Since Rolex Submariner or Reverso Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is one of the most legendary models of modern watchmaking. Singer Pharrell Williams, via the DJ Martin Solveig and the Swiss tennis player Stanislas Wawrinka, there are countless celebrities who have adopted this shows characteristic.
To understand the aura of this timepiece cult, we must go back to the date of its creation in 1972. At that time, already outrageously Rolex dominates the luxury watch market and Japanese quartz models begin to threaten Swiss Watch Industry. It is becoming urgent for Audemars Piguet to reinvent itself to continue to exist. The brand, rather conservative at the time, appealed to the Gérald Genta engineering designer to imagine a new radically different shows. He then gives birth to the Royal Oak, which enables the brand to rejuvenate its image while revolutionizing watchmaking.
Watch out with the times
Legend says that Gérald Genta designed the Royal Oak in one night, just before the opening of Baselworld 1971. He was responding to a request from Audemars Piguet boss who wanted a revolutionary concept at the time,Replica Audemars Piguet Watches in order to conquer the Italian market. He wanted a watch that is both sporty and elegant laptop in all circumstances, and with a maximum level of finish. It can not have been disappointed with the watch designed by Gérald Genta …
The Royal Oak has answered more than one way to break the will of desired by the leaders of Audemars Piguet. First, it has enabled the brand to offer a steel watch for the price of several gold watches. Admittedly, the steel is harder to work than gold because it is a harder material. For the record, the Royal Oak was designed prototypes made from white gold because the steel was too strong for machines of the time. The bet was bold for Audemars Piguet, but it has proved a winner.
In addition to its original design, where the curves and angles replace octagons circles, the Royal Oak has an unprecedented method conception. Indeed, the housing is integrated to the strap. The two elements are inseparable. Another novelty compared to the time models: the Royal Oak does not hesitate to emphasize technical elements involved in the design of the watch, such as joint and apparent nuts. At the time, many fans cried foul, but today most have changed their minds.
The Royal Oak has revolutionized the watch market
Initially, the level of finish required by Gerald Genta causes a rise in the price of the Royal Oak. She was selling at around 3000 dollars at the beginning, which was equivalent to ten Rolex Submariner of time … This partly explains its slow start. During its first three years of existence, it has sold only a thousand copies around. But over time, it eventually conquer the amateurs and collectors. Today, the “Jumbo” original of 1972 and its dial “tapestry” blue are the holy grail for lovers of this model. More massive modern versions, as well as technical Royal Oak Offshore range, then allowed to reinvent the legend to further attract more followers.
The Royal Oak has not only saved Audemars Piguet’s disappearance, but has also changed the watch market. Thanks to her, this is no longer the material used for its design that decides the price of a watch, but its design, its fine finishes and the quality of his movement. For that alone, it deserves to enter the pantheon of modern watches.