In the history of England, the Royal Oak refers to the oak tree in which the future King Charles II hid to take refuge from the pursuing soldiers of Oliver Cromwell in 1651. In commemoration of this historical event, eight ships in the British Royal Navy carried the name of "H.M.S. Royal Oak" between 1664 and 1939.
When Audemars Piguet wanted to come up with a revolutionary design for a new watch in 1972, they looked to the "H.M.S. Royal Oak", a formidable battleship which was built in 1862. This ironclad frigate had octagonal gun ports in its hull that were secured by eight clearly visible bolts. This feature became the inspiration for the now iconic design of the watch's bezel and gave the watch its name of Royal Oak.
The present watch pays tribute to the Royal Oak by referencing the emblematic Royal Oak bezel with its distinctive octagonal porthole case and the eight hexagonal screws. At the same time, the finely engraved dial pays homage to the famous battleship "H.M.S. Royal Oak" to which the Royal Oak series owes both its moniker and design.