5 Accessible Audemars Piguet Watches for New Collectors
Audemars Piguet timepieces combine iconic designs with meticulously hand-finished movements. Accordingly, prices run well into six figures. For new collectors and those considering their first Audemars Piguet purchase, WatchTime offers five currently available models at the more accessible end of the range.
Royal Oak Selfwinding
The word “audacious“ is invoked far too often in the world of watches, and though the Royal Oak may seem tame by today’s standards, it was truly audacious when it debuted in 1972. It was a precious timepiece in a non-precious metal, carrying a luxury price. Over the years, AP left well-enough alone, and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, the Royal Oak stands as a design icon, and it is by far the best known Audemars Piguet collection.
Our featured model, reference 15400, is the largest Royal Oak produced to date. (Even icons have to keep up with the times.) Though at 41 mm, the case would hardly be considered oversize by today’s standards. The blue Grande Tapisserie dial, referred to by some as the “waffle” dial, is perhaps as well-known as the octagonal bezel. Any watch enthusiast will instantly recognize this classic. Beneath the trademark dial ticks the automatic-winding manufacture caliber 3120 with 40 jewels, a solid 22k gold winding rotor, and a 60 hour power reserve.
The Royal Oak Selfwinding in stainless steel is priced at $17,100.
Royal Oak Offshore Diver
If the Royal Oak is an icon, its big brother, the Royal Oak Offshore (“ROO” to those in the know) is a modern sensation. Offshores are Royal Oaks turned up to 11. Today the ROO seems like a natural development, but when the concept was first proposed, it shocked even AP management. Fortunately, the Offshore received a green light, and a new Royal Oak era was born.
Our featured watch is the Royal Oak Offshore Diver, reference 15703ST, and it is among the most popular members of the Offshore family. It features the “rubber-clad” accents often found on Offshore models, The case measures 42 mm x 13.9 mm and it offers 300 meter water resistance. The crown at 10 o’clock turns the internal bezel with the typical countdown markings. The Mega Tapisserie dial is a larger version of that found on the Royal Oak shown above, and the broad hands offer excellent legibility. The in-house caliber 3120 provides the power.
The Royal Oak Offshore Diver 15703ST on a rubber strap retails for $19,000.
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