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MUCH has been said about the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in the past several years, and since you're looking at this piece you probably already know the story. In the unlikely case that you don't, here's the meat of it: Audemars Piguet, the vaunted manufacture from Les Brassus, wasn't doing so well at the end of the 1960s. Their horological prowess aside, times were changing, customer tastes were evolving, and AP was stuck firmly in a very traditional past. Fortunately for us, their executives recognized this, and bet it all on the launch of an avant garde timepiece the likes of which the world had never seen.
Utilizing the talents of a designer named Gerald Genta, who would make his name for designing this very watch, AP planned from the beginning to make this new watch - dubbed the Royal Oak - a contradiction to tradition, and it became the world's first luxury sports watch. Made in steel. The gamble paid off, and the watch world clamored to get their hands on the cutting edge design, which featured a sharply angled watch with integrated bracelet, micro tapisserie dial, and ultra thin movement.
The response was so positive that their initial allocation sold out, resulting in an extension of the line as they scrambled to meet demand. It can be said without question that the original Reference 5402 "A Series" - nicknamed by collectors the "Jumbo" for its massive 39mm size (!) - single handedly paved the way for a very bright future for Audemars Piguet, and the Royal Oak line is of course a core component of their collection today.
What's particularly delightful about the design of the Royal Oak (which was subsequently mimicked by the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the IWC Ingenieur SL), is that it works brilliantly in a number of sizes and casing materials, from steel to carbon fiber or rose gold. This particular model, a Reference 14790, is sized at 36mm and features a two-tone 18K yellow gold/steel case and bracelet. Wearing slightly smaller than its "Jumbo" predecessors, the 14790 has become a favorite amongst collectors for its beautiful proportions, wearability, and value proposition.
While some two-tone watches run the risk of coming across as gaudy, the Royal Oak makes a subtle statement, pairing well with dress and casual attire alike. We've seen a recent return to two-tone cases in contemporary designs, indicating an overdue appreciation for a long-shunned style. In fact, Audemars Piguet themselves released a new model of two tone Royal Oak at SIHH in 2015, a watch that our founder considered one of the most important watches of the show.
This particular example is in excellent condition throughout, showing none of the signs of the dreaded over-polishing that they are regularly subjected to. A full recent service by Central Watch has put it in top condition mechanically, so you can rest assured that this won't be a financial burden to own and enjoy. Great piece here, folks!
Two tone steel and gold case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown). Audemars Piguet Reference 14790. Calibre 2225 automatic winding movement.
Overall Condition: Watch is in excellent condition throughout, showing light signs of wear to the case and bracelet, but is devoid of any glaring marks, defects, or signs of over polishing. Dial and matching handset are in similarly excellent condition, showing light signs of patination. Original case back engraved No. 217 and signed crown.
Includes original integrated two tone bracelet with signed deployant clasp sized to feature a roughly 7" wrist.