Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26239BC

This limited edition Royal Oak Chronograph with pioneering movement and mesmerising frosted finishing is one the prettiest Royal Oaks we’ve ever handled.

Museum Piece
Audemars PiguetAudemars Piguet is among the holy trinity Swiss maisons d’horlogerie alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.

Introduction

This limited edition Royal Oak Chronograph with pioneering movement and mesmerising frosted finishing is one the prettiest Royal Oaks we’ve ever handled.The first Royal Oak with a chronograph complication was introduced in 1997 for the Royal Oak’s 25th anniversary. Since then, the chronograph line underwent few changes other than receiving a size bump and going from the original ‘Jumbo’ 39 mm case to a heftier 41 mm case in 2012. Well, the line was due for a big update and did Audemars Piguet deliver!This limited edition of just 200 pieces is one the most technically advanced Royal Oaks to date. The iconic Gerald Genta-designed octagonal case and integrated bracelet are crafted from 18k white gold, giving the watch an amazing feeling of heft on the wrist. A unique addition to this limited edition is the ‘frosted finish’ that was developed by Audemars Piguet with Italian designer Carolina Bucci who is known for using the age-old Florentine technique of hammering gold. The finish is applied to most surfaces of the watch. Contrasting with the polished beveled edges, the hammered finish gives the watch a shimmering and luxurious look, while conveniently hiding scratches accrued from daily wear!The silver dial features Audemars Piguet’s iconic ‘Grande Tappisserie’ pattern with elegant long applied 18k white-gold hour markers, and the Audemars Piguet signature situated  in a cartouche in the upper half of the dial. The three recessed chronograph counters feature an attractive Art Deco sector-dial style, while a discreet aperture between the 4 and 5 o’clock position provides a handy date function.On the inside, this limited edition Royal Oak chronograph features Audemars Piguet’s very first in-house chronograph movement that includes an integrated flyback mechanism that allows the wearer to reset the running chronographs hand without having to pause it first. This amazing piece of engineering with a skeletonized 21k gold rotor is visible through a sapphire display case back.This amazing limited edition Royal Oak was introduced in 2021 and is in unworn condition. The watch comes as a full set with the original box and papers.

Description

Audemars PiguetAudemars 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 OakIn 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.