Serenity Now... In Hand Review of the Audemars Piguet 15202 ST Jumbo Extra Thin Self Winding Royal Oak [Part 1]
The AP 15202 [ Reference: 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 ] is an exquisite timepiece to me. It transported me to the Vallee de Joux... A light morning mist and a still tranquil forest...
the pics taken by me are of a brand new piece for sale so it has it's stickers on... not my watch sadly :(
Click these links for my posts on their
- 40th Anniversary event and exhibition in Singapore LINK and
- initial thoughts on the 15400 vs the 15202 LINK
- and some pix on another 40th anniversary piece LINK
The original Royal Oak the 5402 was designed by Gerald Genta in 1971 at the behest of George Golay, AP Managing Director at the time, to appeal to the then key Italian market, and launched in 1972 as a luxury steel sports watch that cost more than their gold watches at the time. It generated the right buzz and made people curious of it.
It wasn't an immediate success at launch however but over time it grew in popularity and in a way, it hid them away from the onslaught of cheap Japanese quartz watches much like the famed tree in which Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651 from whence the name came.
The name of that tree than borne on warships for Her Majesty's Royal Navy, the porthole's of which were said to inspire Genta's design in earlier marketing literature but it has since been made known that Genta was inspired instead by an octagonal fitting used by scuba divers, attaching the scuba helmet to the suit [Reference for this in Wei Koh's excellent article on his hunt and acquisition of a gold 5402 LINK and on AP site on Gerald Genta, a great watch designer].
The fact is that it was not only a groundbreaking piece because it was so expensive compared to a Submariner then (Sub at CHF280CHF vs Royal Oak weighing in at CHF3200 ~ equivalent to over US$10k now) but that it was an absolutely beautiful luxury timepiece and met its aim of being an unprecedented steel watch. A wonderful dial with the AP logo at 6 o'clock, great bracelet design and an octagonal bezel with hexagonal gold screws... there is good reason why this watch is an iconic, classic timepiece.
The nickname Jumbo has stuck to the Royal Oaks with the slim 2121 AP calibre movement in this configuration as it was jumbo at the time compared to their usual lineup. Similarly so for the Patek Philippe Nautilus Jumbo, now the 5711.
On this journey I've loved the Royal Oak Offshore loads in the past but that has passed and I'm at a stage now that this Royal Oak or The Royal Oak sings a powerful siren song to me... it feels amazing what this piece evoked in me when i took pictures of it. So many wonderful things coming together in its svelte profile that for a moment i forgot that i had a mortgage to pay and that i needed this watch...
into the light...
Manual finishing of the bridges (polished bevels, satinbrushed edges,
Perlage on the recesses) Manual finishing on both bridges and mainplate
Images of Vallée de Joux © copyright Dan Holdsworth for Audemars Piguet
When you have time, watch this cool set of videos on the making of the Royal Oak LINK
After all of this post is read and the videos watched, set aside some cash [list is high S$20s (S$28.8k) but selling should be low 20s] and head down to your (watch)pusher of choice that carries Audemars Piguet and get yourself a Royal Oak 15202 ;) kidding. i know i want to...