ANTIQUORUM Witnesses 50 Years Of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak 1972-2022

ANTIQUORUM Witnesses 50 Years Of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak 1972-2022

Antiquorum founded in 1974, has been at the forefront of the success of the Royal Oak. Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak has a long history on the auction market and incredible Royal Oak went under the hammer at Antiquorum. In 1992, Antiquorum auctioned its first Royal Oak timepieces in Geneva at Hotel des Bergues. Today, with more than 30 years of archives, Antiquorum has recorded nearly 1,000 Royal Oak watches presented for sale, of which nearly 8 out of 10 were sold, providing us with a very interesting reference on the evolution of this model's value.

Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak is one of the best success stories in contemporary design launched 50 years ago, back in 1972. Designed by Gerald Genta, the Royal Oak became an iconic wristwatch over the years for watch enthusiasts, collectors, and auctioneers. First, Audemars Piguet had approached Genta to design a sports watch which remained rare back then. By taking inspiration from vintage diving helmets and applying those visible screws to an octagonal bezel with an integrated bracelet, Genta sketched the design in one night—and the rest was history.

The Royal Oak was first introduced at Baselworld in 1972 and back then was commercialized for CHF 3’650 (around CHF 10’000 today) – first, the timepiece was not a total success as steel sports watches were not sought after but reaches today very high demand and is increasingly elusive.

“Our first 2022 auction took place the 18th of January in Monaco. For the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet, it was unthinkable not to present a piece to celebrate this anniversary, especially in Monaco, where Gerald Genta lived for many years: the brainchild of the esteemed Gerald Genta went under the hammer and was sold for EUR 260’000,” says Romain Rea, CEO of Antiquorum.

Antiquorum was pleased to start off the year with a unique selection of timepieces for its Monaco auction at Monaco Yacht Club. The auction house sold an extremely rare fine tonneau shaped 18k yellow gold self-winding perpetual calendar Royal Oak wristwatch with gold dial.