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Royal oak

article Reserved AUDEMARS PIGUET Royal Oak Chronographe

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AUDEMARS PIGUET Royal Oak Dual-Time

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article Sold AUDEMARS PIGUET Royal Oak Chronographe

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Cresus, online sales of pre-owned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches

 

The creation and success of a one-of-a-kind timepiece

In 1972, a watch nobody had been expecting was created and presented at Baselworld, the premier exhibition for the watch and jewelry industry. This was a watch unlike any other, built with an avant-garde design using unusual materials. It also stood out through its size: the world said hello to the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet.

During this era, the canons of beauty for watches were completely different. People loved small, round timepieces made of gold… in other words, the exact opposite of the Royal Oak, with its 39 mm width and octagonal case made of stainless steel! This was a true risk for Audemars Piguet, but it has certainly paid off as the Royal Oak has become an iconic wristwatch in its own right, as renowned and beloved as those made by Rolex or Jaeger LeCoultre.

The success is well deserved and the bold move proved a winner, but when renowned watch designer Gérald Genta and Roberto Carlotti jumped into the adventure, nothing could have been more uncertain. At the time, Audemars Piguet was seeing its watches snubbed by the collectors that made up the bulk of its clientele. Gérald Genta had already worked on the idea of a watch with a unique shape, as a creator, and the goal of a new watch line was to create timepieces that were a little less expensive, thus resulting in the idea – deemed crazy at the time - of producing stainless steel cases. This idea for the new collection was so risky for Audemars Piguet that originally, the factory wanted only to make a special limited edition of 1,000 units. However, the success at Basel was so great that production continued. There were many reasons for this enthusiasm: the bold, avant-garde dimension bore fruit, and younger generations were fond of the design and know-how that went into the timekeeper. What’s more, this watch was to make a name for itself as the first luxury sports watch. Another important aspect – this time in the marketing realm – was the price positioning. The original goal was to make a range that was a bit less expensive, but in the end, the Royal Oak became the most expensive stainless steel watch on the market, an argument that was appealing in its own right!

More than just a name

The name of the Royal Oak is a story in itself. What’s more, its origins are twofold. The name in fact comes from a ship in the British fleet called the HMS Royal Oak. This vessel, with an oak hull reinforced with plates of steel, symbolizes a certain massive power and itself was named in homage to the Royal Oak (the tree) in which Charles II of England hid after being defeated in the battle of Cromwell in 1651. Beyond the name, Gérald Genta gave this watch some of the characteristics of the power of a legendary warship and of a massive, robust, towering tree.

Based on its origins and on the growing demand of the clientele, the Royal Oak’s case had to be water-resistant. This was a success, as the lovely timepiece was born water-resistant down to 50 meters, with screws that flawlessly sealed the case. The stainless steel bracelet provided was also a sign of high performance, creating a uniform ensemble that flirted with perfection.

Indeed, the Royal Oak instantly stands apart from the crowd. It is even said to have its own special codes. These distinctive features are the integrated stainless steel bracelet mentioned above, the octagonal-shaped case with its screw-in bezel, and the ‘Grande Tapisserie’ dial exclusive to the brand, making it one of a kind. As for the extra-flat mechanical movement that sets this timepiece ticking, it only enhances the watch’s value.

Find all Royal Oak watches at Cresus

The Royal Oak has achieved such great success year after year that every anniversary date is a truly special event. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet released another exceptional model: the Royal Oak Offshore, water resistant down to 100 meters, available in a number of configurations. The Royal Oaks were then spun off into several models: the Royal Oak Chronograph, the Royal Oak Day and Date, the Royal Oak Dual Time, the Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel, the Royal Oak Equation du Temps, the Royal Oak Extra Plate 41 mm, the Royal Oak Tourbillon, the Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph, and the Royal Oak Grande Complication, all available in a number of versions. There are also special limited editions such as the Royal Oak Special Edition Leo Messi, and renowned special editions such as the Royal Oak Kasparov.

As for the Royal Oak Offshore, variations include the Royal Oak Offshore Automatic, the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph and the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph.

In 2012, the Royal Oak turned 40! Indeed, since it was created, the Royal Oak’s success has always carried on. Today, the Royal Oak is in the prime of its life, so to speak, with an illustrious past and so much potential for the future. To commemorate the occasion, Audemars Piguet put on a superb retrospective exposition. The Royal Oak is already an icon, a legend, but event the greatest classics can still surprise us. Keep an eye on this watch and find out more about it on the site with the widest range of pre-owned luxury watches: Cresuswatches.com .

 

 

 

Christian Odin

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