A very rare, charismatic and full yellow-gold day-date self-winding wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet, founded in 1875. Estimated production year: 1986. Case in 18k yellow gold, diameter 36mm, 9mm thick, solid yellow gold caseback with Royal Oak emblem, and model serial number engraved. Cream patinated, so-called ‘Tropical’ dial with ‘Tapisserie’ pattern, small (so-called ‘flat’) Audemars Piguet logo, and ‘AP’ applied symbol at 12 o’clock. Self-winding caliber 2124/2810, rotor with heavy segment in 21k gold, power reserve of up to 40 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, date sub-dial at 3 o’clock, and day of the week sub-dial at 9 o’clock. Royal Oak 18k yellow gold bracelet, the first-generation Royal Oak white gold double folding clasp.
Audemars Piguet introduced the reference 25572 in 1983. It has a double calendar function with the indication of the date on a sub-dial at 3 o’clock, and day of the week on a sub-dial at 9 o’clock. This configuration creates a clean and well-balanced dial structure, making it extremely appealing and appreciated amongst collectors. Due to the characteristic arrangement of the counters along the horizontal axis and the wide circular brushed outline of the sub-dials, collectors nickname this Royal Oak model ‘The Owl’. Please note a certain degree of similarity between the 25572 dial and the dial of the Royal Oak perpetual calendars, which retain the same position of the date and day counters. In a sense, reference 25572 seems to be a simplified version of the Royal Oak perpetual calendar, although, strictly speaking, this is not the case, as Royal Oak perpetual calendars use another base caliber and calendar module. In addition, reference 25572 is attractive to the collector because it is the first medium-sized 36mm Royal Oak to be fitted with an additional ‘small’ complication. Phillips reports the present reference remained in production until 1998, with a total of 1770 pieces made: 576 in stainless steel, 524 in 18k yellow gold, 654 in stainless steel and 18k yellow gold and 16 in 18k white gold. Caliber 2124/2810 of the present example is based on a caliber 889 movement-blank supplied by Jaeger-LeCoultre, long-term partner and supplier of Audemars Piguet, with the addition of a day-date calendar module.
Warm-toned patination undoubtedly adds to the charisma and attractiveness of this watch in the eyes of a knowledgeable collector.
Careful study of the execution of reference 25572 shows that it is divided into two types. Type 1 stands out for its dial with hour and minute hands, and hour markers of a slender stick style, while Type 2 does so for its original Gérald Genta Royal Oak style with hour and minute hands, and hour markers of a rounded baton shape. The present lot is reference 25572 Type 1.
The dial of the present example, not uncommon for early-period reference 25572s, has a noticeable patination and may be referred to as ‘Tropical’. Originally silvered white, it has now developed a patina tending to a cream tone. Yellow metal outlines of the counters standing out against this warm-hued cream background, displaying a degree of patination over time, which creates a certain brownish hue. Warm-toned patination undoubtedly adds to the charisma and attractiveness of this watch in the eyes of a knowledgeable collector.
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 lot is a notable example of an early Royal Oak Day Date reference 25572 in 18k yellow gold with a dial execution of Type 1, with an attractive warm patina affecting both the original white background of the dial and the original yellow metal tone of the outline of the counters, which undoubtedly makes this watch even more desirable. Therefore, the Royal Oak Day Date Ref. 25572BA.OO.0789BA.01 ‘The Owl Tropical’ would be an excellent purchase for the collector who desires a very rare, charismatic and full yellow-gold small-complication medium-sized Royal Oak with memorable ‘owl’ dial, produced by a world-renowned traditional watch brand, one of the undisputed leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market.