By Stella Kirchner
Phillips’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak auction broke records, not only for offering some of the most historical steels sports watches, but also in terms of prices: The second Royal Oak ever produced, the Royal Oak A2 was sold for over one million dollars and Karl Lagerfeld’s all-black Royal Oak was sold for nearly $950K, 937K Swiss francs. (Updated on May 6th, 6.10 pm CET)
Phillips Geneva is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with a special auction this Friday evening, May 6th. Chrono24 Magazine has checked out the most exciting timepieces, including the second Royal Oak model ever created, and a black PVD-coated model that probably belonged to the legendary German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” “Karl Lagerfeld”
Do you enjoy wearing black items of clothing? What about an all-black watch? This was perhaps what fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was thinking when he rendered his watch collection of different-sized Royal Oak models completely black. The model Phillips will sell tonight was originally produced as a regular ref. 5402ST, but immediately modified with a PVD treatment after its purchase in Rome in 1973. At the time, Karl Lagerfeld was living in the city, and he was spotted in 1974 with a completely black Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” on his wrist. “After extensive research carried out jointly by the current owner and Audemars Piguet, our specialist team has been led to believe that the present watch is in all probability one of Mr. Lagerfeld’s personal Royal Oaks,” confirms Phillips on their website. The auction house estimates the watch is worth between $106,000 and $212,000.
Alternative to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” “Karl Lagerfeld”
Finding an all-black Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is quite rare, even today. If you are looking for a Royal Oak “Jumbo” ref. 5402ST with a black dial, you will probably pay around $140,000. For those of you who want to go all-black like the fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, the black ceramic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding ref. 77350CE.OO.1266CE.01 could be an option. This model is available on Chrono24 starting at around $85,000. Looking for a fashionable all-black watch you can purchase without having to sell everything you own? Then be sure to check out the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Black ref. 103077.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak A2: The Second Piece Ever Produced
Wondering if there’s another Audemars Piguet Royal Oak that can hold its own against a watch that used to be part of Karl Lagerfeld’s personal collection? Let’s check out the A2, the second Royal Oak watch ever produced. It’s hard to believe this grail watch that collectors across the globe go crazy for was initially unpopular – in large part due to its ultra-new, futuristic design. Fun fact: this Royal Oak ref. 5402 Series A number 2 was sold in May 1972, only weeks after being presented, whereas the number 1 was sold two years later in 1974. This unique, historic timepiece is estimated to go for a price between $212,000 and $425,000.
Alternative to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak A2
Do you dream of owning a true icon of watch history? On Chrono24, there are numerous vintage Royal Oak references from the 1970s available. Be prepared to invest a fortune, however, because even two-tone models, which tend to be less popular, start at around $100,000.
Are you obsessed with Gérald Genta’s legendary designs, but want something more affordable? Maybe you should consider the IWC Ingenieur Jumbo ref. IW1832. You can purchase this iconic watch on Chrono24 for prices starting at around $35,000.