Audemars Piguet - The Royal Oak 50th Geneva Friday, May 6, 2022 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1978
    Reference No: 5402BC
    Movement No: 174'456
    Case No: B22947.0030
    Model Name: Royal Oak
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal 2121, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K white gold Audemars Piguet bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet extract from the register, certificate of origin and box. Furthermore 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 sport 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.

    The current Royal Oak in 18-karat white gold is one of the most sought-after variations of the original reference 5402 – popularly known as the "Jumbo." This reference 5402BC is one of just 150 thought to have been made by the company. Its exquisite heaviness, crafted from 18-karat gold, is striking, especially when contrasted to ordinary manufacturing stainless steel models. Its unique, octagonal bezel measures 39mm in diameter and is fastened by mirror-polished, white gold hexagonal screws that provide an attractive, eye-catching contrast to the brushed polished bezel. The captivating black dial showcases a mini guilloché-"tapisserie" pattern which creates a sense of deepness when contrasted against its diamond hour markers and white gold case. The present timepiece has further kept its original color on the dial, rigidity and proportions on the case, the hallmarks are crisp, and the bracelet further retains its rigidity. For collectors of premium sports watches, the current lot represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

  • 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. 5402BC
An extremely rare and fine white gold wristwatch with diamond indexes, certificate of origin and box

39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for CHF201,600

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