Watch the World's 25 Classics: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

This week’s klockklassiker is a model which the least has been significant. It looked in practice to save one of the three companies in the “Holy Trinity” and created when it launched an all-new marknadssegement to 20 years later to create a. But not least, did a talented designer to superstar model is Audemars Piguet’s unmistakable Royal Oak.
In the mid-sixties was italoschweizaren Gerald Genta watch shooting stars one of the industry’s big. Genta had created Universal Genevés Polerouter and both Constellation and Seamaster models for Omega. 1968, he designed a model that would transform the market when it was released in 1972 under the name Royal Oak (ref 5402ST). The model was unique in both form and construction as for marketing purposes – and perhaps most of all, the combination of them. In Form brought the Royal Oak attention with size, their distinctive glasring (inspired by valves on the ship with the same name), its integrated bracelet, the Brushed finish and the structured Board; all vital elements in the style that later became Gentes hallmark when he dominated the 1970s.
The design was a unique form of sandwich construction as similar to the valve as the clock was inspired by was drawn together with visible screws to strengthen water density, which also became a central part of the watch’s unique appearance. To build the clock as thin as possible was chosen caliber 2121, a movement based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre ultra thin 920 and was so good that it even got into the model’s biggest competitor (which we’ll get back to …). In its entirety was Royal Oak wafer thin, waterproof (120 m), mechanically sophisticated and, not least, unlike any other watches. However, it was not just the watch itself, which laid the groundwork for success but also a hefty marketing, who saved Audemars Piguet from going under in the quartzkrisen and the early 1970s economic crisis. Royal Oak was the first luxury port clock at all from any of the fine brands, and sold even though it was made of steel for more money than the brand’s Gold watches (3200 Swiss francs, more than ten times the rate for the closest competitor Rolex Submariner). The segment of luxury steel door was born–and soon followed Royal Oak by Patek Philippe Nautilus, Vacheron Constantin 222, Piaget Polo and many other models created after the same template.
1993 did Audemars Piguet for the feat. This time with the larger, stöddigare and even sportier little brother Offshore. With a diameter of 44 mm and rubber bands mentioned this model along with Panerai often as urfadern to the trend towards larger watches as 00-century craze for lyxsport where the precious metal, exotic materials, rubber bands and sporty design in larger format was the the template for how an it-watch should look like. Just like the original-Royal Oak was in the seventies.
Although both Royal Oak and Offshore is now available in a wide variety of variants, it is no doubt that the charm, the heritage and the feeling is that most clearly in the model that is most closest to Captain the original idea from 1968, ref 15202. Just like ur-Royal Oak, this is a full size and poor model without seconds hand with cal 2121 (now visible through a glass back). Many prefer the modern ref 15300 in the same size, but modernized with a new own works and more robust case-/bandkonstruktion…men when drop man liiiiite of what makes the model special; so thin, so heavy, so tough. Swede Gabriel Arlanch, which among other things has developed an environmentally friendly gold watch and conducted research on movement technique, together with Gerald Genta designed a model that can be said to be the successor to the Royal Oak–a possible Swedish superklocka in white gold and composite …
Royal Oak REF. 5042
Royal Oak REF. 5042
Royal Oak REF. 15202
Royal Oak Offshore
Sketch by Gabriel Arlanch.