnight in response to an urgent request for an ‘unprecedented steel watch’, it was at the same time the most expensive stainless steel watch ever made. The brand sought famed designer Gerald Genta, who developed a brilliantly engineered, monoblock case, with a distinctively maritime feel, featuring an octagonal bezel secured by eight hexagonal, white gold screws, and a dial with tapisserie motif. While today the Royal Oak is a legend, accounting for over 70% of the brand’s sales, at the beginning it was more than a bet, it was a true visionary revolution, the first appearance of what is today's most successful kind of wristwatch: the luxury sport watch in steel.

    The present specimen is a representative of the C series, and is distinguished by its superior overall condition. Most notably, the case presents very sharp facets and edges, maintaining unadulterated all of its original details. An intriguing detail is found on the bracelet endlinks, which feature the AP logo, a quirk found only on few examples of the model.

  • 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. 5402
A remarkable and genre-defining stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet

Circa 1978
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, clasp and bracelet signed

CHF40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF107,100

Contact Specialist

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021