One of the most recognized models, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak features an octagonal bezel, “tapisserie” dial and an integrated bracelet. Originally released in 1972, the Royal Oak is a modern staple.
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About Royal Oak
The Audemars Piguet (AP) Royal Oak is no less than one of the most influential watches of all time. Its progressive design was unprecedented – a blend of a dressy yet sporty, in steel, that set the wave of luxury sports watches into motion. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is most known for two of its design features: the unusual bezel and idiosyncratic bracelet. The octagonal bezel is inspired by the porthole of a ship, giving the watch an overall nautical feel. AP was the first company to popularize bringing a high level of finishing to stainless steel, and that is showcased mainly in the five-link integrated bracelet. This is again a design element distinctive to the Royal Oak’s DNA. Without these features, the watch would simply not be an AP Royal Oak. If you're interested in other references check out 15400and 15202
The History of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Audemars Piguet released the AP Royal Oak in 1972 with their backs against the wall of terror that was the Quartz Crisis. AP wanted to bring something never-seen-before to the market, and they did just that with the release of this watch. Famous watch-designer, Gerald Genta, was responsible for drawing up this piece. Gerald Genta also designed the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Omega Constellation, and IWC Ingenieur . The octagonal case and bezel screws were inspired by the porthole of a ship, which is also where the notorious name was derived. The watch was so significant because it was the first luxury sports watch. At the time of its release, watches were either refined dress watches or rugged tool watches. The AP Royal Oak blended these two aspects together, offering a high-end steel watch, that was sort of dressy and sporty, that also had a luxury price tag. This release would give way to another icon to be released a few years later, the Nautilus.
What Makes the Royal Oak So Desirable?
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is so much more than just a watch – it is part of history, and so many watch collectors want to own and experience a small piece of that history for themselves. A watch can’t just become so desired overnight though. The time-tested design lends itself to be fit for any occasion. Couple that with the list of prominent celebrities and public figures that have sported these watches over the years, and it’s no wonder that the AP Royal Oak was propelled to the status that it has today. Audemars Piguet only produces 40,000 watches a year, so purchasing a new Royal Oak can take years, which is why many collectors prefer purchasing pre-owned.
Popular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak References
Adding a Royal Oak to your collection can be daunting—there are so many options on the secondary market, from classic and sleek stainless steel references to striking rose gold iterations. Check out a handful of the collection’s most popular references to kickstart your research.
Some may say Audemars Piguet watches are simply unattainable because of the high prices they command, but adding one to the collection may not be as impossible as they think! Going the pre-owned route is the value-driven way to pick up an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and though they still are not inexpensive by any means, the pre-owned market offers Royal Oaks at much more achievable prices. If you are in the market for an AP Royal Oak, Watchbox’s global inventory is the best place to start your search!
Frequently asked questions
How much is Audemars Piguet Royal Oak?
The Royal Oak, the most popular model of Audemars Piguet’s collections, ranges in price depending on several variables such as age, material, reference, size, and complications.
How to spot a fake Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
First, we always recommend purchasing a pre-owned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak through a verified seller, such as WatchBox. To avoid purchasing a fake Royal Oak, here are a few things to look out for:
Thickness - Authentic Royal Oaks are 9.8mm thick, fake models tend to be thicker than 9.8mm.
Tapisserie on watch dial - Authentic Royal Oak dials are embossed smoothly, and aren’t overly thick.
Screw sizes on bezel - Real Royal Oak models feature symmetrical and consistent screw sizes on the bezel.
Engraved details on back - Fake models are known to have “AUDEMARS” in thick text, and “PIGUET” in thin and too tall text. This is found on the back of the watch.
Fit and finishing - Authentic Royal Oak models don’t rust and the materials have a high-quality feeling.
“Swiss Made” on the dial of the watch - Look for the “Swiss Made” text at the 6 o’clock area of the dial in real models.
AP logo on crown and clasp - Check for proper font weight.
How to buy an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The Royal Oak is a rare and highly sought-after model, as there aren’t many in production. The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202ST is especially hard to find, with a waiting period of 2 to 3 years. Learn more about the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin.
We recommend purchasing a Royal Oak in the pre-owned watch market, as you’ll have the opportunity to find ready-to-buy models, many of which are no longer in production. Discover rare references at WatchBox, like the Royal Oak “City of Sails” 30th Anniversary Limited Edition watch.
Royal Oak Pricing Guide