is steel. It is 34mm. While it’s still very expensive, the lowest-priced machinery on the menu is a bargain for an Audemars Piguet house, where prices can soar into the stratosphere.
At the entry level, we consider the cheapest watches from luxury watchmakers. They’re still not cheap, but hey – every brand has to start somewhere.
A famous observation about German automaker BMW is that it makes the same sausages, just different lengths. While Audemars Piguet has moved away from its most famous collection — the Royal Oak — which recently launched the CODE 11:59 — Gérald Genta’s designs remain the company’s most recognizable watches.
The Royal Oak also represents the gateway into the world of AP. Technically, the real entry point is the 33mm Quartz Royal Oak in stainless steel. Now, not that there’s anything wrong with quartz, but I bet if you’re reading , you’re more interested in learning about the most affordable mechanical watches in the stable.
As it happens, that’s also the Royal Oak. Specifically, the 34mm Royal Oak Automatic is currently priced at $21,500. In terms of diameter (34mm), thickness (8.8mm) and automatic movement (cal. 5800), this is functionally equivalent to one of the hottest watches of 2021, the 34mm AP Royal Oak Automatic Ceramic, Dimepiece by Brynn Wallner was recently reviewed in Splendid Fashion. The watch you see here is not the hyped ceramic watch. It is stainless steel.
AP Royal Oak Automatic Winding Reference. The 77350ST.OO.1261ST.01 is a new addition to the Royal Oak series, which we covered back in April 2020. At launch, AP showcased four styles, including a two-tone style and two diamond-set bezel styles. At the time, AP didn’t directly say it was a ladies’ watch, but with a plain steel case with a large silver check pattern dial and two-tone variation, it could be said that it was a royal oak for every ratio. NFL linebacker small man. A year later, we got the ceramic version with gold trim. There’s also frosted gold, but it’s a bit more expensive.
Perhaps the 34mm Royal Oak is shrugged as a women’s watch by some male potential buyers, but the market effect of the hype has yet to take over the cheapest automatic Audemars Piguet currently produced. It’s a watch online – in common places I won’t name – for less than you might think.
I haven’t had a chance to see a Royal Oak of this size in person, but someone I know has. I’ve heard that the 34mm Royal Oak is perfectly fine to wear on a man’s wrist. I’m still not under the illusion that wearing this 34mm RO is like wearing the 15202, but for those of us with smaller wrists, it’s a watch worth knowing.
Under the hood, you have the Vaucher cal based AP calibre 5800. 3002, equipped to display the hours, minutes, seconds and date, with a 50-hour power reserve and automatic winding via a solid gold rotor. It’s a compact movement, measuring 23.3mm from edge to edge, for a Review fake watch that has to bridge the gap between the 33mm Quartz Royal Oak and the 37mm Royal Oak Automatic. A scrupulous purist might object to cal. The 5800 isn’t entirely built in-house, but Vaucher itself is a manufacturer of quality movements. It is jointly owned by Parmigiani Fleurier (majority) and Hermès (minority), and in addition to supplying movements for Richard Mille and other high-end brands, it also serves both.
You have to jump up to the 37mm Royal Oak and its 3120 movement to get a fully in-house developed movement, but I don’t think that’s a major hit against the 34mm Royal Oak. Just discontinued reference. The 15202 is the king of the 39mm Royal Oak Collection and is powered by the automatic 2121 movement, originally developed by JLC and used by Holy Trinity members Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe.
This watch may be the smallest and most affordable Royal Oak Automatic, but it doesn’t seem to be particularly cut or underwhelmed considering the Royal Oak Automatic’s full range of dates.
Still, the 34mm size is bound to polarize. Still, the watch is the exact same size as the 34mm Ceramic Royal Oak, a watch that excites at least as many guys and girls as I know. AP’s use of ceramics now attracts all the attention it does because of the sheer amount of detail it applies to this difficult-to-machine material. It’s just that this steel watch can be said to be a more core fake Audemars Piguet, and its hype train hasn’t quite left the station.