The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak line made its debut at the Swiss Watch Show, later known as Baselworld, in 1972. It emerged during a period of growing apprehension about ‘Quartz’ technology among Swiss luxury watch manufacturers. It’s often hailed as the first luxury sports watch.
Distinguished by exposed screw heads and a hexagonal bezel, the Royal Oak drew inspiration from classic diving helmets for its design. The inaugural model, the Royal Oak Ref. 5402ST, featured a 39mm case and a slim 7mm thickness. The new design infuses the sports watch with an air of sophistication previously reserved for expensive dress watches.
This model also introduced the self-winding Caliber 2121 movement, known for its precision, shock resistance, and seamless integration with the date display. Subsequently, these models have incorporated various new complications, including perpetual calendars and moon phase indicators.
Audemars Piguet, a prominent name in the luxury watch industry, has produced numerous distinctive models over the years. Yet, only a select few lines have consistently maintained their popularity as new technologies emerge. This outstanding watch collection stands as a prime example of enduring excellence.