“Mr. Genta, I need a steel sports watch that has never been done, I need it to be something absolutely new and waterproof.” That was the message to Gérald Genta by then Audemars Piguet CEO Mr. Golay. Very little later, the Royal Oak was conceived. The rest is history. Today, it is perhaps the most desired watches in the world.
There was a period, not even too quite a while in the past, that I wore a Royal Oak watch on the wrist pretty much each and every day. It was my fantasy watch. Since the time I saw the watch in one of the Audemars Piguet indexes, I concluded that a Royal Oak was my chalice watch. My first buy was the Royal Oak 15300. A 39mm watch with AP’s then moderately new in-house created type 3120. I couldn’t have been happier. So I thought. Since a couple of months after the fact, I had the chance to exchange it facing a Royal Oak 15202. The Royal Oak “Jumbo”, or “Extra-Thin” as it is called today. An immediate descendent of Genta’s Royal Oak from 1972, the 5402ST.
Both the 15300 and 15202 were my “almost” consistently watches. My regular occupation was a situation at this speculation bank in The Hague, and luckily, I had the chance to go around the globe a piece for them. The Royal Oak was a trusty companion during these excursions. Aside from once, I never got a solitary comment on that watch by non-watch individuals. It was an under-the-radar piece, and just watch geeks (is Watch Idiot Savant actually being utilized?) would perceive it.
Later on, I added the Royal Oak Chronograph 26300. Another 39mm that I truly wanted, subsequent to exchanging up my 15300 for the 15202. I missed the shimmering white tone, and this 26300 had a silver dial with dark sub-dials. An ideal expansion to my unobtrusive assortment. Brain you, the costs in those days (10 years prior) were very unique in relation to today’s retail prices.
2012: another 15202 and a 15400
In my assessment, a great deal of things changed for the Royal Oak and the consumer’s insight in 2012. That year, Audemars Piguet praised the 40th commemoration of the Royal Oak. The exemplary 15202ST got an update by having a dial plan nearer to the first 5402ST. The wristband was updated also. Thicker connections and a more strong three-overlap fasten became an integral factor. I despised the arm band update, yet the cleaner dial was certainly fascinating and a stage forward (and back simultaneously). At that point, AP likewise supplanted the 15300 with the 15400. It was fundamentally a similar watch, yet bigger (41mm) and marginally thicker (by 0.4mm).
The developments for the new 15202 and the 15400 were indistinguishable from their archetypes, albeit the improvement on the rotor of the type 2121 (15202) change a smidgen. What additionally changed, is that the retail cost of the 15400 was surrounding the 15202 compared to the 15300.
For numerous years, the Royal Oak Offshore was the cool watch. The typical Royal Oak was a watch for individuals a piece of the watch gathering circles. That out of nowhere changed from 2012 onwards. The Royal Oak was cool again and was gotten by a many individuals that weren’t essentially aficionados or experts. It went from an odd take on the cold, hard truth watch to a watch with staggeringly popularity. While sitting tight records for watches used to be the region of Daytonas, we could now add the Royal Oak to that select club.
From that second on, I additionally began to get more comments on my trusty old 2006 Royal Oak 15202 from individuals who didn’t have a favorable opinion of it previously. It shows that these things can advance and that watches have become a subject of general interest for some people.
2019: Royal Oak 15500ST introduced
Last year, Audemars Piguet chose to suspend the 15400ST and supplant it with the 15500. It wasn’t as major a change as we’d seen in 2012 when the 15300 was supplanted, yet there were critical updates. The instance of the Royal Oak 15500ST expanded to a thickness of 10.4mm. That is still generally slim for today’s principles, however an increment in any case. Be that as it may, the greatest update was the development. Audemars Piguet began to utilize its in-house created type 4302 — a development presented in their Code 11:59 assortment. The force save expanded from 60 to 70 hours, and the working recurrence went up from 21,600vph to 28,800vph.
Technicalities aside, a more noticeable change was made on the dial. Audemars Piguet tidied up the dial by eliminating the “Automatic” phrasing and repositioning the date window. Where the 15400 was plainly utilizing a similar development as the 39mm 15300, the 15500 has a development more reasonable for a 41mm watch. Likewise, the shape of the second hand’s stabilizer changed.
On the wrist
With the experience of possessing three diverse 39mm Royal Oak models, putting on a 41mm Royal Oak 15500ST actually feels somewhat off-kilter. It isn’t that 41mm is extremely large, however with this unmistakable drag plan, it wears greater. So my 39mm Royal Oak watches wore a lot bigger than the dry spec breadth size. All things considered, and furthermore dependent on the photos we took, the Royal Oak 15500ST doesn’t look terrible by any means. It feels more strong than the Extra-Thin 15202ST, however near the 15300 and 26300 I used to have. The wristband is perhaps the most comfortable ones out there ( check out our Top 10 watch arm bands article here ), and a standout amongst other looking wristbands too. In any case, that is, obviously, in the eye of the beholder.
Royal Oak Bracelet
The twofold collapsing fasten brings about the ideal result, the two pushers are there to deliver it. I like the little square connection with the AP etching, practically looking like a concealed catch. The best thing about the Royal Oak wristband however is the wrapping up. A lovely brushed completion on the vast majority of the surfaces, while all points from all connections have a decent cleaned surface. The drawback will be that it is a scratch magnet, the brushing won’t conceal the smallest hairline scratch. Be that as it may, as one of the past planners at Audemars Piguet once advised me, it is important for making “character” on your watch.
AP Caliber 4302
The type 2121 was for me one of the vital motivations to exchange up my Royal Oak 15300 for the 15202. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the 3120. The 3120 is a wonderful looking development, however came up short on the hand-completing and artfulness of the 2121. Presently, the Royal Oak 15500 is furnished with AP’s type 4302. A significant leap forward from the type 3120, as it has a higher beat rate (28800vph versus 21600vph) and an expanded force hold from 60 to 70 hours. Presently, power save for a self-winding watch isn’t actually of my anxiety, or if nothing else not when there are no complications other than a date. However, more is consistently better.
The type 4302 is wonderfully finished, with perlage, Côtes de Genève, and cleaned points all over. The Naked Watchmaker did an intriguing separate and dismantling of the AP type 4302 with close-ups and legitimate clarification per step. . He demonstrates that this development likewise has decent improvement on certain surfaces you won’t see. At that point there’s obviously the gold skeletonized rotor, with the AP logo and “Audemars Piguet” unmistakably visible.
Just like the wristband, the case has similar sort of completing on various surfaces. The instance of the Royal Oak 15500ST comprises of three sections, dissimilar to the two-section 15202. The bezel, with vertical silk completing on top, has cleaned inclined points, and level glossy silk completing as an afterthought. The enormous case surfaces are silk brushed, and the points have cleaned surfaces. Albeit all Royal Oak watches have this sort of completing, I am still consistently intrigued by it. Additionally here, the watch is a scratch magnet.
Price and availability
It was extraordinary fun wearing a Royal Oak once more. I all trustworthiness, and this is perhaps scouring various perfectionists the incorrect way, wearing the 15202 consistently felt somewhat like you’re wearing a vintage watch. With the overhaul in 2012, with the new arm band, that feeling disappeared a smidgen. The 15202 is for the lovers, the fans, particularly of the Genta inheritance and the unfathomably decent 2121 development. The Royal Oak 15500ST feels more like an advanced watch, which it in the long run likewise is. It has a smidgen more wrist presence, and it is accessible in an assortment of executions. I like this variant (reference 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04) with the silver-conditioned dial best. It is new and something “different” from the ordinary dark or blue-dialed sports watch.
The Royal Oak 15500ST is a developed rendition of the 15300 and 15400, and Audemars Piguet accomplished to make a cutting edge elective for the 15202. The retail cost of the AP Royal Oak 15500ST is €22,200 (counting VAT). These watches are sought after, so despite the fact that it’s anything but a restricted version, accessibility emphatically relies upon creation capacity and markets. More data by means of AP .