The Luxury Watch That Changed The World | The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet released Royal Oak in 1972, in the heat of the “Quartz Crisis.” It changed what “luxury” meant, and is the bedrock for modern wristwatch culture. Let’s dive in.

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Today, Christian dives into the world of perhaps the most important luxury watch of the last half dozen decades – the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Audemars Piguet began their life as a more traditional luxury watch manufacturer, producing slim, precious metal dress watches predominantly, right up until 1969. In 1969, Seiko introduced the Astron, the world’s first quartz watch, and began the stretch of time in the industry commonly known as the Quartz Crisis, wherein many of the traditional brands fell to the wayside or had to otherwise completely shift their focus towards watches that could hold up in the era of the ultra-accurate battery powered timepiece.

The then CEO of Audemars Piguet recognized the looming threat of quartz to brands even as old and storied as their own, and decided to make a change in his own right. He called on a man named Gerald Genta, a watch designer who began his career with designing the Universal Geneve Polerouter. According to legend, Genta drew up and delivered the design for the Royal Oak in just 24 hours. It wasn’t just an industrial, sort of tool-esque case, but it was also the very first steel watch to ever be billed as a luxury item. Previously, steel was thought to be a sport or tool watch metal, the kind of thing someone in a factory or some other blue collar job might wear, but Genta and AP together changed that perception and shifted focus from the old world, to the young one.


Adam Abelson says:

I would rather have a Nautilus by Patek. Its a much better watch.

JM Sullivan says:

Great vid and history. Good design is timeless.

Peter Olsson says:

Totally agree. Iconic, beautiful and timeless. Not sure I want one, but it definitely made a rumble.

Hugh McKendrick says:

Pardon me, typo! ” Horology”

Christopher Wood -MDH- says:

Overpriced delicate POS. Calling this a sport watch is an insult.

Napoleon Suarez says:

I’d love to be the Feb 8th winner. Been a subscriber (and fan) for a while now and I def love the content. Also, Feb 8th is my bday. I could use something mechanical to celebrate my 37th trip around the sun!

James Duffy says:

Aw fuck, I did not have my glow sticks and Molly ready at 3:48! That aside, as a watch collector of about a decade, it has taken me until now to warm up, albeit slowly, to the AP Royal Oak. It still has an old man in the 1970s look but I am from the 70s and I can only hope to be an old man in my 70s one day and rock an APRO.

Francisco Salazar Jr says:

I like the royal oak, but I don’t think I’ll ever buy one for myself. Hope I win!

Charlie Dunne says:

Good vid Anna. Totally cringed at the Christian’s techno club scene, but the close up shots are “lit”.

D K says:

First royal oak was 39mm not 40 so 33mm would be a FULL 6mm smaller than the original
I like the content but find it hard to subscribe.

Kyle Womble says:

Great topic and video. I know things toned down, but don’t lose your passion…people tend to forget you’re in business to sell watches. Keep staying real to what you do and love. Last, we need more interactive screen time with you and Anna. You two rock watch talk together.

Rodrigo Galvez says:

My favorite watch ever!!!

Demetrios Levi says:

At first I couldn’t stand the Patek Nautilus and the AP Royal Oak; they looked so 70’s. I don’t know if that changed with the Royal Oak because I kept seeing it over and over again or because I finally saw all the beautiful nuances it had, but now I’m in love with it. Such a unique and beautiful watch with the most stunning bracelet I’ve ever seen.

Aria Saphira says:

Nice looking watch 🙂

Jonathan Lloyd says:

The AP will always be one of my favorite watches.

stephen taylor says:

I never liked the royal oak,but as time went by it grew on me.Its funny how tastes change,i love it now.

Zulhilmi Rahman says:

The point is, Swiss wrist watches are shit compare to the Japanese.

Come at me.

Maxim verhoeven says:

What an aspirational piece ! Love the vids man i’ve been around for 2 years now ! And just recently got my first luxury piece !

Aziz Hussein Z says:

1970, the Audemars Piguet 2.0 was born.

Lolo102 says:

Amazing Video!!!

Travis Watts says:

I appreciate this watch however I do prefer the Vacheron Constantin Overseas as a competitive option.

Jigme Tobgay says:

Great content !

bachin14 says:

Unmistakeable design – you could spot one from across the room! Great production and storytelling as always

Tim Yo says:

If I WIN that free WATCH! I‘m going to listen to that Music for a Week STRAIGHT!!!

jishnu renugopal says:

I’m with you on the “AP is only RO” comment. That’s like saying Rolex is only Oyster case. Sure all their popular watches have the same case shape but why change something that’s not broken.

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