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 a very traditional past. 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, 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 stainless steel, no less. The gamble paid off: Genta became a household name, and the watch world clamored to get their hands on the Royal Oak’s cutting-edge design, which featured a sharply angled watch with integrated bracelet, micro-tapisserie dial, and ultra-thin movement. Today, 50 years later, hunger for the Royal Oak remains unabated.
This particular Royal Oak, a Reference 14800, dates to the late 1980s/early 1990s and features a 36mm 18K yellow gold case with an integrated black alligator leather strap and a signed yellow gold deployant clasp, a white micro-tappisserie Tritium dial with applied yellow gold baton indices, a matching handset, a signed crown, and the Audemars Piguet Calibre 2125 automatic movement beating within.
Well sized, svelte and dressy, this is the type of Royal Oak that works dressed up or down, no matter the occasion.
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