Today we’re showing the AP Royal Oak some love! Watch lovers were thrilled with the release of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Reference 15500ST at the SIHH trade show earlier this year. It replaces the 15400 that came out back in 2012.

Let’s look at what the excitement’s all about!

History of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The first Royal Oak model released in 1972 met a ton of pushback. It was innovative. It was revolutionary. And it was daring as hell. Critics weren’t ready, but they eventually came around. The AP Royal Oak is now one of the most iconic and recognizable watches in the entire world.

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 an ‘unprecedented steel watch’ in ONE day. Piquet knew financial collapse was looming if he failed to come up with something to disrupt the industry.

The designer fashioned a masterpiece– a steel watch and bracelet with an octagonal shaped bezel secured by eight hexagonal gold screws, featuring the petit tapisserie element.

The Royal Oak was released at the 1972 Swiss Watch Show (now known as Baselworld). It took over a year to sell the first 1,000 timepieces at a premium cost. Like more expensive than a gold Patek Philippe premium cost. Eventually sales exploded, and they haven’t slowed since.

See also: Audemars Piguet

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Reference 15500ST

What’s been updated with the newest release? There are a few subtle, yet significant changes to discuss.

Dial updates

The 15500ST dial provides a more legible and clear time telling experience. Most notably:

  • the date window is now further from the center
  • minute tracks are printed on the very edge of the dial outside the “Grande Tapisserie” pattern
  • wider applied luminous indexes


The Royal Oak received a calibre upgrade in the form of a much more modernized caliber 4302. Updates include:

  • beats at 4 Hz instead of 3 Hz
  • 70 hours of power reserve instead of 60
  • designed and made totally in-house

An upgraded movement means a slightly thicker watch. The reference 15500ST measures a 10.4 mm thickness, in comparison to the prior model’s 9.8 mm.

left: ref# 15500 /right: ref# 15400

Technical Specs


Stainless steel case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback, screw-locked crown.


41 mm


Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date


Waterproof to 50M


4302, Manufacture APP


4 Hz (28,800 vph)




Approximately 70 hours


Stainless steel bracelet with AP folding claspC


Slate grey, blue or black dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.


Wider indexes, a minute train printed on the external area, and a date window further away from the centre

Final Thoughts

While not a dramatic update, the details make all the difference. We love the subtle updates that make this timepiece more efficient and readable. This elevated sports watch is a great investment, and can easily transition from the court to a business meeting. There are several options to choose from:

  • three in stainless steel (blue, grey, black dial options)
  • two in rose gold (one on a bracelet and one on a strap, black dials)

If you are interested in purchasing your own Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, give us a call or fill out our contact form.

Check out our Facebook page for box openings and watch reviews by our in-house watch expert Sergio Nuncio!

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