Royal Oak: Before the Nautilus

In 1972 Audemars Piguet and Gerald Genta revolutionised the watch industry; releasing the first luxury steel watch. Not only was it the most expensive steel bracelet piece on the market, it was also the biggest.

This is where the Royal Oak received it’s nickname, JUMBO.

It is strange to think that the biggest was just 39mm at the time. It just goes to show how much trends have changed. Especially compared to Zenith’s Type 20 Grand Feu which measures 60mm!

Unappreciated on first release due to its hefty size, the Royal Oak was way ahead of its time. Designed overnight Genta foresaw the trend of big watches.

Inspiration for this piece is said to be the original divers helmet. Genta believed that if a helmet could be watertight using screws all the way through the case, then so could a wristwatch.

The name ‘Royal Oak’ truly honours it’s nautical heritage. Named after a fleet of British ships called HMS Royal Oak; which was in turn named after an Oak tree. A name stemming from 1651 and refers to the Oak tree future King, Prince Charles II hid in to evade capture.

The Royal Oak embodies the same meaning of this very tree; protection and power.

AP is made in limited numbers, the 15202 is even more so. Depending on where you go to purchase really will affect waiting time. If you do have the opportunity to buy try not to hesitate.

 

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202st

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 23.07.18.png
Credit: luxuryswatch.com

Reference: 15202st

Name origin: Named after British Royal Navy Battleships.

Size: 39mm

Nickname: Jumbo

Material: Stainless steel

Designer: Gerald Genta

Released Basel 1972

 

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