Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Top Lots of the Upcoming Royal 50 Audemars Piguet Sale by Ineichen Auctioneers

Fifty of the finest Royal Oak models to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Audemars Piguet's icon.

| By Brice Goulard | 6 min read |

As you are undoubtedly aware, this year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most important watches ever created, the most emblematic watch of Audemars Piguet and the most famous creation of genius designer Gérald Genta: the Royal Oak. Although the brand has already released its commemorative collection, including a new flagship watch (the 16202 Jumbo), auction houses are also keen to ride the celebratory wave. After Phillips / Bacs & Russo, it’s time for Zurich-based Ineichen Auctioneers to host a dedicated sale, gathering 50 of the finest Royal Oak models. Dubbed the “Royal 50 Audemars Piguet” auction, it will take place in Zurich and online on 28 May 2022. Furthermore, this is the first time a leading watch auction house will drop the buyer’s premium and register its shares on the blockchain. And here are some of the most standout Royal Oak watches to be auctioned.

A Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Premier Limited Edition Ref. 26530ST

There have been numerous versions of the Royal Oak over the last 50 years, with all kinds of complications and, of course, tourbillons. This watch was, however, the first time a standard production Royal Oak was equipped with a flying tourbillon and an automatic movement. The Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon 41mm was released in three classic versions (steel, titanium and rose gold) in 2020. The model presented here is slightly different since it’s a limited edition of just 10 pieces. Named Premier Limited Edition and released in 2021, it differs from the classic steel version with its Evolutive Tapisserie dial in an unprecedented gradient moonstone-blue colour.

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

Estimate: CHF 400,000 – 450,000 – more details here.

A titanium Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie Premier Limited Edition Ref. 26591TI

Audemars Piguet has long been respected for its work on complications, including its chiming watches. The result of the brand’s research in this field is the Supersonnerie, which represents the pinnacle of chiming watches at AP. Thanks to complex architecture (sound amplifying caseback, silent governor, work on the gongs and hammers), it took AP eight years to release this concept, which is now known as one of the best sounding minute repeaters available. The present watch, typical of the Royal Oak collection, merges a classic design with an innovative repeater mechanism. The Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie is already a complex and rare watch, but the one coming up for auction is another “Premier Limited Edition” (from a batch of five pieces) and is made of titanium. Differing from the standard model with a salmon dial, it features a gradient blue dial.

Estimate: CHF 350,000 – 400,000 – more details here.

A rare Royal Oak Tourbillon Automatic Ref. 25902PT

One of the complications that has found its way inside the octagonal case of the Royal Oak is the tourbillon. Yet, not all RO tourbillons are created equal, and this model is undoubtedly special. Launched in 1999, only ten examples of this Royal Oak Tourbillon Automatic Ref. 25902PT were produced. Cased in platinum, it combines a fully skeletonised movement with automatic “bumper” winding and crown on the caseback (calibre 2875, built around the calibre 2870 launched in 1986 as the world-first automatic serial production tourbillon movement) and a tourbillon regulator, date and power reserve. Reportedly the first to appear on auction, this watch was also made in rose gold, but the platinum version remains one of the most important and collectable ROs ever.

Estimate: CHF 350,000 – 400,000 – more details here.

A Platinum Royal Oak Openworked 40th Anniversary Limited Edition 15203PT

The year 2012 marked the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak, which was celebrated with the updated 15202ST but also with the introduction of an openworked edition, the 15203PT. Based on the classic 39mm Jumbo design and proportions, this version was made of platinum and limited to only 40 pieces. Mechanically, it came with the beautifully hand-finished in-house calibre 5122 with anthracite grey treated bridges. Its ultra-thin 3.05mm movement revealed all its beauty, including an openworked date mechanism. A rare and highly collectable version, the Openworked Extra-Thin 40th Anniversary has a dedicated rotor on the back with the commemorative inscription “AP Royal Oak 1972-2012”.

Estimate: CHF 250,000 – 300,000 – more details here.

A first-generation Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked 25636BA

The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked is, whichever generation you’re looking at, an important and superb watch. But, there’s something special about a first-generation model, which is, of course, even more important in the heart of enthusiasts. Produced from 1983 to 1993, this version differentiates from later models by its absence of a leap year indicator. A rarity, this watch has the classic Jumbo 39mm case with a thickness of 8.3mm. The model for auction, ref. 25636BA, is made of 18k yellow gold with a matching RO bracelet, which fastens with a first-generation Audemars Piguet folding clasp with white gold blades. The sapphire dial has yellow gold-tone sub-dials and markers too, and it also features stick hands, typical of the first-generation models.

Estimate: CHF 200,000 – 250,000 – more details here.

A platinum Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked 25829PT

The evolution of the 18k yellow gold version shown above, this Perpetual Calendar Openworked 25829PT is part of the second generation. Produced from 1997 to 2014, the dial of the perpetual calendar featured the classic leap year indicator, leaf-shaped hands, but not the central hand for the week of the year that characterises the contemporary versions of this watch. This very rare version is made entirely of platinum – case, bezel, and bracelet. The self-winding calibre 2120/2800SQ is housed in a 39mm x 9.3mm case. This generation was made in several versions, including steel, rose and yellow gold and models combining tantalum and platinum and full platinum (one of the rarest) – like the present model.

Estimate: CHF 200,000 – 250,000 – more details here.

A Blue “Yves Klein” Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 25820ST

Another member of the Perpetual Calendar family, this steel version stands out thanks to its electric blue dial that has been dubbed ‘Yves Klein’ by collectors, in reference to the famous French artist (though the association was not officially sanctioned). The colour is applied over a classic tapisserie guilloché pattern; the perpetual calendar display corresponds to the second generation (leap year indicator); and time is indicated with stick hands. Produced from 1995 to the early 2000s, this version has a 39mm Jumbo case and classic RO bracelet in stainless steel and is powered by the automatic calibre 2120/2802. Another rare, exclusive and highly desirable version of the Royal Oak. Note that the Ineichen Royal 50 Audemars Piguet Sale includes more of these electric blue RO models, such as a Chronograph and a Day-Date Moonphase.

Estimate: CHF 150,000 – 200,000 – more details here.

The entire catalogue of the upcoming Royal 50 Audemars Piguet Sale by Ineichen Auctioneers, comprising 50 models to be auctioned on 28 May 2022, can be consulted here.

Leave a Reply