Almost 10 years prior, I composed a comparison between the Royal Oak 15202 ‘Enormous’ and the ‘at that point’ standard Royal Oak Date , with reference 15300. Both 39mm Royal Oak observes yet with a tremendous distinction: the development. In 2012, this reference 15300 was prevailing by the 41mm reference 15400 and a month ago Audemars Piguet presented its replacement: The Royal Oak 15500. This watch is likewise in 41mm, yet Audemars Piguet rolled out certain improvements to the dial and, all the more significantly perhaps, introduced another in-house made development. Time for another comparison between the Royal Oak Date reference 15500 and the notorious reference 15202 Extra-Thin or ‘Jumbo’.

Royal Oak Background

I am not going to mislead anybody, there’s just a single Royal Oak that gets to me, which is the reference 15202 or one of its archetypes. In the comparison I made with the 15300 10 years prior, the distinction in cost compensated for going for the 15300 from the start, however very little later I wound up exchanging up the 15300 for the 15202 in any case. I was unable to fight the temptation to get this chalice, with its type 2121 development and dainty case and wristband. No second thoughts, as it wears more comfortable and I found the plan of the Jumbo right on target. Where the 15300 and later 15400 made concessions in regards to the thickness and measurement of the case, those ideal looking plan proportions of the 15202 were gone.

1972

The history of the current ( introduced in 2012 ) reference 15202 returns to 1972. We’ve repeated this story a great deal of times here on Fratello, yet we should do a little recap. In 1972, Audemars Piguet presents something strange: a hardened steel extravagance sports watch with a coordinated steel arm band. The Royal Oak with reference 5402 is conceived. The creator of this watch is Gérald Genta, who began his own plan company in 1969 subsequent to being on the finance of (among others) Omega and answerable for a portion of their Constellation models for instance. The steel Royal Oak has an octagonal bezel that has been roused by the ports of the war vessel HMS Royal Oak. The cost of the Royal Oak is high, high. At the cost of this new Royal Oak, you could likewise purchase 10 Rolex Submariner watches. Inside is a type 2121 development, in view of the Jaeger-LeCoultre type 920 development that has been planned by Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe . A couple of years after the fact, Patek Philippe likewise utilizes this development in their first Nautilus 3700/1A models. Vacheron Constantin does likewise, with their ‘222’ model (the archetype of the Overseas), planned by Hysek however certainly imparting some plan similitudes to the Royal Oak and Nautilus.

 

The first reference of the Royal Oak, the 5402 , is exceptionally sought-after today. Particularly their A-arrangement. Later on, the plan of the dial of the 5402 changes a piece and the AP logo moved from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock. At that point, there was a Jubilee release in 1992, the reference 14802 ( Gerard expounded on it here ). Just 1000 pieces were made, remembering some for white gold. Fascinating about the 14802 is unquestionably the dial, in addition to the fact that it had a more modest ‘Clous de Paris’ than the later 15202, yet it was additionally accessible in salmon. Similar as the dial on the white gold 15202 that was presented a month ago in Geneva. The tone of the new dial is somewhat not quite the same as the salmon dial from the 1990s, it is a touch more ‘pink gold-ish’ than legitimate salmon. The Royal Oak reference 15202 is the present adaptation of that unique reference 5402 from 1972.

Below, the new Royal Oak 15202 in white gold with ‘Salmon’ dial and the first Royal Oak 14802 ‘Jubilee’  from 1982 with Salmon dial (picture credits: WayneNG/Orange Dial)

Different Royal Oak Versions

During each one of those years, Audemars Piguet presented various adaptations of the Royal Oak. Sooner or later, most Royal Oak watches estimated 36mm and you’d discover versions with a wide range of complications, yet additionally models with quartz developments. The Royal Oak Chronograph was 39mm from the outset, at that point expanded to 41mm just to come down to 38mm this year. All things considered, the ‘Large’ or ‘Extra-Thin’ 15202 (and archetypes) were consistently 39mm. I think the foundation of the ‘Kind sized’ has been rehashed commonly, yet the Royal Oak reference 15500 that I might want to hold facing the acclaimed 15202 likewise has an intriguing history.

Reference 15300 (39mm)

As composed above, after the Royal Oak 5402, various varieties were made. For the most part in 36mm, yet eventually Audemars Piguet chose to come with a Royal Oak Date in 39mm too. What’s more, a seconds hand. This was in 2005 and Audemars Piguet additionally presented their in-house type 3120 development for this reference 15300. The ‘Enormous’ as of now had reference 15202 at that point. You could say that the Royal Oak 15300 was the replacement of the 36mm reference 14790. That reference 14790 model utilized Audemars Piguet type 2125 development. This development was not created in-house however dependent on Jaeger-LeCoultre’s type 889/2. For your data, the type 2121 development that was (and is) being utilized in the Royal Oak 15202 ‘Extra-Thin’ was initially a Jaeger-LeCoultre type 920. Nonetheless, further turn of events and its creation are completely in the possession of Audemars Piguet for years.

Anyway, the 2005 presented Royal Oak 15300 had in-house type 3120. I had one myself, bought it in 2008 everything being equal. The variant with a brilliant white dial. A wonderful watch, with a delightfully done wristband with twofold collapsing catch. The type 3120 development could be respected by means of the caseback’s sapphire gem. I adored the gold rotor with the weapons in alleviation. At the time I knew that the type 2121 was a seriously fascinating development because of its slenderness (which is somewhat accomplished in light of the fact that the winding framework doesn’t utilize metal rollers). Additionally, a significant distinction was that the 15202 has a monobloc case, where the 15300 had a caseback that could be taken off. With the 15202, all that requirements to go out by means of the front precious stone. This was fundamentally the idea of the watch plan in any case like it was with the first Nautilus (3700). The later Nautilus models (counting the current 5711) don’t have a monobloc case anymore.

Reference 15400 (41mm)

In 2009, I exchanged up my 15300 for a used 15202 from 2006. The slim development, monobloc case and the way that it was the ‘Enormous’ had (and still has) a ton of fascination for me. I could quickly see the contrast between the advanced Royal Oak 15300 and 15202. The wristband was a lot thicker on the 15300, and the case also. It actually was anything but a thick watch, however the components of the watch simply weren’t wonderful any longer, similar to they are on the 15202. The watch was all in all too thick for its 39mm width, in any event as I would like to think. At that point, in 2012, when the 15202 additionally got its ‘gigantic’ update (a significantly more modest “Dainty Tapisserie” design on the dial and the AP logo moved from 12 to 6 o’clock, where it initially began with the 5402 A-Series), Audemars Piguet likewise presented the replacement of the 15300: the Royal Oak 15400. This was a bigger adaptation of the 15300, with a 41mm case. The type 3120 development was still in there, yet there were a few changes perceptible on the dial. The dial of the 15300 was not generally made in-house, however this changed with the 15400 (and new 15202). These dials were (and are) being made in-house by Audemars Piguet, utilizing a going machine to make the lovely tapisserie design. So, what changed between the 15300 and 15400 other than the size, were the textual style on the dial and the spread out of the dial. Rather than a moderately huge AP logo at 12 o’clock, the 15400 had twofold sticks at 12 o’clock with a little AP logo beneath. The composition of ‘Audemars Piguet’ expanded in size however. The area of the printed ‘Swiss Made’ likewise moved to a more unmistakable area (over the moment markers). The 15400 was only bolder than the 39mm 15300, and not just in view of the 2mm extra for the case distance across, yet in addition on account of the dial. Later on, gold and bi-shading models were added to the 15400 family.

Reference 15450BA

Reference 15500 (41mm)

Now, after 7 years, Audemars Piguet concluded it was the ideal opportunity for an update. Or on the other hand redesign. The thing that matters isn’t so exceptionally large as it was the point at which the 15300 was refreshed to the bigger 15400. The case size of the 15500 is as yet 41mm, however after looking into it further, you will see many subtleties that changed. Likewise, the case has become thicker, with only 0.6mm to a sum of 10.4mm. Likely the greatest change is inside, rather than the Audemars Piguet type 3120, the 15500 currently utilizes the new in-house created and fabricated type 4302 development. This development is likewise being utilized for their new CODE 11:59 three-hand model, for instance. The new development additionally ticks at a speed of 28,800vph rather than the past 21,600vph for the 3120 development. A falcon eye may see the smoother clear of the seconds hand on the dial, obviously. What additionally changed with this development is the force hold, it is currently 70 hours rather than the past 60 hours.

On the dial, you will locate various changes. To improve things, as I would see it. Above all else, there printed ‘Programmed’ has been taken out from the dial. It makes it a piece cleaner as I would like to think, and there’s not actually a need to demonstrate to the wearer it is a programmed development. The person in question knows. You will likewise locate that the date window has another situation on the dial. It is still at 3 o’clock however moved towards the rehaut. What’s more, discussing the rehaut, there you’ll currently locate brief track. The hour markers are fatter on the new dial also, just as the hands. The stabilizer of the seconds hand likewise got another shape. The dial configuration has been changed in accordance with the 41mm case size, I would say.

Royal Oak 15500 versus 15202

This article isn’t to compare the 15300, 15400 and 15500 however, it is intended to perceive what the distinctions are between the ‘standard’ Royal Oak Date (reference 15500) and the Royal Oak ‘Extra-Thin’, or Jumbo, with reference 15202.

Extra-Thin

For numerous perfectionists, there’s just a single Royal Oak. The ‘Large’ and likely ideally the reference 5402ST. A-arrangement, if conceivable. However, actually, this model developed – in little advances, conceded – to the 15202 that was (re)introduced in 2012. A wide range of Royal Oak watches have been made, from models dependent on the 39mm ‘Large’ with Perpetual Calendars to striking Royal Oak Offshore models since 1993. Furthermore, believe it or not, I have been a sucker for the ‘first’ too. I exchanged my 15300ST request to get the 15202 (pre-2012 model). An exorbitant activity, however I need to concede that I appreciate this watch without a doubt and I regard a considerable lot of its ordinary components like the extra-meager development (3.05mm) and case (8mm). Goodness, and the way that it doesn’t have a second’s hand. I could even have managed without a date aperture, yet that wasn’t on Genta’s lineup for the day in 1972.

But where Audemars Piguet appears to focus on perfectionists with the 15202 (so much, they don’t try to make reference to new varieties (gold, platinum & titanium and so forth) in their yearly SIHH video introductions), the 15500 is focusing on a bigger crowd. I can get that, frankly, as the 15500 ought to be their new bread & spread piece. In the event that you can discuss a bread & spread piece for a production like Audemars Piguet. Their complete creation is around 40.000 watches, of which most are Royal Oak varieties. The 15202 is most likely the Royal Oak model with one of the least creation numbers, beside a portion of the amazing complication models perhaps. Sooner or later, in 2010 or 2011, the gossip was that solitary twelve or so 15202 watches in steel were created each year. Albeit that number appears to be amazingly low to me, the truth of the matter is that you truly need to sit tight for a significant long time when you request a 15202 today from your approved Audemars Piguet dealer.

Caliber 2121 and 4302

Although the new in-house type 4302 is a fascinating advance, offering 70 hours of force hold, a bigger breadth (so it additionally looks more pleasant by means of the sapphire caseback of the 15500) and a higher ticking number, it is essentially thicker than the 3.05mm type 2121. That type 2121 was planned by Jaeger-LeCoultre, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet and is 50 years of age, yet viewed as one of the most delightful time-just programmed developments around. Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin are the solitary produces that actually utilize this development for their extra/super slight watches. Other than that, the type 2121 is a hand-completed development. The type 3120 was not hand-completed in a similar degree as the type 2121 development, yet the type 4302 development is likewise done by hand as indicated by Audemars Piguet. Apparently, the contrast between these two is that the type 2121 is a touch more complicated to produce and gather than their caliber 4302 movement.

Dial Executions

The Royal Oak 15202 comes with a “Dainty Tapisserie” blue dial nowadays (before 2012, it was accessible with a blue, white and charcoal dial), except if you decide for one of the valuable metal forms that are accessible with a gold, salmon (a greater amount of pink gold as I composed above), blue, sunburst blue or even a green dial (The Hour Glass edition).

Royal Oak Extra-thin

With the Royal Oak 15500, you have a smidgen more opportunity of decision (for the steel model), as there are a blue, record dim and dark dial accessible. The 15400 additionally had a white dial in the gamma, yet not (yet) for the 15500. White dials are as yet underestimated or underappreciated it appears. The Royal Oak 15500 is additionally accessible in gold, to be specific 18-carat pink gold. There’s a rendition with cowhide strap and one with a full gold arm band. Both come with a dark dial with the celebrated “Grande Tapisserie” design. Underneath, the blue dial of the Royal Oak 15500.

Case Dimensions

For me, the size, (lighter) weight and thickness of the Royal Oak 15202 consistently won from the Royal Oak 15300 I used to have. The Royal Oak 15400 and Royal Oak 15500 with their 41mm cases made the Royal Oak (Date) form more adjusted as I would see it. With a thickness of 10.4mm of the Royal Oak 15500, the distinction with the 8.1mm slender Royal Oak 15202 has become greater. Albeit 2.3mm doesn’t appear to be a lot, view the picture underneath, showing the new Royal Oak 15500 and the white gold Royal Oak 15202 (which is really 8mm). Here, you will likewise see the distinction in the thickness of the bezel.

With a 18cm wrist, I generally approve of the 41mm x 10.4mm instance of the Royal Oak 15500, yet I absolutely additionally can deal with the more modest 39mm x 8.1mm instance of the Royal Oak 15202. It involves inclination toward the end, where I have slight courtesy for the 39mm Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’.

Taking a gander at the watches one next to the other (and for this, we took the new Royal Oak 15500 and the white gold 15202 ), you can unmistakably see that the case, dial (and its tapisserie pattern), hands, crown, bezel and jolts are generously bigger. The equivalent applies to the perfectly planned and completed Royal Oak wristbands of these two watches.

No Good Or Bad

There’s a value contrast of €5.600,= between the Royal Oak 15500 and the 15202, however I have the inclination that this isn’t unequivocal for somebody who is thinking about one of these two references. One who is after the Royal Oak 15202 ‘Jumbo’ will likely not choose for the reference 15500 due to the lower sticker price. An explanation behind the distinction in cost may be the assembling interaction of the type 2121 development, which is by all accounts a smidgen more complicated.

The watch industry can’t get by of idealists just, not at all like what a large number of us might want to accept. By offering some variety, focused on a bigger objective crowd, there is something for everybody. That’s how I see these two unique references. The individual who’s truly profound into watches will presumably go for the Royal Oak 15202 for the entirety of the reasons expressed in this article. The fellow (or young lady) who essentially adores watches, and happens to like the octagonal plan of the Royal Oak may be attracted to the reference 15500. It is greater, has an advanced planned and created in-house development that comes with more force save, a speedy set date and a higher beat. Gracious, and let’s not fail to remember that the Royal Oak 15500 has a seconds hand also. A few group need some obvious activity on the dial. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15500 is basically bolder than the Royal Oak 15202, in pretty much every perspective, perhaps that is the greatest difference.

For the individuals who: don’t mind tinkering with the crown to set the date (or just don’t care about a right date, such as myself), love the serenity of simply an hour and moment hand, lean toward the “Petite Tapisserie” and basically favor a more modest and more slender watch, there’s the 15202.

Pricing

The retail cost of the Royal Oak 15500 is €19.700,= (counting VAT) and the Royal Oak 15202ST has a sticker price of €25.300,= (counting VAT).

More data can be found on the Audemars Piguet .