Important Watches: Part I

Important Watches: Part I

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 72. 'Genta's' ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak, Ref. 5402 Possibly unique and historically important stainless steel and yellow gold wristwatch with date and bracelet Circa 1978 | 愛彼 | 5402型號「'Genta's' ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak」精鋼及黃金鍊帶腕錶備日期顯示,年份約1978,可能為孤品及具歷史價值.

Audemars Piguet

'Genta's' ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak, Ref. 5402 Possibly unique and historically important stainless steel and yellow gold wristwatch with date and bracelet Circa 1978 | 愛彼 | 5402型號「'Genta's' ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak」精鋼及黃金鍊帶腕錶備日期顯示,年份約1978,可能為孤品及具歷史價值

Auction Closed

May 10, 11:59 AM GMT


300,000 - 500,000 CHF

Lot Details


Audemars Piguet

'Genta's' ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak, Ref. 5402 

Possibly unique and historically important stainless steel and yellow gold wristwatch with date and bracelet 

Circa 1978


5402型號「'Genta's' ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak」精鋼及黃金鍊帶腕錶備日期顯示,年份約1978,可能為孤品及具歷史價值

Dial: anthracite tapisserie 

Calibre: cal. 2121 automatic, 36 jewels 

Movement number: 174'078

Case: stainless steel, 18k yellow gold bezel, back secured by 8 screws 

Case number: C1556, B3556

Closure: stainless steel Audemars Piguet bracelet and folding clasp 

Dimensions: 39 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 180 mm 

Signed: case, dial and movement 

Box: no 

Papers: no

Accessories: none

No other person has had such a deep and lasting influence on the horological world than Gérald Genta.

He forever transformed our approach of reading the time, whether it is by the way it is displayed, the shape of the timepieces, the story they tell or the universes they evoke. Wearing a creation of Gérald Genta is being transported into another world.

While he is most widely known for his sport pieces creations, he also mastered to the highest degree the art of designing complicated, highly complicated or time-only, casual or elegant, understated or flamboyant, men’s and lady’s, commissioned or made in series, under his own name or for countless other Manufactures, watches and clocks. The volume and quality of his creations know no equivalent, hence his well-deserved nickname of “Picasso of Watches”.

Genta created new colours of the horological palette, such as the luxury sport watches. He also brought back some of the most vibrant tones of the renowned Swiss industry, such as complicated and highly complicated timepieces, automatons, commissioned pieces, precious stone-set and bracelet watches to name but a few.

It is the pride of many brands to state that some of their creations were designed by Gérald Genta. His aura is so powerful that the paternity of some watches is erroneously attributed to him, instantly creating an explosion in demand. In this regard, the creation in 2019 of the Gérald Genta Heritage Association by Ms. Evelyne Genta was a most welcome and major initiative. In addition to supporting new talents in the watch industry, it also protects and promotes Gérald Genta creations.

The Royal Oak is undoubtedly one of the most important wristwatches that will ever be created. For the last 50 years, it has had a cherished place in the collectors hearts. A survey would also make it appear as one of the very first watches that comes to mind, even to the widest audience.

This present Royal Oak is possibly the most important example that has ever been made. Indeed, it is the only example to come to market actually owned by its father, Gérald Genta. The Audemars Piguet Archives confirms that this watch was acquired by the Master on May 15th 1978. One could not dream of a most exciting and important provenance for a Royal Oak, an Audemars Piguet or even any wristwatch. It sets this very watch apart of any other, making it the only one and in its own category, a true grail piece. 

This timepiece is not only unique by its provenance, it is also unique by being the only stainless steel Reference 5402 with a gold bezel to appear at auction. The family tradition reports that this bezel was made by Gérald Genta’s atelier. The absence of this operation in the Audemars Piguet’s archives tends to corroborate it. The created effect is superb and gives even extra the power to the design. It is in line with the vision of its creator: going always a bit further.

The octagonal bezel, the cherished shape of Mr. Genta who considered it as the perfect one, seems to be floating above the timepiece, highlighting each element while creating a most striking effect. Gérald Genta proudly wore this very timepiece for many years, including on some famous pictures.

Marking the 50th anniversary of its creation, the appearance of this watch is an event that could not be overrated.

For the first time, this lot, the most important Royal Oak and one of the most important wristwatches of all times, will appear on the international market.

For the first time, a timepiece that belonged to Gérald Genta will leave the home of its original owner to be presented at auction.

For the first time, one has the opportunity to acquire the horological Picasso’s Picasso.