Auction Phillips Announces Royal Oak 50th Highlights Including Possible ‘Lagerfeld Black PVD’ and Ultra Early A-Series

A promotion dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Audemars Piguet’s iconic timepieces.

As we all know, this year the wholesale Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the most iconic watch in the Le Brassus-based watchmaker’s collection, is approaching its 50th anniversary. As a result, the brand has launched a number of new models to celebrate half a century of Genta-designed sports watches with integrated bracelets, including a new version of the Jumbo Extra-Thin with an unprecedented movement, reference 16202. As you might expect, the auction house in Knowing the cult status of this watch is getting in on the festivities by preparing a dedicated sale. In this framework, Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, presents “The Royal Oak 50th”, a themed sale that will bring together some of the most important models produced by AP. This includes some Grande Complications, rare editions and historic watches, such as Karl Lagerfeld’s black PVD ​​coated watch or the first 5402ST A series to hit the auction market.

The 50th Royal Oak Auction will be held in Geneva on 6 May 2022 and will be a curated auction offering 88 treasures including rare, complex, historic and well-preserved Model.

Royal Oak 5402ST “A2”
The Royal Oak Jumbo was born in 1972 under the number 5402ST and was first released in a series of 1,000 pieces under the A-series code. Part of the Royal Oak’s 50th auction will be the first-ever numbered reference 5402 to appear at auction, a watch with serial number A2, meaning the second Royal Oak ever produced by Audemars Piguet. In addition, this watch was one of four Royal Oak models presented to the media and the public at the opening of Baselworld 1972. In addition, this watch comes with a full set of accessories and has never been worn.

KARL LAGERFELD Black PVD ​​Coated 5402ST Series A
One icon is worn by another… There is no other way to describe this famous black watch that has been featured many times in watches and fashion magazines, a watch that somehow started the trend of black and bespoke pieces… And a timepiece that achieved even more after its owner passed away in 2019.

Part of the Royal Oak’s 50th sale will be Karl Lagerfeld’s Black PVD ​​Coated Royal Oak Jumbo Reference 5402ST. The German creative director, fashion designer, artist and photographer is often seen wearing black PVD ​​Royal Oak models in different sizes, which he then presents to friends and collaborators. There are multiple period photos showing the designer wearing such a watch. Purchased in early 1974 while Lagerfeld was living in Italy, this watch was returned to the market in 1995 and remained in the same collection for over 20 years. Note: Phillips explained, “The location of the watch’s delivery and the amount of wear led Phillips’ watch experts to believe that the watch was the property of Lagerfeld.”

Royal Oak 25831ST Stainless Steel Tourbillon
Model 25831ST was introduced in 1997 as part of the celebration of the model’s 25th anniversary and was the first time a Royal Oak was fitted with a tourbillon regulator. It stands out most thanks to its off-centre display with date and power reserve indicators, and a striking octagonal tourbillon ring reminiscent of a watch bezel. Made of stainless steel, this watch is part of a collection of only 25 pieces, with the numerals 1/25, and features a blue Petite Tapisserie dial.

Following the introduction of the tourbillon in 1997, Audemars Piguet quickly introduced most of the complications that could be found in a Royal Oak case. To showcase its virtuosity, the Associated Press took the concept to the extreme with what it called the Grande Complication, a combination of a split-seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar and minute repeater. This watch is made of stainless steel and has a classic plaid blue dial, which is unique.

Platinum Royal Oak 25636PT Skeleton Perpetual Calendar
The perpetual calendar is one of Audemars Piguet’s most important complications and has therefore long been part of the Royal Oak collection. First introduced in 1984 as reference 5554, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar watch quickly became a must-have in the collection, with several different versions being introduced. As part of the Royal Oak’s 50th auction, Phillips will be offering reference 25636PT, a platinum case model that also happens to be one of the first models with a skeletonized dial to reveal the QP mechanism below. It comes with a midnight blue sub-dial and no leap year indicator.

Royal Oak 25829TP Platinum and Tantalum Skeleton Perpetual Calendar
The current 25829TP is a slightly more modern version of the watch seen above, as it showcases a classic but rare and desirable combination of materials with a case made of tantalum highlighted with platinum elements. Made in just 16 pieces, this Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in platinum and tantalum features a skeleton movement with leap year indicator and an attractive blue-grey tones.

Royal Oak 14802PT JUBILEE Platinum
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet launched the so-called Jubilee collection in 1992, marking the first 10 years of the Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin (since 5402 in the early 1980s). Of the 1,000 pieces made for the 20-year collection, around 700 are wrapped in steel, 280 in gold and only 20 in platinum. Fewer watches feature so-called blue “Tuscan” dials with specific textures.