This year will also be the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak watches from Audemars Piguet, which happens to be one of the most iconic series of timepieces from the Swiss watch maker. And, the Antiquorum auction will hold a very important auction featuring limited edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches for watch collectors. From the premier to the vintages, the auction event on May 13 in Geneva, will showcase a wide variety from the Royal Oak series over time. There is even a special edition book which brings together the entire series on a common platform.
For those who love the bling factor in their watches, the Grand Complication one-off timepiece would be an ideal fit. Created with 18K white gold and individually crafted white diamonds for its chassis and strapping, the functionalities included in the timepiece were the perpetual calendar with weeks, days, split seconds, moon phases. The expected price is between $600,000 and $1.1million.
Though a brand like Audemars Piguet would generally be expected to create masterpiece with precious metals alone, but a number of their classic models like this 1972 A-Series Royal Oak Jumbo No.88 has been created with stainless steel bodies. This watch is one of the earliest models with the octagonal outer lining of the dial, as well as one of the earliest serial numbers to ever go on auction. The expected bid for this timepiece is between $16,000 and $20,000.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo skeleton edition came into existence in 1991, and remains one of the rarest watches from the series. Tonneau shaped with water resistance, this 18K yellow gold timepiece had a strap of the same fabrication, and featured its tourbillon movement totally exposed on the front dial. For those interested about the intricate workings of these kinds of watches, this is an ideal selection. The successful bidder for this watch will get a certificate of origin as well, apart from the specially crafted mahogany colored wooden storage box. Estimations regarding the winning bid, range between $22,000 and $33,000.
Like most luxury watch makers, Audemars Piguet indulged in bringing about a notable personality, to create a special enigma about their creation, ‘Royal Oak End of Days’. Created in 1999 in collaboration with Arnold Schwarzenegger, this watch only had 500 units ever made for sale. Also made with stainless steel, the black shade can be attributed to the black PVD coating that it sports on the main chassis. The functions included are the tachometer, date and registration. This watch is estimated to bring in $27,000 to $38,000.
The Giorgio Armani Chronograph was created rather recently in 2010. Like the known fashion designer’s creations, this timepiece sported an 18K white gold chassis, with the same metal being used for its strapping. Apart from its unique brush finishing and branding, it came to be a sought after timepiece as only 10 of them exist in the entire production run. The expected price for this watch is between $45,000 and $65,000.
The Royal Oak Jumbo, though very similar in design to the skeleton edition, was differentiated by having a closed grey main dial, instead of the skeleton exposed design of the other. What also makes this a notable watch, is that it belonged to former Venezuelan President, Carlos Andres Perez, and has been double signed by its retailer, Bulgari. In fact this timepiece is also the first one that was retailed by the brand, which has now appeared at an auction. It is expected to bring in $33,000 to $45,000.
One of the premier creations of Audemars Piguet in Royal Oak series, this timepiece was given a limited edition run of barely 50 units. Created in 2005, it sported a titanium chassis and wrist bracelet along with functions such as sub-hour counter, ½ hour counter and date. This watch is expected to bring in $27,000 to $38,000.
Since the Royal Oak series became famous for being the first sports dedicated watch, the 1972 replica of it is known to be generating plenty of horological historians. Created originally in 1972 by Gerald Genta, the timepiece was entirely made within 24 hours of the Basel Watch Fair of that year. Unlike previous creations, this timepiece belongs to the first series of watches created with stainless steel by the company. This particular unit however, is a replica of the same.
Since motorsport and fine watching always had a long standing relationship, the Rubens Barrichello Platinum Royal Oak was something expected, but never the less, fascinating. Produced in a limited edition run of 150 units, this watch has a platinum chassis with multicolored parts spread over a multi-layered dial design. It performs the signature functionalities of the series, such as the tachometer and ½-hour tracking. Though this watch will not be seen at the Antiquorum auction, the value of this timepiece is estimated be around $129,995 for each unit, accompanied the authentic papers alongside.
For those looking to know more about how the Royal Oak came into existence, and what the journey has been over the years, then the special edition Royal Oak book is a must-have. Tracking the watchmaker’s journey over a 137 year long period, its also links the special series to the rest of the watches from Audemars Piguet, and recalls the experiences from some of its noted customers. Costing $133 each, the book has 300 pages which also feature 233 high quality images as well. The authors are Martin Wehrli and Heinz Heimann.