A very rare and extremely attractive limited-edition titanium chronograph wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet, founded in 1875. Limited edition launched in 2000 as a tribute to the America’s Cup regatta in Auckland, New Zealand. Case in titanium, diameter 39mm, thickness 11mm, solid caseback with engraved “City of Sails Royal Oak Limited Edition 300 pieces” inscription, and case number. Electric-blue (very similar to so called ‘Yves Klein’ blue color) dial with enlarged ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern, light grey ‘Roundel’ sub-dials with blue markings, yellow applied indexes, hour and minute hands and peripheral scale numerals. Self-winding caliber 2385 with an inertial segment in 18k yellow gold, thin, with a power reserve of up to 40 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock, chronograph with central seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters, and date between 4 and 5 o’clock. Royal Oak titanium and stainless-steel bracelet, second-generation stainless steel double folding clasp. Limited edition of 300 pieces.
The City of Sails Be Happy is a rare special limited edition of the first-generation Royal Oak Chronograph reference 25860. The present limited edition differs from the standard reference 25860 versions through several interesting and rare design features. The main features are its titanium and stainless-steel execution, the distinctive design of its electric-blue dial with enlarged ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern, contrasting light-grey ‘Roundel’ sub-dials and the vivid yellow accents. The case back is engraved with the depiction “City of Sails”, which refers to the nickname for the New Zealand city of Auckland, famous for its maritime heritage.
Ref. 25860 was available in different variations and mostly produced in stainless steel, while the present lot is to this day the only version of the Royal Oak Chronograph in titanium and stainless steel. It should also be noted here the bezel and caseback screws are traditionally made of white gold. In addition, the existence of another Royal Oak Chronograph model made of titanium is known to exist – reference 26331IP.OO.1220IP.01, featuring titanium combined with platinum. This model is also very attractive as it represents a very small number of limited editions of the first-generation Royal Oak Chronograph.
With an iconic Royal Oak octagonal case uniquely made of titanium, a Royal Oak titanium and stainless-steel bracelet, a distinctive ‘Yves Klein’ blue dial, light grey ‘Roundel’ sub-dials and yellow accents, this extremely charismatic watch is one of the most notable timepieces of the Royal Oak Chronograph collection.
The present example uses the self-winding caliber 2385, typical for Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs, which had been developed by the brand in collaboration with movement-blank producer Frédéric Piguet as a personalized version of its legendary caliber 1185. The watch case is fitted with screw-lock pushers and a screw-down crown, making it waterproof to a depth of 50 meters. The chronograph pushers are easy to unscrew and the requirement to apply smooth and pleasant pressure to activate the chronograph is a nice and very useful technical feature of caliber 2385 and its prototype Frédéric Piguet 1185.
Reasons to bid
With an iconic Royal Oak octagonal case uniquely made of titanium, a Royal Oak titanium and stainless-steel bracelet, a distinctive ‘Yves Klein’ blue dial, light grey ‘Roundel’ sub-dials and yellow accents, this extremely charismatic watch is one of the most notable timepieces of the Royal Oak Chronograph collection. Therefore, the present lot would be an excellent purchase for the collector who desires a spectacular, rare and extremely attractive limited-edition chronograph wristwatch from a world-renowned traditional watch brand, one of the undisputed leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market.
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the legendary Royal Oak, this Ineichen Auctioneers sale offers an unprecedented selection of automatic chronographs produced by Audemars Piguet since 1998. Against the backdrop of other lots, above all the automatic Royal Oak Jumbo and Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, which enjoy the active interest of collectors, the Royal Oak Chronograph has so far clearly been underestimated. It is, nevertheless, very attractive and promising for collecting part of the magnificent historical heritage of the Royal Oak collection. In addition, the Royal Oak Chronograph remains relevant as a luxurious daily wearer. The keen collector should note that also offered for purchase in this sale are other attractive and collectible Royal Oak chronographs, including the rarest and most desirable Royal Oak Chronograph Blue ‘Roundel’ Counters, Royal Oak Chronograph ‘Tropical Hands’, and Royal Oak Chronograph ‘Electric Blue’ among others.