Phillips’ dedicated Audemars Piguet Royal Oak auction in Geneva saw four world record prices paid for historic examples of the octagonal icon. The Royal Oak 50th Sale achieved $22.6M USD through 87 watch lots with 430 bidders in the room and 1,000 registered online bidders.
The star lot – the Royal Oak Ref. 5402ST A2 – was the second Royal Oak ever produced and one of the four watches used to first reveal the design at Baselworld 1972. The watch, which was described as being in “well-preserved” condition, sold for CHF 1,058,500 ($1,073,319 USD) setting a record for the Royal Oak.
The A2 was closely followed by an Asprey-signed platinum perpetual calendar Ref. 25652PT with a copper brown dial, which sold for CHF 1,022,200 ($1,036,511 USD). Phillips also presented an all-black 5402ST that was “understood to have been worn” by fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld which achieved CHF 937,500 ($950,625 USD).
The final two records were set by a Royal Oak “Tuscan” Jubilée Ref. 14802P limited edition platinum wristwatch with blue Tuscan dial made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the model, which sold for CHF 804,400 ($815,662 USD) and a Audemars Piguet Ref. 25829TP tantalum and platinum openworked perpetual calendar, part of a limited edition run of 16 pieces, which sold for CHF 768,100 ($779,259 USD).
“Our first live sale of the year demonstrated the collectors’ hunger for rare top quality and never seen timepieces, especially those with provenance,” says Alexandre Ghotbi, Head of Watches, Continental Europe and Middle East. “With these results, the Royal Oak has clearly demonstrated its desirability on the market. This is a watch that created a new genre, and a new design language.”
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