The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak model is one of the most popular watches manufactured today. This iconic watch is perhaps the most recognizable in the world thanks to its state-of-the-art, engineered strongbox case and octagonal bezel secured by eight hexagonal screws.
It has visible water resistance gaskets, and of course the exclusive engine-turned “Grande Tapisserie.” To really understand the essence of the Royal Oak, we first have to look at the history of Audemars Piquet.
Behind the Brand: Audemars Piguet
The brand by the duo Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet was born in 1881 in La Brassus, Switzerland. Audemars and Piguet knew one another throughout childhood, but reconnected in 1874.
Both were previous watchmakers. Audemars created complex watch movements for other manufacturers to use. Tiffany Co. was a regular customer.
Piguet was a master of watch movement regulation. The two split responsibilities after establishing the company. Audemars was in charge of production and technical aspects, while Piguet focused on sales and management.
Since the company was founded, both second and third generation leaders included members of both the Audemars and Piguet families.
Today, it remains an independent, family owned business in La Brassus where it all began. Jasmine Audemars and Olivier Frank Edward Audemars are fourth generation company owners.
Early Audemars Piguet History
How many fine-watch manufactures can boast that their customers include Tiffany & Co., Cartier, and Bulgari? Well, Audemars Piguet can. Piguet has been making fine watches sine 1875, and is still regarded as one of the top manufactures in Switzerland.
Piguets are known for their quality and craftsmanship, which is why these watches were purchased by Tiffany’s & Co., Cartier and Bulgari in the early 1900’s. The Piquet watches were re-branded under each company’s own name.
Today, Piguet has several watch collections that rival Patek Phillipe and Vacheron Constantin. The Royal Oak collection by Piguet showcases some of the finest watches ever created.
Built for an active lifestyle, these watches are designed to last many generations.
History of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
In 1971 Quartz watches from Japan caused a major drop in sales for Swiss brands, a period that became known as the ‘Quartz Crisis.’ Audemars Piguet commissioned a designer to create this masterpiece in ONE day.
Piguet knew financial collapse was inevitable if he failed to come up with something to disrupt the industry. Just before the 1971 Basel fair, Audemars Piguet’s managing director at the time, Georges Golay, called Gerald Genta– one of the most famous watch designers at the time.
It was 4pm when the request came. Golaay explained that the Italian market was expecting an “unprecedented steel watch” for which he needed a design by the following morning.
A sports watch for all occasions with the most beautiful finishes ever seen. Enter the Royal Oak.
The first Royal Oak model was released in 1972. It’s now one of the most iconic watches in the world, but it wasn’t always so beloved. The release was met with initial pushback and criticism.
Sales were slow. It took Piguet over a year to sell the first 1,000 timepieces in part because of the premium cost and innovative design. Eventually sales exploded, and it hasn’t slowed since.
Roy Oak Model Numbers
Not sure which model you have? Review the model numbers below to see if yours is part of the Royal Oak collection.
Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak
14790ST / 14800ST / 15002ST / 15100ST / 15202ST / 25594ST / 25730ST / 25820ST
14790SA / 25594 / 25730 / 14790BA / 14800ST / 15002 / 15100 / 15202 / 25594BA / 25654BA / 25730BA / 25820 / 25920BA
15097OR / 14790TR
Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Chronograph
25860ST / 25860 / 25960BA
Audemars Piguet – Royal OakOffshore
25721ST / 25770ST / 25807ST / 25854ST / 25940SK / 25721BA / 25770 / 25807 / 25854 / 67150
Audemars Piguet Watches at Jonathan’s
At Jonathan’s, we’ve purchased and sold many Piguet watches. Are you looking to trade in or sell your watch? Then stop by the shop and let us make you an offer! If interested in purchasing your own, we can help you there too!
If you are interested in purchasing your own Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, give us a call or fill out our contact form.
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