Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
Audemars Piguet, the vaunted manufacture from Les Brassus, wasn't doing so well at the end of the 1960s.
Their horological prowess aside, times were changing, customer tastes were evolving, and AP was stuck firmly in a very traditional past. Fortunately for us, their executives recognized this, and bet it all on the launch of an avant garde timepiece the likes of which the world had never seen.
Utilizing the talents of a designer named Gerald Genta, AP planned from the beginning to make this new watch, dubbed the Royal Oak, a contradiction to tradition, and it became the world's first luxury sports watch — made in stainless steel, no less. The gamble paid off: Genta became a household name, and the watch world clamored to get their hands on the Royal Oak’s cutting-edge design, which featured a sharply angled watch with integrated bracelet, micro-tapisserie dial, and ultra-thin movement. Today, 50 years later, hunger for the Royal Oak remains unabated.
This particular Royal Oak, a Reference 14800, dates to the late 1980s/early 1990s and features a 36mm 18K yellow gold case with an integrated black alligator leather strap and a signed yellow gold deployant clasp, a white micro-tappisserie Tritium dial with applied yellow gold baton indices, a matching handset, a signed crown, and the Audemars Piguet Calibre 2125 automatic movement beating within.
Well sized, svelte and dressy, this is the type of Royal Oak that works dressed up or down, no matter the occasion.
In fact, both Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet came from long lines of watchmakers, and made their reputations long before the Royal Oak was conceived. Their reputations rested on their ability to create incredibly elegant timepieces in numerous styles. While some of these timepieces were simple, elegant dress watches, others were one-off or short-series pieces produced at the rate of a handful per year. (Some years, Audemars Piguet only produced a few hundred watches in total.) Calendar watches, chronographs, minute repeaters — all the delights of haute horlogerie were part and parcel of the AP oeuvre long before the Royal Oak made its debut in 1972.
Technical innovations from AP abound and include the first minute-repeating movement, the first skeleton watch and an ultra-thin automatic tourbillon. Newer collections, such as the Code 11.59 from 2019, see the maison continue to develop new and exciting watches and calibers, the likes of which aren’t based upon tired horological tropes from models past. (Though if vintage reissues are your bag, AP does have a special “Remaster” line — currently consisting of just one model — that reimagines some of its classical, complicated pieces from the mid-20th century.)
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak