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

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1974
    Reference No: 5402ST
    Movement No: 138'684
    Case No: 80468.A1468
    Model Name: Royal Oak "A Series"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 2121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet original box, original guarantee dated 18.4.1975 and product literature. Further accompanied by Audemars Piguet and Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo co-signed Royal Oak 50th Anniversary Attestation.

  • Catalogue Essay

    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 Gérald Genta, who developed a brilliantly engineered, monobloc 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, 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 sports watch in steel.

    The Royal Oak model reference 5402ST has been produced in four different batches: A, B, C and D with small design details that made each slightly different.

    The reference 5402 remained in the Audemars Piguet catalogues for 25 years and was produced in 6,050 examples over the different series.

    Reference 5402 represents the birth of a legend: it is a timepiece whose echo is still very much felt today not only in the Audemars Piguet production, but in the watchmaking world at large. Simply put, one cannot design a steel sports watch without drawing a comparison with this model.

    When putting together this sale, we managed to source some incredible examples of the reference - early serial numbers, no number examples, double-signed pieces…. - but we felt obliged to offer also a standard, wearable example of the A series production, complete with its original box and certificate. In our opinion, this watch represents the purest incarnation - unadulterated by additional rare traits - of the mythical reference.

  • 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
An early and well preserved stainless steel wristwatch with date, original box and guarantee

1974
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF70,000 - 140,000 
€68,800-138,000
$74,300-149,000

Sold for CHF245,700

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi

Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81
[email protected]

 

Virginie Liatard-Roessli
Head of Sale, Specialist
+41 76 338 91 03
[email protected]

The Royal Oak 50th

Geneva Auction 6 May 2022