October 28, 01:13 PM GMT
30,000 - 50,000 GBP
NON SERIES ROYAL OAK REF 5402
STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH DATE AND BRACELET
Dial: grey tapisserie
Calibre: cal. 2121 automatic, 36 jewels
Movement Number: 147358
Case: stainless steel, bezel and back secured by 8 screws
Case Number: 99068
Closure: stainless steel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak bracelet
Dimensions: 39 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 170mm
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 revolutionised 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. However, the present example does not have a case number engraved on the back. In-depth research, corroborated by the study of M. Stanga on this subject including a letter from Audemars Piguet confirming it, demonstrates that a handful of 5402s, between the A and the B series, was delivered without the engraving of the serial number on the case back. Finding an example of this incredibly rare "non series" is an exceptional discovery.
The present piece has its original and sought-after dial with the low AP logo at 6 o'clock, giving a aesthetically pleasant balance to it. The case is preserved in attractive condition with well defined edges, preserving the essence of the master piece of Gerald Genta.
This lot is a fantastic opportunity for a discerning Audemars Piguet enthusiast to add a central piece to his collection.