The Most Sought-After Royal Oak Models in Collection – And the Sad Reality of the Market

By rolex
April 24, 2021
9 min read

After we look at the best models in Rolex and Patek Philippe indexes, and the truth of the market – comprehend, the premium you’ll need to pay to get your hands on these watches, without sitting tight for quite a long time – the time has come to finish the cycle and to give a finish to the hypothesis story… And that implies looking at THE watch that really begun everything, the watch that, back in 1972, made the pattern for extravagance sports watches, so-to-say today’s most smoking watch classification; the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, obviously. So here are the most sought-after Audemars Piguet watches in assortment – all being Royal Oak models – and the truth of what you’ll need to pay in the event that you need one, right now. 

You should know the deal… Back in 1972, a man named Gerald Genta went to see a specific watch produce, part of the purported Holy Trinity, a company prestigious for its sensitive, top of the line, complicated and exquisite dress watches with a fresh out of the box new idea: the extravagance sports watch. This idea was, back in the days, appropriately problematic. Envision a tempered steel watch, more costly than a dress gold watch, with a generally powerful, water-safe and molded case and incorporated arm band, a vanguard plan, a super thin, Haute Horlogerie development and a refined, finished dial. The Royal Oak was conceived, with the 5402ST A-Series. Obviously, the watch made some clamor. What’s more, this idea will be followed for the decade to come by most settled watch brands: Girard-Perregaux, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Omega, Rolex, IWC, Piaget, Seiko and more…

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the complete extravagance sports watch – for additional insights regarding what is an extravagance sports watch, check this guide here  – and this classification being on everybody’s mouth nowadays, it sits high on lists of things to get, close to its record-breaking competitor, the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711 – two watches made by top-level watchmakers, both planned by Genta, initially furnished with a similar development, conveying a similar soul and dispatched individually in 1972 and 1976. The interest for such watches being high nowadays, there’s no preventing the expanding revenue from getting watch fans for Audemars Piguet and its Royal Oak collections… And the premium of flippers, financial backers, theorists too (sadly.)

However, on the opposite of Patek Philippe which endures hypothesis on most Nautilus models – whatever the complication or the material – Audemars Piguet’s case is extraordinary. At Patek, the present circumstance concerns by and large 6 to 8 references for the Nautilus and 5 to 7 references for the Aquanaut – not that the last is especially famous, but rather the lack of Nautilus watches affected the Aquanaut. For AP, “Royal Oak” really implies 3 sub-assortments, in the event that you incorporate the Offshore and the Concept models, and near 180 references. Also, not every one of them are worried by hypothesis. Truth be told, it generally concerns a modest bunch of references… however those truly endure lack and, unexpectedly, charges over retail prices.

The exemplary: Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202ST

As with Patek Philippe and its particular watch, comprehend here the watch that is the immediate relative of the first model, a large portion of the acclaim around the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is because of the “Jumbo” Extra-Thin 15202ST. This watch is the advanced understanding of the first 5402ST, down to its shape, its 39mm measurement, its incorporated steel arm band, its “petite tapisserie” blue dial and even its development, which is an updated form of the one found in the 1972 watch. Loyal, eminently executed, intense and exemplary simultaneously, yet in addition uncommon. Audemars Piguet is very much aware of the attractive quality of this very watch, which is, in its steel form, just accessible under a solitary reference – 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 – and deliberately delivered in low quantities.

As such, the interest stays higher than the creation, keeping the allure of the model on the ascent. The Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202ST is currently a shop just release and is practically difficult to track down new in stock, notwithstanding a retail cost of roughly EUR 25,000. Along these lines, it endures theory and premium.

However, on the opposite of the Nautilus, there are options in contrast to the Royal Oak Extra-Thin. Audemars Piguet for sure creates another steel, programmed, time-and-date rendition of the RO, the reference 15500ST – in dark, blue and dim – and that is somewhat simpler to discover. Additionally, on the recycled market, you’ll have the option to get to references 15300 (39mm) and 15400 (41mm) at costs significantly lower than a 15202ST. Unquestionably, these watches are thicker, bigger, marginally less refined and less devoted to the first idea, however they stay incredible alternatives.

The reality: It is today practically difficult to secure an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202ST new, at retail cost, without holding up more than 2 or 3 years. Subsequently, and on the grounds that some expected clients (not really evident watch lovers, as we’ve as of now referenced) don’t need to stand by, this particular reference is just accessible along with some built-in costs. The normal cost for a current 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 is about EUR 38,000 to EUR 40,000, a 55% premium over retail. As another option, you can look for a pre-2012 reference with outlined date window and bigger example on the dial, which can be found in the low 30k.

The uncommon 15202 Models (Salmon and Titanium)

There are as of now 7 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202 in collection;  2 in yellow gold , 1 in rose gold, 1 in white gold with precious stone cleared case… and two different models that will be the subject of this segment. These two watches are not just amazing – and hence naturally alluring – however they are likewise known to be incredibly restricted underway – one of them being a restricted version of 250 pieces, the other isn’t as such restricted yet its creation is under 100 pieces a year.

The first model being referred to here is the Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP , a watch in fact indistinguishable from the ST model, yet with a brushed titanium case and arm band, a cleaned platinum bezel and focus joins and an amazing inclination blue dial. As being restricted to 250 pieces just, and since it turned into a star of Instagram, this watch turned out to be amazingly pursued. Don’t hope to discover one at stores, as it is presumably sold-out at this point. The retail cost is around EUR 35,000. The reality: shortage is key in this market and as a result, the 15202IP endures a noteworthy premium. Just a modest bunch of models are recorded on Chrono24 and costs appear to be around EUR 70,000, hence a 100% premium over retails.

Another model that has very high allure is the Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202BC. This variant has been introduced for the current year at the SIHH 2019 and highlights a white gold case and a pink-gold shaded, salmon-like dial. Realizing that both the RO and salmon dials are hot nowadays, you can undoubtedly envision the response of authorities. This watch is a store selective, which isn’t restricted however it will be created in just 75 pieces this year. Retail cost is roughly EUR 56,000. The reality: Finding a Royal Oak 15202BC is practically outlandish since assignments are so low. Truth be told, no watches are even recorded at the hour of distributing (aside from one, at EUR 780,000… yet that can’t be serious).

Royal Oak + QP + Ceramic

Last however not least, let’s talk genuine watchmaking, with the complicated, magnificently executed, striking looking and uncommon Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar watches in artistic – each of the three models at present underway. This worries the Perpetual Calendar Black Ceramic reference 26579CE.OO.1225CE.01 , the Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic reference 26579CB.OO.1225CB.01 and the as of late introduced Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic reference 26585CE.OO.1225CE.01 .

All three watches are both complicated in and out – particularly valid for the Openworked rendition. Surely, not just these watches include a complex unending schedule programmed development however their cases and wristbands are made altogether in clay, which on account of the Royal Oak, and knowing Audemars Piguet’s quality guidelines, is far (truly) from a basic errand. Accordingly, these 3 watches are shop selective and created in low volumes – note that none is restricted neither numbered.

As an outcome, discovering one of these 3 watches requires persistence (of you need to go the genuine way) or a stacked wallet (on the off chance that you go the informal way). The reality: while we can’t tell yet for the Openworked rendition, the two other Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ceramic endures a great premium on the recycled market. While the retail cost of these models is around EUR 95,000, the dark model is elusive under EUR 120,000 and the white model effectively requires EUR 150,000.

Concluding words on this situation

The following proclamation goes for Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet and thinks about emotions this whole theoretical market. We, at MONOCHROME, love watches and the possibility that genuine devotees and gatherers exist – the individuals who are driven by energy, who appreciate watches since they are mechanical article fabricated by ladies and men dedicated to their work. In this occurrence, the present circumstance makes us sad.

These watches, delivered by 3 extraordinary watchmakers that are presently more enduring the present circumstance than truly profiting by it, have become commodities, speculation vehicles destinated to individuals with no or low interest in watches, affected by astute venders thus called flippers. These 3 brands can’t be accused, as they are altogether attempting to slaughter the present circumstance – some by controlling the appropriation, some by expanding the creation (in Rolex’s case). In any case, it doesn’t appear to have an impact yet and the market is right now enduring a theoretical air pocket – a counterfeit circumstance that isn’t truly unmistakable. Obviously, this severely affects the picture of these watches, on the companies that produce them and on the whole business. Ideally, the air pocket will detonate sooner or later… And enthusiasm will be the solitary explanation behind purchasing these incredible watches, regardless of whether it is a Rolex Daytona, a Nautilus 5711 or a Royal Oak 15202ST – in light of the fact that for sure, these are probably the best watches presently delivered. Just don’t get them on the grounds that Instagram advised you so…