Audemars Piguet - The 2021 New York Watch Auction New York Saturday, December 11, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1977
    Reference No: 5402ST
    Movement No: 173’294
    Case No: C1428
    Model Name: Royal Oak, “C Series”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 2121C, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet link bracelet, max length 160mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet Extract from the Archives confirming registration of the present watch December 2, 1977, leather presentation box, and Audemars Piguet service receipt dated June 6, 2019.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak is without a doubt the brand's most recognizable timepiece. Along with Patek Philippe’s Nautilus model, and the reference 222 by Vacheron Constantin, these Swiss manufacturers sought to respond to the quartz crisis of the 1970s by redefining what a luxury watch can be, setting the world on fire with these creations over the last four decades. Released in 1972, the Royal Oak was the most expensive stainless steel watch ever produced at the time, costing more money to produce than their white gold dress wristwatches due to the difficulty in finishing stainless steel to their exceptional standard.
    Audemars Piguet commissioned famed designer Gerald Genta for the Royal Oak’s creation, 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. So ground-breaking was the concept, the brand’s competitors believed the watch would bankrupt the company, however the Royal Oak went on to become a design icon, and today accounts for over 70% of the brand's sales. The Royal Oak housed the extra slim caliber 2121, and also used by Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin in their Nautilus and 222 models.
    When first released, the Royal Oak reference 5402 featured the “AP” logo at 6 o’clock, compared with later examples with the “AP” logo positioned at 12 o’clock. Collectors today denote the “series” of the watch by the case number prominently seen on the case back with the earliest models referred to as “A-Series”. The present example from 1977 with case number “C1428” is part of the original “C” series. The watch became known amongst collectors as “Jumbo” due to the 39mm diameter case, which at the time was considered large compared to gentlemen’s dress watches of the time, most of which measured between 33 and 35 mm in diameter.

    Presented in excellent overall condition, and with Extract from the Archives, this Royal Oak is a wonderful example of the now iconic model. Its history as the first modern luxury sports watch, along with its timeless aesthetic, makes it a superb choice for the connoisseur.

  • 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
A very rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet, Extract from the Archives and presentation box

39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

$30,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $119,700

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021