A very rare, attractive, and notable limited-edition rose-gold self-winding wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet, founded in 1875. Limited edition launched in 1997. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 36mm, 7.5mm thick, solid stainless steel caseback with Royal Oak emblem, “Limited edition” inscription and D-series case number engraved. Light-grey toned silvered dial with ‘Tapisserie’ pattern, sunburst flat chapter ring, and ‘AP’ applied logo at 12 o’clock. 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. Royal Oak 18k rose gold bracelet, Royal Oak second-generation double folding clasp. Limited edition of 375 pieces.
Three commemorative limited editions, issued by Audemars Piguet in a collaboration with and as a tribute to great golf player Nick Faldo, are notable due to their unique dial configurations, and other rare features. The present limited-edition reference 15097OR launched in 1997, is the second limited edition, which followed the first series reference 15090ST of 1992 (limited edition of 175 pieces). Then, in 2002, the brand presented the steel and platinum reference 15190SP (limited edition of 500 pieces) with an exhibition caseback (the rare 36mm 2225-caliber Royal Oak with this feature).
The present reference 15097OR is a notable example of a medium-sized Royal Oak, produced as a variation of a basic 14790 reference in full 18k rose gold execution and featuring a unique dial design with the original Gérald Genta Royal Oak rounded baton hands and indexes, and wide flat chapter ring, with sunburst finish. For this reason, the dial with a round central zone and an embossed ‘Tapisserie’ pattern gets what for a Royal Oak watch is an unusual golf ball look, very appropriate for the person to whom the limited edition is dedicated. The watch also features a solid rose gold caseback with a special engraving that does not include the name of the golfer, simply stating only “Limited edition”. It is equipped with the self-winding caliber 2225, based on a caliber 889 movement-blank supplied by Jaeger-LeCoultre, long-term partner and supplier of Audemars Piguet.
The present lot is a notable example of a rare limited-edition medium-sized Royal Oak, with a dial featuring the golf theme.
Until fairly recently, medium-sized 36mm Royal Oaks had rarely attracted the attention of collectors and specialists, being 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 generated 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, such as the classic references 14790 and, in particular, the rare limited editions featuring unique design configurations, such as the present lot.
Reasons to bid
The present lot is a notable example of a rare limited-edition medium-sized Royal Oak, with a dial featuring a golf theme. Nowadays, due to the incredible popularity of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches, medium-sized Royal Oak references are gaining significant interest as collectibles and as investments. Therefore, the Royal Oak Ref. Nick Faldo Limited Edition Ref. 15097OR.OO.0789OR.01 would be an excellent purchase for the collector who desires a very rare, attractive, and notable medium-sized Royal Oak, produced by a world-renowned traditional watch brand, one of the undisputed leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market.