Audemars Piguet - Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches Hong Kong Thursday, May 25, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1991
    Reference No: 25654BA.OO.0944BA.01
    Movement No: 346’851
    Case No: C19’540, No. 257
    Model Name: Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 2120/2800, 38 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Audemars Piguet bracelet, max length 180mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Delivered with Audemars Piguet Extract from the Archives confirming the present timepiece’s date of registration on 27th May 1991.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First introduced in 1972, the Royal Oak was Audemars Piguet’s inaugural stainless steel time-only sports watch, boasting an incredibly modern and sporty aesthetic, fitted with an integrated bracelet. An unusual release during the peak of the Quartz Revolution, this robust design became the blueprint that set the boom of luxury sports models in motion.

    Just twelve years after its conception, the ref. 25554 was unveiled in 1984 as the "OG” Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar wristwatch. Striving to fuse form with function, the firm incorporated the compact yet commanding caliber 2120/2800 into the thin Royal Oak case, making the ref. 25554 one of the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendars at the time. The model was subsequently delivered in yellow gold, platinum and stainless steel, with an estimated 279 examples made throughout its 8-year production run, across all metals.

    While the Royal Oak ref. 25554 laid the groundwork, it was the present model, ref. 25654, that cemented the success of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. Between 1987 and 1999, a total of 851 examples left the Le Brassus workshops: 38 in platinum, 68 two-tone examples with stainless steel and white gold, 315 pieces in stainless steel and 430 pieces in yellow gold. While the two models are aesthetically quite similar, the ref. 25654 is cased in a slightly thicker case of 8.25mm rather than the preceding 7.50mm, which subsequently improved its water resistance capabilities.

    The present Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 25654BA is a beautifully preserved example, boasting a highly collectible MK I dial. The layout of the dial includes all the fundamental indications of a perpetual calendar, but also features stick hands, which are rarely found in Royal Oak watches. The sub-dials are slightly sunken, adding depth and texture to the otherwise-flat champagne dial. Further defined by its small signature under the moon phase, along with its three gold pearled indexes at 3, 9 and 12 o’clock, the present lot possesses all the desirable traits collectors seek on the earlier examples of the reference 25654. In addition, the MK I dial does not include a leap year indication as this function was only added nine years later, following the upgrade of the movement to the caliber 2120/2802 in 1993.

    Moving on to the case, the polished screws, bezel and case bevels provide a sharp contrast against the brushed surfaces of the case and bracelet. The watch retains its original unsigned crown, white gold clasp and clasp cover with the correct "AP" signature.

    Having aged gracefully through the ravages of time, this well-preserved vintage gem is blessed with an attractive layer of patina on the case and will most certainly appeal to both novice collectors and discerning connoisseurs of the Royal Oak.

  • 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. 25654BA.OO.0944BA.01
An extremely fine, rare and well-preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with MK I dial, moon phases and integrated bracelet

39mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$470,000 - 940,000 

Sold for HK$660,400

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Head of Mid-Season Sales
+852 2318 2014

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches

Hong Kong Auction 25 May 2023