The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is perhaps Genta’s most memorable work, and in many ways changed the shape of the watch industry.
The Royal Oak essentially created an entirely new category of 'luxury sport' timepieces, and with it came a new design language which inspired countless other manufactures. What's particularly delightful about the design of the Royal Oak is that it works brilliantly in a number of sizes and casing materials, from steel to carbon fiber or rose gold.
This particular model, a Reference 56303, is sized at 33mm and features the famous Royal Oak textured dial with applied luminous baton indices - both of which have taken on an absolutely stunning patina - and that integrated bracelet that has become so... yep... iconic. Wearing a smidge larger than its measurements would lead you to believe, this watch offers an exceptional value if you are looking for a more understated alternative compared to its larger siblings - even with its 18k yellow gold construction.
Try it on the wrist once, and you'll have a tough time taking it off - don't say we didn't warn you!
Audemars Piguet, the vaunted manufacture from Les Brassus, wasn't doing so well at the end of the 1960s. Their horological prowess aside, times were changing, customer tastes were evolving, and AP was stuck firmly in avery traditionalpast. Fortunately for us, their executives recognized this, and bet it all on the launch of an avant garde timepiece the likes of which the world had never seen.
Utilizing the talents of a designer named Gerald Genta, who would make his name for designing this very watch, AP planned from the beginning to make this new watch - dubbed the Royal Oak - a contradiction to tradition, and it became the world's first luxury sports watch. Made in steel. The gamble paid off, and the watch world clamored to get their hands on the cutting edge design, which featured a sharply angled watch with integrated bracelet, micro tapisserie dial, and ultra thin movement.
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