On Saturday, May 28, some of the rarest Audermars Piguet Royal Oak watches and Ineichen's were put up for bidding.
The New Co-Owner
The leading auction house for watches in Switzerland has offered investors a unique opportunity to become co-owners of the innovative, rapidly growing business with a now defined by demand total cost of CHF 42 million. Bidding began with a starting price of CHF 100,000 and eventually, the winning bidder purchased a block of 5 shares, representing 0.5% of the total share capital, for CHF 210,000. Just like with a traditional share purchase, their owner has the right to receive dividends as well as to participate in the annual shareholders’ meetings and the right to resell the shares when they increase in value.
However, given that Ineichen is the first auction house to be registered on the blockchain, there was something very unusual about this sale – that is, the company's shares are transferred through the Swiss blockchain platform DAURA. Important advantages of this technology include absolute traceability of the company’s ownership and simple management of the shares.
Investors, take notice – this successful deal is about to have its continuation because Ineichen is ready to put up to 33% stake in the company for sale very soon. The new block of shares will be available to investors for purchase – although this time, the shares will be sold at a closed timed auction, on the Ineichen’s website. So stay tuned for updates!
Now let’s take a look back at the results of the watches offered at the recently concluded “Royal 50” live auction!
In Zurich, this Saturday, Ineichen’s “Royal 50” live auction, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, realized a total price of approximately CHF 6,5 million. And, adding to the delight of winning bidders, Ineichen didn’t charge the buyer’s premium for the sold timepieces!
Created by Gerald Genta in 1972, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak became one of the most celebrated designs in the history of watchmaking.
In 2022 the Audemars Piguet’s best-known and most collectible watch turns 50. To mark such a milestone for the Genta masterpiece, Zurich-based auction house Ineichen auctioned 50 finest Royal Oak timepieces to celebrate 50th anniversary of one of the most important watches ever created.
The sale was headlined by the magnificent Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Ref. 26530ST. The flying tourbillion with automatic winding, one of 10 examples, and featuring an extraordinary “moonstone-blue” dial, was sold for CHF 575 000.
Of course, the Royal Oak family has seen many models equipped with a tourbillon complication. But in case with the Ref. 26530ST, it’s the first time when a standard production Royal Oak model comes with a flying tourbillon. And on top of that, with an automatic movement!
The hypnotizing tourbillon, which occupies the lower part of the dial, is visually amplified by a striking dial pattern. If you look closely, you’ll notice that Audemars Piguet’s signature Tapisserie design has been transformed into a sunburst pattern called “Evolutive”, which seems to be radiating outwards from the mesmerizing “whirlwind” below.
More of the sunburst pattern can be revealed behind the sapphire caseback – there you’ll see a beautifully finished in-house Calibre 2950 with 65 hours of power reserve and Geneva stripes all over, emulating the pattern on the dial.
The last 50 years have seen numerous versions of Royal Oak with all kinds of complications. And while these complications are usually displayed on the dial in all their glory, the minimalistic dial of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Supersonnerie Ref. 26591TI gives absolutely no clue as to what’s hidden behind it.
In reality, it conceals an innovative repeater mechanism which took 8 years to develop. One of the best-sounding minute repeaters in the world, Audemars Piguet Supersonnerie was sold for CHF 490 000.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Automatic Skeleton Ref. 25902PT, on the contrary, exposes every detail of its fully skeletonized movement. Its transparent dial showcases the finely chiselled and hand-engraved caliber 2875SQ.
Of course, the Royal Oak family has seen many models equipped with a tourbillon complication. Yet, not all of these tourbillons are created equal. And the reference 25902PT is definitely special. Only 10 pieces of this platinum version were ever produced, and this is the first time this highly collectible watch appears on auction! The platinum Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Automatic Ref. 25902PT realised a price of CHF 540 000.
Another remarkable skeleton, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Openworked Ref.15203PT, sold for CHF 420 000. Audemars Piguet released this 40-piece limited edition in platinum with a fully skeletonized movement to celebrate 40th anniversary of its modern icon.
Dressed in a classic Jumbo 39 mm case, this version shares its dimensions and proportions with the original closed-dial Royal Oak Jumbo. But mechanically, it’s a completely another story.
The striking openworked dial showcases the beautifully hand-finished in-house Calibre 5122 with anthracite grey treated bridges, which gives the watch a high-tech, industrial look. Not to mention that this ultra-thin selfwinding movement measures just 3.05 mm thick – precisely like the famous caliber 2121 which was used in the very first Royal Oak. The 22-carat rose gold openworked rotor bears the commemorative inscription “AP Royal Oak 1972-2012”. The case and the bracelet made of solid platinum certainly add an extra degree of rarity to this piece.
A classic collectible produced from 1990, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Skeleton Ref.25636BA, is known as the first open-worked perpetual calendar in the Royal Oak collection. As an early version of the perpetual calendar, Ref.25636BA lacks the classic leap year indicator. Collectors will also appreciate the “small” logo dial, which is typical for the first generation.
Ref. 25636BA rarely appears on auctions ever since it was discontinued in 1993, so the winning bidder was lucky to acquire it for CHF 330 000.