Audemars Piguet - The Royal Oak 50th Geneva Friday, May 6, 2022 | Phillips

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    • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
      Year: 2012
      Reference No: 25865ST
      Movement No: 791'905
      Case No: H71336.1
      Model Name: Royal Oak Grande Complication
      Material: Stainless Steel
      Calibre: Automatic, cal 2885, 52 jewels
      Bracelet/Strap: Stainless Steel Audemars Piguet bracelet, max length 180mm
      Clasp/Buckle: Stainless Steel Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
      Dimensions: 44mm Diameter
      Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
      Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet warranty, Certificate of Authenticity booklet confirming the year of production to July 05, 2012, additional stainless steel deployant clasp, suede pouch, stud for bracelet attachment, winding presentation box and outer packaging. Further accompanied by Audemars Piguet and Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo co-signed Royal Oak 50th Anniversary Attestation.

    • Catalogue Essay

      This “Grande Complication” is without a doubt one of the most accomplished achievements of the company in the realm of Royal Oak timepieces. Uniting in the same sporty Royal Oak case three refined complications - a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar and a chronograph, split-second nonetheless - the watch can be considered a true "summa" of Audemars Piguet's technical proficiency as well as the ultimate paragon of their definition of sport luxury.

      Since their earliest beginning - which occur on pocket watches for obvious space reasons - Grande Complication timepieces have been produced - usually as a Pièce Unique or extremely limited series - by the most technically proficient brands to prove their horological savoir-faire. A Grande Complication piece usually includes a chiming, a calendar and a timing complication: given the astounding cost and difficulty involved with such movements, they were either special commission orders or the equivalent of what is today called a "marketing stunt".

      A number of different factors - such as the advancements of technology, and the 1990s rediscovery of mechanical watchmaking - prompted over time Grande Complication timepieces to start making their appearance on the wrist of collectors rather than in their pocket. Still, the challenges and costs involved with the realization of such watches mean that their rarity is paramount even in modern times.

      While creating a Grande Complication piece is a daunting challenge in any case, the genius and folly of this instance - which, from a certain point of view, represents the ultimate elevation of the concept of luxury sport horology introduced in 1972 - is to incorporate such an elevated movement in a stainless steel sport watch. Beyond being conceptually groundbreaking, such a project involves remarkable technical challenges. A scholarly treaty could be written about the modifications to the original Royal Oak design required to make it viable for such a complicated calibre. This concept would have been beyond visionary only a few decades ago and even in 2012, when this watch was made, it was an expression of remarkable bravery on part of the company, considered that the explosion of the sports watch market was still below the horizon.

      As mentioned, Grande Complication timepieces are usually made as Pièce Unique or in extremely limited series. As the number 1/1 on the caseback proclaims, this watch falls in the former category. The calibre 2885 giving life to this model is an absolute masterpiece of horology, both for its architecture and for its finish as well. It features an impressive 648 components, hand-finished by a single master watchmaker who needs about a year to complete the task.

      The pinnacle of watchmaking prowess, a Grand Complication is a timepiece that very few makers have mastered well enough to ever offer on the market. The present piece is a powerful example of Audemars Piguet’s watchmaking dexterity, the ultimate expression of the ethos of the Royal Oak line, an absolute masterpiece of horological art and a champion of exclusivity.

    • 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. 25865ST
A unique and mesmerizing stainless steel perpetual calendar, minute repeating, split-seconds chronograph Grande Complication wristwatch with moonphases, box, guarantee and extract bearing No. 1

44mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Full Cataloguing

CHF250,000 - 500,000 

Sold for CHF352,800

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi

Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81


Virginie Liatard-Roessli
Head of Sale, Specialist
+41 76 338 91 03

The Royal Oak 50th

Geneva Auction 6 May 2022