Casual, Dress, Sports
Audemars Piguet 15500ST Royal Oak
The Royal Oak 15500ST was originally launched in 2019, the fundamental changes revolved around the updated in-house movement, calibre 4302, the new movement boasts a 70-hour power reserve and a more efficient winding mechanism. The classic Tapisserie remains intact with subtle changes such as the placement of the date and wider indexes.
The History of The Royal Oak
First unveiled by Audemars Piguet in 1972 and designed by the visionary Gerald Genta, the original reference 5402A Royal Oak fundamentally changed the landscape of horology, paving the way for high-end luxury sports watches. The design originally thought to have been inspired by the portholes found on a scaphander diving helmet and is said to have been drawn overnight by Gerald Genta and presented the following day at Basel World circa 1971.
The original Royal Oak was not only revolutionary in terms of design, it was also the most expensive steel watch ever made, retailing north of 3’750 Swiss Francs. As a result of the Royal Oak was not instantly celebrated, it took several years before the brand was able to galvanise its collectors and fellow enthusiasts. The movement that powered the now-iconic reference was derived from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ultra thin JLC 920 calibre, the ultra thin AP-calibre 2121 is still used in some of their references today.
The Royal Oak now possesses a cult-like following and is arguably Audemars Piguet’s bestseller. Since 1972, the Royal Oak has come a long way, although the original design cues found in the very first Royal Oak, reference 5402, are still ever present today.
The Grande Tapisserie is synonymous with Audemars Piguet, the arduous task of creating the waffle-like pattern is not as seamless as it appears. The dial has completely been reworked, the word ‘Automatic’ has been completely removed in favor of ‘Swiss Made’ found a 6 o’clock, allowing for an uninterrupted dial. In addition, the 18-carat white gold applied indexes are slightly larger than the predecessor ref, 15400St. The placement of the date is now further to the right-hand side of the outer dial found at 3 o’clock, the typography used on the date wheel has also been ‘modernised’.
The call for an in-house automatic movement was answered by Audemars Piguet in 2019 through the launch of the code 11:59. The then newly introduced Royal Oak 15500ST was the first Royal Oak to be fitted with the all-new in-house calibre 4302, the movement is important for several reasons, this marks the first all in-house calibre developed by Audemars Piguet, the calibre is rather efficient compared to its predecessor cal. 3120 and the movement boasts an additional 10hour power reserve, with 23 more components. The movement measures a healthy 32mm and beats at 28’800 vph, the movement is thicker than the 3120, hence the slightly thicker case of 0.6mm.
This watch is accompanied by both its inner and outer boxes signed Audemars Piguet, as well as its original warranty card.
Brand: Audemars Piguet
Movement: Calibre 4302
Case Diameter: 41mm x 10.40mm
Year: 2020 (sold)
Box & Papers: Full Set.
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