IMAGE: AUDEMARS PIGUET
Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak is a timepiece so revered in the watchmaking world till this very day, due largely to its historic and groundbreaking achievements at an era when the Swiss watch industry was going through a crisis. Back then, the Japanese had unveiled quartz watches that were accurate, reliable, and of course, very affordable but Audemars Piguet turned the tide when its Royal Oak was released to the public at the Annual Swiss Watch Show (known as Baselworld today) in 1972 and gained commercial success shortly after.
IMAGE: AUDEMARS PIGUET
Breaking all traditional standards of luxury watchmaking, it started a brand new era of high-end sports watches that came in full stainless steel, a truly unconventional choice at a time when luxury watches were predominantly made from precious metals and featured superb complications. Today, the Royal Oak remains one of the most coveted pieces at Audemars Piguet, with long waitlists especially for the 41 mm Selfwinding version pictured above. Intrigued? Here are 5 essential points to know.
01 – The definitive octagonal bezel and eight hexagonal screws are key signatures of the house, elements that have inspired numerous designs from other watchmakers, but nothing feels quite like the original Royal Oak.
02 – Not only is the case pleasing to the eye, it also sits comfortably on the wrist, making it the perfect marriage of aesthetics and ergonomics. The model above (reference #15500ST) comes with glare-proof sapphire crystal and caseback, with a screw-locked crown located at the 3 o’clock position.
03 – The trademark Grande Tapisserie (otherwise referred to as the ‘waffle’) dial gives the watch a textured detailing from afar, with white gold hour-markers and Royal Oak hands treated with a luminescent coating that glows in the dark. Aside from the classic Blue dial, it’s also made available in versions like Black and Grey, all of which are pictured above.
04 – The integrated link bracelet gives a brilliant shine from various angles (thanks to the detailed bevelling and finishing on each link), with the signature AP folding clasp scoring high points in terms of looks and function.
05 – In Singapore, the Royal Oak Selfwinding 41 mm is priced at SGD28,600 inclusive of taxes, and it’s best you get yourself on the waitlist because these pieces are very very very hard to come by. Where to start? Head down to Audemars Piguet boutiques at Liat Towers and Marina Bay Sands, and may the odds be ever in your favour.
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