A fine, neat and attractive stainless-steel special-edition self-winding wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet, founded in 1875. Reference produced in 2005. Case in stainless steel, diameter 36mm, 7.5mm thick, matt silvered dial with enlarged ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern and ‘AP’ applied logo at 12 o’clock, solid stainless steel caseback with emblem of Pictet & Cie, and depictions “Pictet & Cie”, “1805–2005”, “Audemars Piguet Edition Speciale”, the name of the employee – the watch’s original owner, and the case number engraved. Self-winding caliber 2225, rotor with heavy segment in 21k gold, power reserve of up to 40 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours, minutes and seconds, date aperture at 3 o’clock. Audemars Piguet brown leather strap, Audemars Piguet stainless steel ‘AP’ double folding clasp.

Lot essay

The present reference was produced by Audemars Piguet in 2005 as a special edition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Swiss private bank ‘Pictet & Cie’. The bank then generously gifted the watches to their employees, with each person’s name engraved on the caseback. Some sources state that the owner was not allowed to sell the watch until July 2010. Since then, the watches began to surface on the market and generated some interest from collectors as a rare example of a medium-sized special-edition Royal Oak, which until then had rarely attracted the attention of collectors and specialists and remained in the shadow of the charismatic historical reference 5402 ‘Jumbo’ and its subsequent iterations. The recent surge in demand for classic Royal Oak collection references, most notably the ‘Jumbo’, perpetual calendars, limited-editions and chronographs, and the extraordinary rise in secondary market prices that has resulted from this, has provoked a generally significant increase in public interest in other, previously overshadowed items that had not generated active demand. This category also includes 36mm medium-sized Royal Oaks, including the classic references 14790 and, in particular, the 15300, the first self-winding time-and date Royal Oak with an in-house caliber. The present reference is a rare leather-strap variation of the basic automatic model 14790. In terms of execution, it belongs to the third generation of reference 14790, with a characteristic third-generation dial design and stainless-steel ‘AP’ double folding clasp on the leather strap.

This rare special edition of the classic reference 14790 was never available in Audemars Piguet boutiques or retailers, as the watches of this series were intended only for employees of Pictet & Cie

There is little information about this reference in available sources, unfortunately, and not all details can be confirmed. For example, there is information about a production limit of 1800 pieces. This is quite consistent with sources that are available since the range of case numbers of those examples that we were able to find data on is in the range from F18xxx to F19xxx (to be precise, we found information about examples from F18552 to F19650).

Reasons to bid

Nowadays, due to the incredible popularity of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches, medium-sized Royal Oak references are generating significant interest as collectibles and as investments. The present example draws significant attention as a rare special edition of the classic reference 14790 that was never available in Audemars Piguet boutiques or retailers, as the watches of this series were intended only for employees of Pictet & Cie, who ordered production of this reference. Therefore, the Royal Oak ‘Pictet & Cie’ Edition Speciale Ref. 15189ST.00.D083CU.01 would be an excellent purchase for the collector who desires a fine, neat and attractive self-winding wristwatch from a rare special edition, produced by a world-renowned traditional watch brand, one of the undisputed leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market. This watch features the clear, airy and neat matt silvered dial of the mother-reference 14790 third-generation, with a custom-engraved stainless-steel caseback and classic stainless-steel ‘AP’ double folding clasp, further enhancing the attractiveness of the present lot.