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Sat 7 December 2019 ‒ 3:00 pm | Monaco

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14

Audemars Piguet Highly Rare and Extremely Well-Preserved Royal Oak Automatic Wristwatch in Yellow Gold, Reference 5402BA, With Date, Bracelet, Original Box, Service and Papers

Estimation € 25,000 – 50,000

Model: Royal Oak
Material: Yellow Gold
Reference N°: 5402BA
Year: 1978
Case N°: B28711 - 325
Caliber: 2121
Movement type: Automatic
Movement N°: 179398
Bracelet: Yellow Gold
Dimensions: 39 mm
Signed: Dial, case and movement
Accessories: Box and papers

When hearing the name Audemars Piguet, thoughts immediately go to the legendary Royal Oak. Iconic as very few other models have been in the history of horology, it is the umpteenth creation of the immortal designer Gerla Genta. Launched at Baselworld in 1972, it represented a real novelty in the Audemars universe as it was the brand’s first true sporting pride. Its name comes from the “Royal Oak” tree under which King Charles of England was hid to save his life. It was so important that it gave the name to several British military ships whose portholes had the shape that inspired Gerald Genta and Audemars Piguet in the creation of the watch, calling it Royal Oak. It was the first luxury watch in steel with integrated bracelet and since its inception, Audemars Piguet would have made many of its variants and, in order to offer its customers a more precious but at the same time sporty alternative, it decided to launch a version of Royal oak fully in gold. Was 1977 when Audemars officially introduced this first gold model, the reference 5402BA, such as the present lot. Production continued until the early 1980s, and the watch featured a heavy gold case and bracelet with a sporty air. The present example is absolutely remarkable for its conservation: the whole bracelet and clasp are in excellent conditions and also the back still presents the case number engraved very crisp. The case and the immediately recognizable bezel are veronica still maintaining their original proportions. The surface of the originally black dial is starting to tropicalize but the guilloche mini-“tapisserie” pattern — a texture found on all early Royal Oak dials — is still nice and well defined. It is decorated with applied baton indexes in yellow gold and the AP logo at 12, while at 3 o’clock is located the date window. Offered with box, certificate d’originality booklet and envelope, the present lot is a lavish example of one of the most appreciated models ever produced.

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