Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15100ST 'Fondation'Sold
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15100ST 'Fondation'
- Free worldwide delivery
Following its nautical theme, Audemars Piguet named the Royal Oak after a series of battleships that were commissioned by the British Royal Navy around World War I. These ships were, in turn, named after a fabled English oak tree in which the future King Charles II took refuge to escape the constitutionalists during the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
However, the link between Audemars Piguet and forestry goes much deeper. The manufacturer's history is deeply intertwined with Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux and its lush woods. As a result, the company’s charitable arm (Audemars Piguet Fondation) has concerned itself with reforestation and forest conservation since the early 1990s.
The most tangible representations of this priority are two limited edition Royal Oak’s under the “‘Time for the Trees” moniker that were released in 1998 and 1999. The ref. 15100ST is from the second series dating to 1999. Produced in just 450 pieces, this watch is very similar to the mid-size ref 14790 Royal Oak with its eminently wearable 36 mm stainless steel case. The key difference is the vibrant blue ‘Grande Tappisserie’ dial with the raised oak tree motif and the “Audemars Piguet Fondation” signature at the 6 o’clock position. The dial, furthermore sports some lovely additional details such as white outer minute divisions with Arabic five minute markers and a date window that is, uncharacteristically for the Royal Oak, framed in white.
A sapphire display case-back, meanwhile, gives an unobstructed view of the ornately decorated caliber 2225 automatic movement with the handy quickset date function. In keeping with the theme of this limited edition release, the 21K yellow gold rotor features the AP logo flanked by two oak leaves.
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. Royal Oak In 1970, Audemars Piguet instructed Genta to come up with an unprecedented steel watch. As the story goes, he found inspiration whilst seeing a diver at work with an old-fashioned diver’s helmet near Lake Geneva. Staying up all night, Genta drew the design for a circular case with an angular, octagonal bezel, eight visible screws, and an integrated bracelet. The Royal Oak was presented in 1972 as the most expensive steel watch available and it caused an uproar: why was a distinguished maison d’horlogerie putting out a sports watch, let alone in such pedestrian material? Some experts even predicted that the Royal Oak would put Audemars Piguet out of business. Though it took a while to catch on, the Royal Oak is now one of the most iconic and long-lasting watch designs and has spawned an entire product line. It wouldn’t be the first time that Genta would prove a brand’s owners, customers, and industry experts wrong.