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. 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.
Released in the 90s, the AP Royal Oak ref. 56175 is a wonderful example of the Royal Oak's ability to be sized up or down depending on the customers that AP wanted their watch to cater for. A 33mm diameter timepiece, the ref. 56175 is indeed a scaled-down version of Gerald Genta's iconic design, with every aspect of its construction equally scaled-down so precisely that nothing is out of place. Constructed from tantalum and stainless steel, and powered by a quartz movement, this the ref. 56175TT caters to the original ideology that spurred the Royal Oak's design as an everyday luxury sports watch, but with a twist in that it swaps the Royal Oak's typical stainless steel for a metal seldom seen in watchmaking, and most commonly seen in the aerospace industry. Fitted with a dark grey petite tapisserie dial displaying just the time, the Royal Oak ref. 56175 is understated due to its lack of exuberant functions while retaining its iconic design and strong presence on the wrist. Launched as a limited edition variant of the ref. 56175, the ref. 56175TT boasts just 2000 pieces as part of its reference, and so this is a truly rare occasion to add this piece to your collection.
Loupe This Scorecard
Vetted & Approved
Est. value range
$8,000 – $12,000
Watch is in excellent overall condition. Tantalum case shows some signs of surface scratches. Steel bezel also exhibits light scratches. The dial has a few indications of oxidation, visible primarily along the edge and center of the dial. Bracelet has 17 links, 3 of which are removable. It fits a medium sized wrist.
A wonderfully unique timepiece thanks to its unique two-tone construction, svelte 33mm diameter, and beautiful grey dial, the ref. 56175TT is the perfect Royal Oak for a collector looking for something a little outside of the ordinary.