The year was 1972. No, this is not about flower power or other '70s-era memories. This is about the legendary Gerald Genta designing the daring and bold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch—a luxury sport timepiece that wowed the world with its magnificent steel case and gold price. The Royal Oak was an overnight success, and today, as Audemars Piguet celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak in 2012, the collection remains one of the most coveted luxury lines in the world.
For the 40th birthday of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet has deftly blended old with new, heritage and tradition with visionary foresight. The newest Royal Oak Limited Edition 40th Anniversary watch features a 39mm case just like the original. This one, however, is an Openworked Extra Thin beauty crafted in platinum in a limited edition of 40 pieces (naturally). The stunning work houses the ultra-thin self-winding Calibre 5122 that is just 3.05mm thick and beautifully skeletonized. The movement features an anthracite color achieved by galvanic treatment, and the exquisite finishings (circular graining, satin brushing, and more) are all done by hand. The monobloc oscillating weight is entirely made in 22kt gold and bears the raised inscription “AP Royal Oak 1972–2012.” The beautiful timepiece is a wonderful tribute to the Royal Oak’s heritage. Here we bring you a sneak peek at the watch, as its official unveiling isn’t until January 2012 at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.