Is This Audemars Piguet's Answer To The "Tiffany" Patek Phillipe Nautilus? Introducing The Royal Oak 37mm Turquoise Dial
Now watch lovers, this looks familiar. The sought after blue hue, baton markers, simple three handed dial and a date window at 3 o’clock. You’d immediately think of the Tiffany Patek Philippe Nautilus right?… Well, you would be wrong.
Step forward the latest 37mm Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet in yellow gold and uncanny “turquoise dial”. Harking back to their creative roots, it’s not just AP’s Tapisserie and renowned use of stones that has got horological tongues wagging.
What’s All The Fuss About?
Considered one of the holiest of “grail watches”, if you want to buy a Patek Philippe Nautilus
ref. 5711/1A-018, it’ll cost you nearly the earth. Auctioned by Phillips in New York for around £5 million in 2021, the highly coveted “Tiffany Dial” watch easily makes it into the Top 10 most expensive watches auctioned off. This piece sold for 120 times more than its original retail price at circa £45,000.
Patek Philippe “Tiffany Dial” Ref.5711 - Source: Phillips
The sheer magnetic pull of this beauty knows no boundaries with an exclusive client roster such as Ed Sheeran. Limited to 170 pieces, it celebrated the 170 year partnership with the luxury jeweller, stretching back to 1851 when Antoine Norbert de Patek decided to cross the pond to do business in the USA. It was at this time he chose to conduct business with none other than Charles Lewis Tiffany.
Some called it a hype watch while others completely ran ragged over the caseback. Nevertheless, we cannot escape Audemars Piguet’s newest offering - The Royal Oak Self Winding Ref. 15550BA seems to bear a slight resemblance to this horological icon…or is that just us? Whatever force majeure is at play, let’s delve deeper into these new-gen, thinner case Royal Oaks.
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
No, we ain't talking about Mick Jagger chucking in the music game to become a landscape gardener!
We are looking at some altogether different precious stones. Now Audemars Piguet have a long history of gem setting especially in their flagship model The Royal Oak. Turn back time to October 2022 and AP released a stunning collection of 20 Royal Oak watches featuring a variety of iridescent gemstones.
Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Royal Oak Rainbow - Source: Forbes/Audemars Piguet
In collaboration with their official gem-setting partner Salanitro, the mindblowing series of three-handed timepieces followed a majestic reinterpretation of the rainbow.
Utilising ruby, emerald, tanzanites, yellow chrysoberyls, pink tourmalines, amethysts and blue topaz among others, the complexity comes in the form of picking and cutting so many stones on AP’s flagship watch. This took one year to complete. Buy an Audemars Piguet like this and expect to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds on the secondary market.
“With these sets available in two sizes, we went off the beaten track to create an unprecedented rainbow with ten bold timepieces, each decorated with a different gemstone. We selected some of the world’s purest and most vivid stones…A challenge as we had to find some 800 gemstones per watch, all with the exact same colour and the highest level of quality.” according to Nathalie Barzilay, Audemars Piguet’s Head gemologist.
Turn to today and AP are infamous for its array of stones across various models, especially over the last 50 years. Collectors can buy an Audemars Piguet with some bewildering dials ranging from aventurine and opal to lapis lazuli. Yet, it is turquoise we focus our attention on,
Dating as far back as the Egyptian First Dynasty, turquoise has been gaining more and more attention. One of the oldest stones in civilization, some say it is becoming even more valuable than diamonds. Plus, it now finds itself as perhaps the Tiffany Nautilus’s younger and more sparkling sibling in the form of the yellow gold Royal Oak Selfwinding 15550BA.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self Winding Ref. 15550BA - Source: Audemars Piguet
Available in yellow gold, it embodies plenty of spirit and rarity in the unique hue and the turquoise stone cut dial. This one of a kind Royal Oak showcases these specific materials which are complemented by the fact it doesn’t come with the iconic Tapisserie.
This is forsaken for the stunning new dial, making it even more distinct and potentially sought after. Perhaps this might be the hot new watchmaking contender for the Patek Philippe 5711 Tiffany Dial?
Personality Of The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self Winding Ref. 15550BA
So let’s get down to business, watch peeps. It’s about time we revealed what is happening with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self Winding Ref. 15550BA.
Sporty and stylish, large watch fans will have to accept that this super classic Royal Oak is only 37mm in diameter. A nice mid-size case though, the thickness has been reduced to 8.9mm. The striking turquoise dial disc is less than 0.8mm thick which has undergone a variety of finishing methods including being polished and sandblasted.
Source: Audemars Piguet
Furthermore, if you buy an Audemars Piguet with this stone composition and machining, you will find that each dial is as unique as the next. It has been nearly half a decade since the previous Royal Oak version in yellow gold from 2019. And boy does it make a difference. Suitable as a unisex watch thanks to its slimmer size, it still has everything we know and love about the Royal Oak…oh and there’s the new selfwinding hour.
Think integrated lugs, polished chamfers, legendary octagonal bezel with classic eight screws and flat sapphire crystals. These are found on the front and the caseback with the AP logo on the crown and rectangular date window at 3 o’ clock.
With 50m of water resistance, we love the latest introduction of the self winding hour. “Audemars Piguet” in yellow is located just under 12 o’ clock but simplicity is key here with the dial speaking for itself. Other highlights include baton markers in polished gold and centrally mounted gold hands with a nod to previous Royal Oak models.
Moving With The Times
Suffice to say, the movement inside the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self Winding Ref. 15550BA is just as spectacular as the turquoise cut dial.
Source: Audemars Piguet
Sourced from Vaucher and boasting 186 components, this 18k yellow gold watch is powered by the calibre 5900. Beating at 28,8000Vph (4Hz), it will run for around 60 hours. Not too shabby. Launched in 2022, the calibre 5900 is worth shouting about.
Polished anglage? Check. Vertical brushing? Check. Geneva stripes and gold rotor? You got it. And it comes with an openworked oscillating weight made from 22k solid pink gold for you to admire through the sapphire caseback. Have we got your fingers twitching to buy an Audemars Piguet yet?
What’s Our Verdict?
The moment of truth, Timelords, is upon us.
The yellow gold is a real standout when it comes to The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self Winding Ref. 15550BA. Tried and trusted like a well-oiled Ferrari or Lambo, its core visuals have stood up to many pieces from its luxury watch counterparts.
Source: Audemars Piguet
But not to miss out on outrageous price points, if Patek Philippe can produce the hard to find Tiffany Dial that broke all timepiece records why can’t the brand from Le Brassus get in on the act. Sporting refinery at its best since the 1970’s, there’s a reason why The Royal Oak is a staple for many watch collectors, new and established.
You want our scoop? Although we don’t have a crystal ball, don’t be surprised to see other yellow gold iterations in the not too distant future which may see this model increase in value.
As for the retail price, if you want to buy an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 37mm Self Winding, it will set you back £52,800 at the time of writing - by appointment only.
Simplistic in its execution, you may think this is just another Royal Oak from AP’s overflowing collection. You might be bored silly as there’s just a dial and metal amendment going on. Think again, watch fiends.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self Winding Ref. 15550BA is not just any Royal Oak. Like Patek Philippe, the Tiffanyesque dial and yellow gold case certainly makes this one to watch. This is in rich contrast to the rose gold models that are solid but don’t have the added wow factor of this particular timepiece. Now who said all that glitters is gold!
Want to enjoy Breakfast at Tiffany’s (or anywhere else) sporting your brand spanking new luxury watch? Looking to discover how to buy an Audemars Piguet the smart way and at the best possible price? Then contact ChronoHunter here.
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