Subdial Curated

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402ST 39mm

£49,500
The ref. 5402 was Audemars Piguet's very first Royal Oak. Designed in just one night by Gerald Genta, it debuted in 1972 and shocked observers across the industry with its high price tag and stainless steel construction. It was, however, unlike any other watch ever created. The integrated bracele... More

The ref. 5402 was Audemars Piguet's very first Royal Oak. Designed in just one night by Gerald Genta, it debuted in 1972 and shocked observers across the industry with its high price tag and stainless steel construction. It was, however, unlike any other watch ever created. The integrated bracelet was given the same attention as the movement - something that was completely unheard of. The "petite tapisserie" dial was also a nod to traditional guilloche techniques, but rendered in a thoroughly modern form.

The 5402 has the old-style 'line' Audemars Piguet logo printed in sans-serif font. The lume on the dial and hands have also aged to a creamy tone, giving the watch a vintage flair.

The Royal Oak 5402 costed 10 times more than what a Rolex were charging for a Submariner at the time. No longer were steel watches to be seen as practical tools, but as objects of luxury. This radical new approach changed the landscape of the industry, and changed the public perception of Swiss wristwatches. Coming at a time of great disturbance within the Swiss watch industry, this was a much-needed restructuring which arguably saved the industry.

AUDEMARS PIGUET

Audemars Piguet was founded in Le Brassus in 1875, a rural part of Switzerland. The company became famous for making high complications, with the myriad complicated pocket watches in its museum being testament to its expertise. The company went from strength to strength, producing the world's first skeletonised wristwatch in 1934 and the world's first perpetual calendar wristwatch with a leap year indicator (allowing for user adjustment) in 1955.

By the late 1960s and early 70s, however, the company was beginning to lag behind in terms of innovations. To sidestep the atrophy that would go on to destroy so many other watchmakers, Audemars Piguet decided to do something bold and released the Royal Oak.

Costing 10 times more than a Rolex Submariner did, the watch was unashamedly luxurious. This watch spawned a new genre of watchmaking, and revolutionised the idea of a luxury watch.

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The ref. 5402 was Audemars Piguet's very first Royal Oak. Designed in just one night by Gerald Genta, it debuted in 1972 and shocked observers across the industry with its high price tag and stainless steel construction. It was, however, unlike any other watch ever created. The integrated bracelet was given the same attention as the movement - something that was completely unheard of. The "petite tapisserie" dial was also a nod to traditional guilloche techniques, but rendered in a thoroughly modern form.

The 5402 has the old-style 'line' Audemars Piguet logo printed in sans-serif font. The lume on the dial and hands have also aged to a creamy tone, giving the watch a vintage flair.

The Royal Oak 5402 costed 10 times more than what a Rolex were charging for a Submariner at the time. No longer were steel watches to be seen as practical tools, but as objects of luxury. This radical new approach changed the landscape of the industry, and changed the public perception of Swiss wristwatches. Coming at a time of great disturbance within the Swiss watch industry, this was a much-needed restructuring which arguably saved the industry.

AUDEMARS PIGUET

Audemars Piguet was founded in Le Brassus in 1875, a rural part of Switzerland. The company became famous for making high complications, with the myriad complicated pocket watches in its museum being testament to its expertise. The company went from strength to strength, producing the world's first skeletonised wristwatch in 1934 and the world's first perpetual calendar wristwatch with a leap year indicator (allowing for user adjustment) in 1955.

By the late 1960s and early 70s, however, the company was beginning to lag behind in terms of innovations. To sidestep the atrophy that would go on to destroy so many other watchmakers, Audemars Piguet decided to do something bold and released the Royal Oak.

Costing 10 times more than a Rolex Submariner did, the watch was unashamedly luxurious. This watch spawned a new genre of watchmaking, and revolutionised the idea of a luxury watch.

As part of our commitment to transparency, we're showing you this watch on our timegrapher. Testing is done in six positions, covering how the watch is worn in daily use.

Timegraphers listen to the ticks which a movement make. Professional machines like ours can take more measurements, create a graph, and support more escapement types.

"Accuracy" refers to how many seconds a movement gains or loses each day. COSC standards require -4/+6 seconds a day, while vintage watches may read closer to -60/+60s.

"Amplitude" tells you how much the balance wheel is moving each rotation. Certain escapements have a higher amplitude, while some will have a lower value by default. A below-average reading for your watch's escapement suggests there is friction in the movement from a lack of lubrication.

"Beat error" is an indication of the alignment between the timekeeping components. In modern watches, a reading under to 1.0ms should be expected, while vintage watches may have a reading of up to 3.0ms.

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