Audemars Piguet Disco Volante 5093Sold
Audemars Piguet Disco Volante 5093
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We often talk about our love for Audemars Piguet’s creative watch designs. It all began with this model in the 1950s by a then little known watch designer.
Well, perhaps not literally with this model. But it’s safe to say that Audemars Piguet’s most creative period began in the 1950s when it shifted its focus from strictly functional designs to incorporating a more out-of-the-box aesthetic quality and a knack for futuristic firmly in line with the vibe of the 1950s.
An important figure in this move was a young and then unknown designer, Gerald Genta. Later known for some of the past century’s most iconic watch designs—like the Nautilus and Royal Oak, to name but a few—Genta made his start as a budding watch and jewelry designer by selling his designs to various watch brands for 15 Swiss Francs a piece.
The central piece among these early designs that Genta made for Audemars Piguet is this particular watch, lovingly nicknamed ‘Disco Volante’ (‘Flying saucer’) by Italian collectors. By combining an ultra thin profile with show-stopping oversized bezels that were adorned with different types of finishing, the reference 5093 became a quintessential representation of Audemars Piguet’s pioneering aesthetic spirit in the second half of the twentieth century.
This ref. 5093BC is an uncommon variation, executed in 18k white gold, with an elegant Milanese mesh bracelet. The model’s characteristic wide bezel, which lends the watch its ‘Disco Volante’ moniker, features the classic hobnail pattern (known in French as 'Clous de Paris').
The dial sports a lovely sector style—characterized by the crosshair pattern with white and silver rings—that harken back to the 1920s and 1930s Art Deco period. Meanwhile, the elegant signature at the lower half of the dial reveals that the watch was retailed by the legendary Swiss jewelry house Gübelin.
This forward looking 5093 measures 35 mm in diameter and features a beautiful integrated bracelet that is signed by Gübelin on the clasp. The watch dates back to 1960 and is accompanied by an extract of the Audemars Piguet archives.
Audemars Piguet is among the holy trinity Swiss maisons d’horlogerie alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Audemars Piguet has a storied history of producing high-complication watches. It all started in 1875, when Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet founded the company in the heart of the Vallée de Joux, Le Brassus, Switzerland. This pure, rough and wild landscape, with deep, dark forests, ice-cold waters and the omnipresence of rocks and hills, provided inspiration and raw materials for the Swiss watch manufacture to develop the finest watches. Since its inception, Audemars Piguet has specialized in rare, valuable and highly-complicated watches like perpetual calendars, chronographs and chiming watches. Nowadays, the emphasis of Audemars Piguet lies on the iconic Royal Oak line.