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Why We Love It
While this elegant white gold piece couldn't be any further removed from the bulky brute of the Royal Oak Offshore line that the brand is perhaps most commonly known for amongst today's collectors, making ultra-thin watches is something at which Audemars Piguet has long excelled.
What stands out the most to us about this piece is the airy thinness and the fine detailing in the design of the 18K white gold case. Sized at 35mm in diameter and measuring only 5mm in thickness, it features a silver dial with pencil hands, enlarged engine-turned bezel, and a display case back highlighting the Calibre 2003/2 manually-wound lever movement, finely detailed by a master engraver. Produced in very limited quantities in the late 1990s, this particular example is numbered 38/50 on the case back.
Paired with its original AP signed black reptile leather strap, it's a standout tuxedo watch that slides effortlessly under any cuff, and is sure to attract the attention of anyone who knows that the brand from Le Brassus can do more than beefy and angular!
There are certain watches that define a brand, informing its design ethos and becoming nothing short of iconic in the minds of collectors.
For Audemars Piguet, that watch is the Royal Oak—in all its multitudinous incarnations. Yet the manufacture from Le Brassus did not earn its seat in the triumvirate of leading watch brands—the so-called Big Three—on the success of the Royal Oak alone.
In fact, both Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet came from long lines of watchmakers, and made their reputations long before the Royal Oak was conceived. Their reputations rested on their ability to create incredibly elegant timepieces in numerous styles.
Though they may not have had catchy names like the Royal Oak, or boasted complicated movements like the present-day Jules Audemars collection, these dress watches nevertheless captures the attention to detail that Audemars Piguet has come to be known for.
Starting in the 1920s, manufactures vied against each other to create the thinnest wristwatches available on the market. The fiercest competition was between Audemars Piguet and Jaeger-LeCoultre, who fired the opening salvo with the 1907 release of a pocket watch movement that was 1.38mm thin. A mere two decades later (which is almost an instant in an industry where research and development can take years), Audemars Piguet introduced a movement that was 1.32mm thin.
The competition continues even to this day, with ultra-thin models exemplifying a manufacture’s skill at producing exquisite watches. For a watchmaker an ultra-thin watch is the ultimate mark of refinement, and the same holds true for the collector who wears one.
18k White Gold case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). Audemars Piguet Caliber 2003/2 manually winding movement. Circa 1997.
Overall Condition: Case is in great condition overall, showing signs of moderate use and wear. Dial is in as-new condition. Non-luminous handset. Unsigned crown.
Includes black leather Audemars Piguet signed strap and 18k White Gold pin buckle.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options