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About Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches
In April of 1972, Audemars Piguet announced a revolutionary new model with a stunning design: The Royal Oak. Initially shocking the timepiece market, the Royal Oak quickly captured the admiration of buyers and enthusiasts.
At the time of the Royal Oak's creation, timepieces were still primarily small and made of gold. But Audemars Piguet was not afraid to stray from convention when the brand introduced its powerful, luxury sports watch to the world. The style of the piece conveyed a stunning avant-garde style for which the brand would forever be known.
The bezel is perhaps the most recognizable feature on the watch, with an octagonal shape attached with eight screws and a tapisserie pattern on the dial. The highly technical case is pleasing to the eye.
The watch's inception came after a bout of financial insecurity. Many watchmakers during this time faced a monetary crisis as a result of what was known as the "Quartz Crisis." Because of the creation and distribution of Japanese quartz watches, Swiss watches saw a drop in sales, adversely impacting most Swiss watchmakers. In 1971 Audemars Piguet realized that the only course of action was to cause a disruptive change by creating a genuinely revolutionary timepiece. This was the Royal Oak.
The watch was released at a high price point, coming in at ten times the cost of a Rolex Submariner and was even more expensive than a gold Patel Philippe dress watch. Despite its prestige, it faced intense scrutiny from some within the watchmaking world. Its design was highly disruptive, and the visible gasket and screws made some question the high price of the piece. Of course, the high-quality and allure of the piece could not be disputed for long.
While the initial Royal Oak A-series is the most sought after in the collection, the brand has introduced many variations to the piece. It has used precious metals in its construction, for example, and offered the option of leather and rubber straps.
In addition, the brand introduced new technical developments as well. In 1981, Audemars Piguet created the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Calibre 2120/2800. It was the thinnest model of its type and included an extensive mechanical memory that took into consideration all calendar variations. The Royal Oak Day Date Moonphase offered an alternative to the perpetual calendar movement and featured an attractive white dial with the day and date displayed at 9 and 3.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak's creation, the Royal Oak Offshore was created for sports enthusiasts. While some felt that it ruined the Royal Oak's "purity," it still saw outstanding success.
Celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Serena Williams, John Mayer, and many others have worn the Royal Oak. Jay-Z references the piece in his songs, further adding to its prestige. This lineup proves that people of diverse professions can find shared value in a watch so aesthetically stunning and technologically significant.
This ultra-luxury brand is immortally preserved in the way it has gained the respect of so many notable individuals. Today, it is one of the most heavily-desired timepieces on the market. From its inception to now, the watch has continuously evolved in new and exciting ways.