Audemars Piguet

1970s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 18K YG (Ref. 5402BA) Champagne Dial W/ Box

$ 65,000

Gerald Genta is arguably the most prolific and celebrated watch designer in history, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is arguably his most iconic design.

Unveiled in 1972, the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet was the most expensive and controversial steel watch ever produced. At the time, the pairing of the words “luxury" and "sports watch" was unprecedented. Consequentially, the Royal Oak was initially met with reluctance from the consumer, a “sports watch” that was so design-forward was foreign at that time, especially with a price tag that rivaled the most luxurious, intricate, and complicated precious metal watches of its era. But what the Royal Oak lacked in intricate functions, it made up for with creative design and innovation.

The perception of the Royal Oak shifted as people eventually caught up with the revolutionary design. So much so that it began exceeding expectations, and is now the foundation of the Audemars Piguet brand and the reason for its stratospheric success throughout history.

Gerald Genta’s original design and the very first version of the Royal Oak is the reference 5402. Also referred to as the “Jumbo” for its dimensions. With a noble size of 39mm, the original Royal Oak was considered quite large for its era. However, despite the case diameter, the case thickness was only 7mm, a measurement that is still considered thin for an automatic watch by today's standards. This feat of innovation was made possible by the Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal. 920 movement, also known as the Cal. 2121 in the Royal Oak, or the Cal. 28-255 in the Patek Philippe Nautilus, which is also arguably Gerald Genta’s most iconic design. Audemars Piguet still produces a 39mm ultra-thin version of the Royal Oak as a direct celebration of the reference 5402.

The pièce de résistance, magnum opus, and tour de force for the Royal Oak is the case, bracelet, and dial. Humor aside, vanity is the defining reason for the success of the Royal Oak, it is an unquestionably beautiful timepiece.

The Royal Oak was most notably produced in stainless steel with 6,050 units produced in total, of which the first run between 1972 and 1976 was the most collectible of the steel offerings and characteristically known for the “logo down” dials. In 1977 the Royal Oak was reintroduced and officially offered in precious metals, though with diminutive production numbers compared to steel. Only 736 units were ever produced of the 5402 in yellow gold, also known as the 5402BA.

Stock # AP5402YG-3
Brand Audemars Piguet
Style Royal Oak
Model 5402BA
Serial 7X
Size Men's
Material 18K Yellow Gold
Dial Champagne "Tapisserie"
Millimeters 39
Bracelet Audemars Piguet 18K YG Integrated Bracelet



The angular, large, and iconic 18K yellow gold case is presented beautifully and was recently restored to reflect factory-like finishing and geometry, displaying extremely crisp angles and brushing throughout the case, bezel, and bracelet with almost no signs of use present. The case retains its original unsigned gold octagon crown. The case back retains the factory AP markings in deep and fully present condition. The original integrated "Gay Freres" 18K yellow gold bracelet retains 20 links that show light stretch and will fit a 7 1/4-inch wrist.


The champagne tapisserie dial is an early service replacement, though it maintains the same precisely executed and intricate dial details one would expect from a classic ref. 5402 dial. The dial is in flawless condition with no damage or age are present. The original hands appear to be restored with luminova lume which was likely done at the same time as the dial at AP service.


The watch comes with a vintage Royal Oak box. The watch is keeping time perfectly, previous service history is unknown.