Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402 and 15202ST

Past and present: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402 and 15202ST

a century after its release in the early 1970s, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection was iconic and unambiguous, and managed to retain its modern, shabby appeal. In this article, we will introduce two fascinating and closely related works from the Royal Oak family: AP Royal Oak 5402 A series and AP Royal Oak 15202ST.

Although the Royal Oak was not a product of the Quartz Crisis, it was almost immediately forced to confront it head-on. By 1970, Audemars Piguet’s sales were not special. The brand produced about 5,000 watches a year. When Japanese manufacturers began to launch their first quartz watches to receive various accolades, they needed to take some steps to attract some much-needed attention from the brand. AP needs to change its route as soon as possible.

So far, we have all heard of this story. Although many old women are arguing, we do know that Georges Golay, the managing director of Audemars Piguet, invited the designer in 1971 Gérald Genta came to prepare this watch to become the Royal Oak. The design of the octagonal porthole baffle is inspired by the windows of traditional diver helmets. There are eight visible gold screws on the bezel of the watch, as well as a visible waterproof gasket and small blue dial. Although it was only 7 mm thick at the time, the case diameter of 39 mm was still very large for a watch. Of course, the most iconic element in watch design is the integrated stainless steel used luxury watches in Chinese

In 1972, at the subsequent Basel Fair, Audemars Piguet launched Royal Oak. At that time, the price of the watch was more than 3000 Swiss francs, making it the most expensive stainless steel watch to date. To put it another way, the price of this watch was more expensive than Patek Philippe’s gold watch, and more than ten times more expensive than the price of the Rolex Submariner. The first series-reference. 5402 series-only 1,000 pieces. This watch shocked the watch industry, and it took some time for watch buyers to warm up to a shocking design. More than a year ago, all 1,000 cars in the A series were sold, but soon after, sales began to take off. Before continuing to use the B and C serial numbers, the Associated Press released another 1,000 of these “A series” watches. As you can imagine, like the examples in these photos, these A series watches are highly sought after by collectors.

Reference inside. The 5402 A series is a 2121 self-winding movement, which has been used in the Royal Oak Jumbo ref so far. 15202 (but more will be introduced later). In 1967, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin collaborated to launch an ultra-thin automatic movement. The movement itself is only 3.05mm high, and it beats at a rate of 19,800 vibrations per hour.

In the decades since its first appearance, AP has released many iterations of the original replica Royal Oak design. Witnessed the first Royal Oak perpetual calendar in 1981, the watch has a mechanical storage function, can be accurate to 2100, without the need to determine the date. In 1984, AP released the Royal Oak Offshore to commemorate the watch on the 20th. This 42mm “deconstructed” timepiece will be nicknamed the anniversary “The Beast”. In 2002, the concept of Royal Oak Concept came out, a more confusing design made of enamel 602, which was the hardest material in existence at the time.

The closest reference to those original A-series watches is ref. 15202, but. Its function is the same as the original factory, with the same movement 2121, except for the sapphire display case back. In 2012, in order to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet released it, which is an updated serving closer to the A series. Like the A series, the abbreviation AP appears above 6 o’clock instead of 12 o’clock. This watch also comes with an original small snack bar dial. This steel watch can only be found under the following reference: 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01.

And the limited output makes the referee. The 15202ST is difficult to track and is hailed by some as the greatest luxury sports watch today. Long history and bold fashion, it is easy to see why. In addition, it is extremely powerful; its slim and comfortable protective sleeve looks great under the cuffs of a formal shirt or when paired with a T-shirt on the beach. For these reasons and more, the popularity of referees is doubtful. 15202ST (not to mention it is the super rare ancestor of the A series) will soon die.