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.
The 25860ST was launched in 1998, and was the only chronograph to be made in the Royal Oak case (aside from the Emmanuel Gueit-designed Offshore chronograph, which was released in 1993). Featuring an F. Piguet movement, the 25860 was available in a myriad of color combinations and case materials. Also known as the 'Kasparov', it is christened after and a favorite of, the Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.
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Vetted & Approved
Watch, Box, Papers Extra Links
Est. value range
$25,000 – $35,000
In near-mint overall condition with very light surface wear to the case which is only visible under a loupe. The bracelet with very minor wear, 20 links, 2 removable and 2 extra on the side.
At a time when the Rolex Daytona reigned supreme, the 25860ST was always my preferred choice. Intelligent design and an ideal case size made this the clear winner in my eyes.