AUDEMARS PIGUET. A VERY IMPORTANT STAINLESS STEEL AND 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DATE, BRACELET AND CERTIFICATE
AUDEMARS PIGUET. A VERY IMPORTANT STAINLESS STEEL AND 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DATE, BRACELET AND CERTIFICATE
AUDEMARS PIGUET. A VERY IMPORTANT STAINLESS STEEL AND 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DATE, BRACELET AND CERTIFICATE
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AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK REF. 5402SA - NO. 1
AUDEMARS PIGUET. A VERY IMPORTANT STAINLESS STEEL AND 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DATE, BRACELET AND CERTIFICATE

SIGNED AUDEMARS PIGUET, ROYAL OAK MODEL, REF. 5402SA, NO. 1, CIRCA 1977

Details
AUDEMARS PIGUET. A VERY IMPORTANT STAINLESS STEEL AND 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DATE, BRACELET AND CERTIFICATE
SIGNED AUDEMARS PIGUET, ROYAL OAK MODEL, REF. 5402SA, NO. 1, CIRCA 1977
Movement: Automatic
Dial: Grey
Case: 39 mm. wide
With: Stainless steel and 18k gold Audemars Piguet bracelet and deployant clasp, stamped
‘K3’, overall length approximately 190 mm., Audemars Piguet Certificate of Origin, Audemars Piguet Certificate of exhibition confirming the watch was exhibited to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak
Remark: The first example of the reference 5402SA

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Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Watches, Europe and Americas

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Lot Essay

Any No. 1 wristwatch by Audemars Piguet immediately focuses the attention of collectors, when that No. 1 is a 1970s Royal Oak, it is not only a collectors dream but also of significant historical importance. The present watch is No. 1 of Royal Oak reference 5420SA - the first ever stainless steel and gold Royal Oak of 1977.

The Royal Oak 5402SA is in fact rarer and made in fewer examples than the much coveted steel 5402 ‘A Series’. Its design remained the same with slate grey dial and yellow gold hour markers during the entire period of production between 1977 and 1985. The watches of reference 5402SA were numbered 1 to 951 and in total 876 watches were sold.

Five years after the first stainless steel Royal Oak reference 5402 was launched in 1972, Audemars Piguet introduced an all 18K gold Royal Oak, reference 5402BA and a two-tone stainless steel and 18K yellow gold reference 5402SA. The present watch, as No. 1 of reference 5402SA was the first ever example of this new model. A bold move when it was released, by the early 1980s two-tone watches or ‘bicolour’ as they were then known at the time, soon became the height of fashion and indeed came to symbolize watch style of the 1980s. Now the 5402SA is incredibly desirable as an early Royal Oak with collectors fully appreciating the model's rarity and its importance in Audemars Piguet's history.

The Royal Oak Story
Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak is a phenomenon, one of the most recognizable and successful wristwatch models of all time and the first luxury steel sports watch. The concept of the luxury sports watch was completely alien when the Royal Oak was introduced in 1972. Of course Rolex had been producing steel Submariners and GMT-Masters for many years before, but the Rolex steel watches were regarded not as luxury watches as such, but as working instruments or tool watches for professionals. The Royal Oak was designed by none other than Gerald Genta, the man behind many of the most enduring wristwatch designs of the last 50 years. The watch featuring an octagonal screwed bezel that was initially inspired by an antique diver’s helmet is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic wristwatch designs of the 20th century. Not only is it the cornerstone of the brand’s success until today, it was also the forerunner of other iconic watches like the Patek Philippe Nautilus which was based upon similar design principles by Gerald Genta. The water resistant case has a visible gasket and a dial decorated with the ‘petit tapisserie’ pattern that is now part of the Royal Oak’s DNA.

Audemars Piguet chose the name ‘Royal Oak’ because of its nautical associations, named after the series of eight ships of the British Royal Navy that had in turn been named after the story of King Charles II of England’s escape from the Roundheads - the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War - following the Battle of Worcester in 1651 when the King (then a Prince) hid in an oak tree, the Boscobel Oak, to evade capture.

Collectors have long been discovering and researching the rarities from the last 50 years of production of the Royal Oak. Early examples from the ‘A’ series, tropical dials, perpetual calendars and precious metal versions all continue to capture the serious attention of watch enthusiasts. Allying dominant design and ground-breaking materials, the watches of the Royal Oak collection are amongst the most coveted timepieces ever, enjoying an ever expanding popularity.

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