We’ve all got our “fishing” stories regarding “the one that got away.” John Keil’s involves an Audemars Piguet that arguably started the Limited Edition Offshore craze and starred in a movie to boot: the Royal Oak Offshore T3.
“May I have your full attention? This is one of the most important watches ever.” As Sotheby’s auctioneer Benoît Colson opened lot 72 on May 10, 2022, the room seemed to hold its collective breath for a moment. He continued, “The personal Royal Oak of Gérald Genta – you could not dream of a better provenance for a Royal Oak, an Audemars Piguet, or even any wristwatch.” And here’s how the world record price for a vintage AP Royal Oak went down from an eyewitness.
Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo will hold the Geneva Watch Auction XV in Switzerland on May 7 and 8, 2022. What’s particularly interesting about Phillips’ traditional late spring auction this year is that it is preceded by an “appetizer” on May 6, the Royal Oak 50th auction with a catalogue so rich it could arguably serve as the main course. Brendan Cunningham went to the New York City preview and shares a few of his highlights with us here.
“The Holy Trinity,” as any watch nerd knows, refers to the triumvirate of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin. Colin Smith takes a look at what we mean – or think we mean – when we describe PP, AP, and VC as the “Holy Trinity” of watchmaking and when we describe a timepiece as our “grail watch.”
Following the record-breaking weekend comprising the Phillips and Only Watch auctions, the vintage world turns to the remaining houses yet to stage their auctions this season. And so our pals at The Watches TV went hands on with a few lots of Zurich’s Ineichen auction house from the year’s final auction to be held on November 20 and 21, 2021.
Here is an entertaining little story about John Keil, his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and a bunch of guys around a poker table – a story he’s sure many watch guys and gals can relate to.
What a diverse bunch of tourbillons in this Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève category: two of them are beautifully transparent, while one of them is combined with a chronograph. Yet another contains a constant-force device, while one example here can be flipped around. And, finally, the sixth is involved in a space war. Oh, to choose a winner!
When the Royal Oak Offshore launched in 1993 its timing was perfect: the bolder, larger, louder sibling of the Royal Oak was one of the trailblazers of the oversized watch trend. Nearly three decades later, the line’s large sizing has mellowed down a bit. While it never comes close to becoming a dress watch, the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph does a mighty fine job of outlining how the complicated future of this collection might evolve.
Since its launch in April 2021, the watch world has been at odds with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Marvel Black Panther Flying Tourbillon. And while it has polarized opinions, that didn’t stop it from selling out quickly. Now Christie’s has the first Black Panther up for auction at its online “The Marvelous Sale.”
Can a serious watch manufacture get away with producing such a “gimmicky” timepiece as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Black Panther? Serious and gimmicky are not mutually exclusive, but they were posed as two different questions in the same breath by Marc André Deschoux of The Watches TV in a special video taking a look at the first timepiece to emerge from the collaborative energy between Audemars Piguet and Marvel Studios. What’s your opinion?