Tropical 1980s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (Ref. 4100ST) W/ 2021 Service Papers
First unveiled by Audemars Piguet in 1972 the Royal Oak ref. 5402, designed by Gerald Genta, was the most expensive steel watch ever made. The early 1970s was a time of great change within the watch industry. Audemars Piguet was shaking the standards by introducing a luxury watch in steel that was oversized and pushed the boundaries of the current design trends of the era. This risk had obviously paid off as the steel Royal Oak is the perfect balance between utilitarian function and timeless design. The case and bracelet are excellently finished, with angular, beveled, and polished edges. The polished screws, bezel, and case edge fantastically contrast with the brushed surface of the case and bracelet to make for one of the most intriguing watches to come out of the era.
Shortly after the release of the ref. 5402 we see the introduction of the second Royal Oak iteration, the ref 4100. Created by AP to help propel the Royal Oak to a more accessible population with its smaller size of 35.5mm in case diameter. The 4100 featured the cal. 2123 automatic movement which was based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre cal. 888. The 4100 still closely resembled the 5402 with the exception of the 4100 featuring a center sweep seconds hands and its overall size. During the early 80s, the Audemars Piguet started referring to the ref. 4100 as ref. 14100 on its certificates marking a transitional era for AP from 4-digit references to 5-digit, though the watch received virtually no changes aesthetically.
|Tropical Brown Tapisserie Dial
|Audemars Piguet Integrated Stainless Steel Bracelet
The geometrical "porthole design" case is nothing short of gorgeous, featuring an array of heavily brushed surfaces highlighted by the shine-polished finish of the angles. The case on this ref. 4100 is in exceptional condition and features well-maintained factory finishing, angles, and chamfers throughout with only minimal signs of previous use. The lug holes on the sides of the case remain centered within the lug. The bezel remains crisply finished, retaining all of its iconic angles around its circumference. The case back retains all of its factory engravings and markings, along with its classic concentric brushed finishing. The integrated Audemars Piguet bracelet retains its continued chamfers from the case through the links and retains 22 links that show no visible stretch and only light signs of use.
The incredible tropical patina exhibited on this classic tapisserie textured dial features a unique combination of colors ranging from deep browns, copper, gold, and tan. The dial itself show no elements of damage, blemishes, or scratches. The tritium markers have aged to a dark patina and display some light degradation in some of the plots. The hands are tritium service units likely replaced in the 1990s based on the lume composition, the hands match the overall aesthetic of the watch perfectly.
The watch was serviced by AP in 2021 and features the accompanying paperwork.