Audemars Piguet - The Royal Oak 50th Geneva Friday, May 6, 2022 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 2002
    Reference No: 25990BC
    Movement No: 415'478
    Case No: E71337.1/1
    Model Name: Royal Oak Grande Complication
    Material: 18K white gold, diamonds and mother-of-pearl
    Calibre: Automatic, cal 2885, 52 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K white gold, diamond-set Audemars Piguet bracelet, max length 180mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold, diamond-set Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 45mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet Certificate of Guarantee and Certificate of Origin confirming the watch as a pièce unique, sale of the present watch in 2002, and stamped by Audemars Piguet, key and key pouch, fitted and wooden presentation box. Further accompanied by Audemars Piguet and Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo co-signed Royal Oak 50th Anniversary Attestation.

  • Catalogue Essay

    With reference 25990, Audemars Piguet upped the ante by delicately gem setting the Royal Oak Grande Complication. These pieces were produced from 2002 until 2011 in white gold and pink gold.

    Watch collecting can be construed as made up of two different aspects. On the one hand, collectors appreciate the aesthetics of a watch; when endowed with particular dials, unusual case materials, special decorative techniques and so on, timepieces acquire a whole new level of appeal. On the other hand, there is the mechanical complexity of a timepiece which is composed of the different complications and regulating devices.

    The present example represents the most sumptuous merging of these two universes: a true Grande Complication fully set with diamonds and featuring blue mother-of-pearl subsidiary dials.

    Gem-set Royal Oak pieces - especially dating to more than a few years ago - are enormously scarce, both due to the cost of the objects, but also to the fact that gem-setting on a sports watch is a conflictual combination as the ethos of the watch calls for more robust and technical materials (steel above all). On the technical side, while the term “Grande Complication” is wildly abused these days for marketing purposes, it has a semi-official definition - hardly ever respected, with the present watch being the exception to the rule: a watch defined as a “true” Grande Complication timepiece should incorporate a timing complication, a calendar complication and a chiming complication. Only a handful of wristwatch models respect these requirements. The present timepiece in fact not only respects them, but even exceeds them: it does feature a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar and a chronograph but as if this was not enough, the ante is upped by the fact that this is no mere chronograph, but a split-second variation.

    Combining astoundingly lavish gem-setting and equally fascinating technical proficiency, the present watch is without a doubt one of the most important (and costly) Royal Oak pieces ever made, and it is not surprising that its caseback bears the unmistakable mark of unicity: 1/1.

    A pinnacle of Audemars Piguet production which would deserve the spotlight in any of the most important Royal Oak collections.

  • 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. 25990BC
An impressive, unique and highly complicated white gold and diamond-set minute repeating perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph wristwatch with moonphases, blue mother-of-pearl subdials, bracelet, certificate of origin and box. Number 1/1

45mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF250,000 - 500,000 

Sold for CHF541,800

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