A very rare, legendary and charismatic stainless steel self-winding ultra-thin Series A Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet, founded in 1875. Estimated production period: 1972–1980. Case in stainless steel, diameter 39mm, thickness 7.2mm, solid caseback with Royal Oak logo and model series A number engraved. Dark grey with blue-violet tint (anthracite) dial, refurbished, featuring original ‘Tapisserie’ pattern and ‘AP’ logo at 6 o’clock. Caliber K2121, ultra-thin, self-winding, rotor with an inertial segment in 21k gold, power reserve of up to 40 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, date aperture at 3 o’clock. Royal Oak stainless steel bracelet, Audemars Piguet first-generation double folding clasp.
The Royal Oak 5402ST is an iconic timepiece, whose release in 1972 opened perhaps the most impressive chapter in the watch heritage of the venerable Audemars Piguet brand, founded in 1875. The history of this reference continues to this day, this time in the form of the incredible popularity of the original model and its successors among collectors and connoisseurs of luxury watchmaking. This is manifested in the unprecedented increase in valuation in the secondary market. History has it that the Royal Oak 5402ST was the world’s first luxury, elegant and sporty stainless steel watch with an integrated bracelet. The demands on craftsmanship required in finishing all the steel components of the case and bracelet were so high that in 1972 the watch was perceived as extraordinarily expensive. Its price of 3,750 Swiss francs reflected the cost of finishing the stainless steel components and ultra-thin automatic caliber, one of the best in its class, but at that moment exceeded the price of many gold Swiss wristwatches. In those days, the now-famous Gérald Genta was the almost anonymous author of the design, which was commissioned by Audemars Piguet. However, until his passing, his name as the father of the Royal Oak was not openly discussed by the brand.
Reference 5402ST enjoys the status of one of the most coveted collectibles of modernity. This is supported by the impeccable image of the brand, the legendary design in its original execution, the outstanding consumer qualities of an elegant ultra-chic sports watch in steel and an excellent self-winding caliber.
The Royal Oak 5402ST was released in four different series: A, B, C and D, as well as rare special models and a non-numbered series (so-called ‘Non-Series’), which are characterized by minor design details that distinguish each of them. The 5402ST remained in the Audemars Piguet catalogues for over a quarter of a century, with a total of 6050 pieces of various series sold between 1972 and 2002. The present example belongs to the initial A series, with the refurbished dial bearing the ‘AP’ logo at 6 o’clock. It lacks the original “Swiss” signature at 6 o’clock, instead featuring the “Swiss made” inscription, which appeared no earlier than 1985. It is also without the three half-lines for the minutes on the right of the date aperture. This kind of dial refurbishing was a standard procedure for servicing the 5402ST, so we have reason to assume that an authorized service was carried out without affecting the originality of the present example.
Reasons to bid
Reference 5402ST enjoys the status of one of the most coveted collectibles of modernity. This is supported by the impeccable image of the brand, the legendary design in its original execution, the outstanding consumer qualities of an elegant ultra-chic sports watch in steel and an excellent self-winding caliber. Although, admittedly, the 5402ST is more than that – it’s a watch you fall in love with, it’s a watch to admire forever. Therefore, the present Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Ref. 5402ST Series A would be an excellent purchase for the collector who desires an extremely rare, early and iconic Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ wristwatch, produced by a world-renowned traditional watch brand, one of the undisputed leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market.