'A-SERIES' ROYAL OAK, REF 5402ST STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH DATE AND GAY FRERES BRACELET CIRCA 1972 [愛彼5402ST型號「'A-SERIES' ROYAL OAK」精鋼腕錶備日期顯示及GAY FRERES鍊帶，年份約1972]
November 11, 05:36 PM GMT
40,000 - 80,000 CHF
'A-SERIES' ROYAL OAK, REF 5402ST
STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH DATE AND GAY FRERES BRACELET
[愛彼5402ST型號「'A-SERIES' ROYAL OAK」精鋼腕錶備日期顯示及GAY FRERES鍊帶，年份約1972]
Dial: anthracite tapisserie
Calibre: cal. 2121 automatic, 36 jewels
Movement number: 127'914
Case: stainless steel Royal Oak, back secured by 8 screws
Case number: A370, 67'370
Closure: stainless steel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak bracelet and folding clasp
Dimensions: 39 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 190 mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Developed during the quartz crisis which strongly hit the Swiss watch industry in the late 1960s and beginning of the 1970s, the Royal Oak revolutionized the industry and created a new category: 'stainless steel sports watches'. The novelty, designed by Gérald Genta, coincided with the tendency for less ostentatious watches as the focus had shifted towards understatement and quality. The Royal Oak was an all-purpose watch that was the perfect fit for different occasions, ranging from daily use to formal occasions.
Inspired, perhaps erroneously, by the look of a diving-suit helmet, the monobloc case along with the octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet, create an aesthetically appealing design that makes this watch such an emblematic model which is sought after by collectors everywhere.
The reference 5402 can be divided into four series, distinguished by the letters A, B, C and D in front of the case numbers and, not surprisingly, the 'A-Series' is the most sought-after by collectors. The present example has the low case number A370 engraved on the back and comes with a rare Royal Oak bracelet made by the famed manufacturer Gay Frères, stamped '1-72'.