Released in 1972 and designed by Gerald Genta, watchmaking's most famous designer, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was the first stainless steel luxury sports watch ever to exist. Released as a tactic to survive the quartz crisis, the Royal Oak can single-handedly be thanked for AP's existence today due to its astounding success, albeit it wasn't an overnight hit. Its sizeable tonneau-shaped case, signature integrated bracelet, octagonal bezel, exposed screws, and steel construction failed to win over collectors until a few years later. Launched in 1972 as a limited series of 1000 pieces, the A-Series ref. 5402 was the first series of Royal Oak to be released. With its 39mm stainless steel case it was quickly nicknamed the “Jumbo” due to how much larger it was compared to other watches from the time. With its ‘Petite Tapisserie’ dial, the A-Series can be identified by the position of its AP logo at 6 o’clock. Today, the Royal Oak is one of the most highly-coveted timepieces in all horology as its previously dismissed design details have permeated across the industry and into watches like the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Vacheron Constantin Overseas, Rolex Oysterquartz, amongst many other legendary timepieces. Offered with a partially tropicalized dial, this example’s dial boasts a beautiful golden hue that matches and accentuates the creamy yellow patina of its iconic luminescent hour markers and hands.
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Vetted & Approved
Est. value range
$80,000 – $100,000
Watch is in overall very good condition. Case exhibits light to moderate wear, with surface scratches on many of the surfaces. Case number and engravings on back are clear and visible. Dial has oxidized to a tropical effect, and luminous on hands and dial have aged consistently. The crown on the watches a later service part, with the AP logo engraved. The bracelet has light notching and moderate stretch. It has 19 links total, with one being removable.
Widely recognized as one of the most iconic timepieces ever produced, the Royal Oak ref. 5402 is perhaps one of the most important watches to ever be released, with its debut reviving Audemars Piguet and leading to the widespread adoption of stainless steel sports watches into most high-end watchmakers' arsenals.