Since its release in 1972, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak has become a symbol of horology and a legendary watch. Its distinctive design, which combines luxury and sportiness, has made it one of the most iconic timepieces in history.

That’s why this time, we’ll discuss a few things about the Royal Oak, one of Audemars Piguet’s most prominent designs, including its history, evolution, and characteristics. 

History of The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watch

Introduced in 1972, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is an exceptional timepiece. In the 1970s, the brand decided to design a luxurious sports watch that was exquisitely elegant and sophisticated in technology.

They chose to come up with the new watch with famous Swiss craftsman Gerald Genta. Genta had been charged with designing a watch with an octagonal bezel, eight hexagonal gold screws, and a visible water-resistance gasket. An old-fashioned diver’s helmet inspired the design.

The Royal Oak first appeared at the 1972 Basel Fair, but it had been tested in Italy, which was the primary market for Audemars Piguet watches a year before.

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Design

The Royal Oak gained credibility as a pioneer of luxury sports watches thanks to its stainless steel construction, which is often associated with durable timepieces. Despite this significance, the watchmakers produced a timepiece that reflects elegance and wealth.

The watch combines bold and durable qualities in an approach that is always fascinating from the design perspective. 

The attention is drawn to every corner’s unique design, which includes the octagonal bezel and unusual hexagonal screws that provide a lovely contrast. A visible waterproof gasket further highlights the technological complexity of this watch type.

Also, a bracelet with links that taper into a trapezium form replaces the lugs, which is the case’s principal distinctive feature. Integrated bracelets that fit thus well and smoothly are pretty uncommon. 

Meanwhile, the dial has elevated grooves and a checkerboard design known as the “Tapisserie” pattern.

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Evolution

The Royal Oak boasts a long-standing history. Let’s explore its journey from inception to the present day.


An important turning point in the evolution of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak happened in the 1970s. The notion of a high-end sports watch made of stainless steel was first presented to the globe in 1972 with the launching of the reference 5402ST.

The automatic Calibre 2121 and its unique design allowed the Royal Oak to set new standards for sports watches in terms of craftsmanship and elegance. 


There were notable developments in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak series during the 1980s. 

Audemars Piguet extended the watch’s capabilities by releasing models like the reference 5548 in 1978 and the revolutionary reference 5554 in 1984, which had a perpetual calendar mechanism.

These models were an enormous success for the brand even though they kept the iconic 39mm width and small profile. They showed complex, intricate details never seen in sports watches before. 


The establishment of the Royal Oak Offshore in the 1990s signified a noteworthy change in the development of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection. 

This 42 mm cased chronograph, designed by Emmanuel Gueit, debuted in 1993. It was a major divergence from the conventional Royal Oak look.

After initially being viewed with doubt, the Offshore, also known as the “Beast,” soon became famous thanks to celebrity sponsorships from athletes like Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello of Formula One. 


After unveiling the Royal Oak Concept in 2002 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet entered a new phase of innovation during the 2000s. 

The concept presented remarkable features, including a tourbillon, power reserve indication, and dynamographe. It was constructed from the cutting-edge alloy Alacrite 602 and driven by the manually wound Calibre 2896. 

The dial prominently displayed two sizable shock absorbers that significantly enhanced shock resistance. 

With the Concept, Audemars Piguet strengthened its position as a leader in superb Horlogerie by showcasing its progressive mindset and determination to push the limits of contemporary watchmaking.


In the 2010s, Audemars Piguet commemorated its history by releasing the reference 15202 in 2012, inspired by the original model from the 1970s. Because of its narrow profile, it kept the “Jumbo” name even with its “Extra-Thin” designation. 

Over a decade, the 15202 saw modest revisions that broadened its scope to encompass a wider variety of materials. 

But before the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary in 2022, in March 2021, Audemars Piguet announced its demise, raising the possibility of a new reference. 

This choice honored the Royal Oak’s long-lasting history while showcasing Audemars Piguet’s dedication to innovation.

Characteristics of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The distinctive traits of the Royal Oak make it easily recognizable to many watch enthusiasts. These characteristics are among the primary reasons why Audemars Piguet watches are prestigious. Let’s delve into these defining features.

1. Octagonal bezel

The watch has an octagonal bezel as a tribute to its historic diver’s helmet influence. Eight hexagonal screws, another defining feature of the Royal Oak’s design, hold the bezel in place.

2. Hexagonal-shaped screws in the bezel

The watch’s unique appearance is further enhanced by the hexagon-shaped bezel screws, which produce a very exquisite color contrast.

3. Tapisserie dial

The Royal Oak’s dial is distinguished by a guilloché engraving known as the “Tapisserie” motif. A texture like woven fabric is produced by a sequence of lines that interlock to make the pattern.

These features have helped make this watch one of the most recognizable timepieces in the world and have become associated with its design.

Given its distinctive traits and rich heritage, it’s no surprise that the Royal Oak remains highly sought-after today. If you’re considering adding this timepiece to your collection, you can find it in Luxehouze.

Luxehouze proudly presents an extensive array of luxury watches from various renowned brands, ensuring 100% authenticity and competitive pricing. Discover your coveted timepiece, including the iconic Royal Oak, at Luxehouze today!