Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The original 1972 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was designed by Gérald Genta as a last-chance effort to pull Audemars Piguet out from economic woes that began in the Great Depression. Pushing watch design to a new level, the Royal Oak was the first watch targeted at the luxury market that was made in stainless steel. Steel is now well-established in high-end watchmaking, but it's easy to forget that before the Royal Oak, gold was considered the only really acceptable case material. The bold risk paid off, as the new watch's forward-thinking design and technology paired with second-to-none engineering made it an enduring classic. Today, it remains one of the most iconic sports watches in production, easily recognisable by its octagonal bezel screwed down at each corner to a strongbox case, and by the grid-like “Grande Tapisserie” pattern on the dial of most models.
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