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

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 2018
    Reference No: 26518ST
    Movement No: AG8565
    Case No: J65630
    Model Name: Royal Oak Tourbillon
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal 2924, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet bracelet, max length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 41mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet and Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo co-signed Royal Oak 50th Anniversary Attestation.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The tourbillon is one of the most fascinating inventions of the entire field of watchmaking, and for multiple reasons. First of all, the intellectual concept of the tourbillon is enormous: to conceive the intuition of having the entire balance wheel revolve on itself to compensate for gravity-induced deviations is beyond cunning, and even more remarkably when one recalls that this mechanism was devised in the late 1700s (the A.L. Breguet patent for the tourbillon dates to 1801). From a technical point of view, the concept is simply diabolical to execute given the minute size and even more minute tolerances required. And, finally, from an aesthetic point of view it is one of the very few - beyond the balance wheel, obviously - actively decorative elements that a dial can feature, enthralling the beholder with its subtle dance.

    While the tourbillon is one reason for the collectability of this piece, the other is its skeletonized movement, a most appropriate choice for such a refined timepiece which allows the entirety of the movement to be seen without any obstruction to the dial. Epitomizing Audemars Piguet's skills to realize a true masterpiece of mechanical art: the elegantly curved architecture of the bridges is sublime and nearly organic. When admired from the back, the movement gives the impression of being a sort of steampunk, futuristic spiderweb.

    Compounding to the aesthetic and technical pinnacle of the timepiece, the present watch is furthermore part of a 100-pieces limited edition, adding a remarkable level of rarity to this spectacular ensemble.

  • 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. 26518ST
A very attractive and rare stainless steel tourbillon wristwatch with skeletonized dial and bracelet, made in a limited edition of 100 pieces

41mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF120,000 - 240,000 

Sold for CHF327,600

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