Released in 1972, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak has gone down in the history books as one of the most disruptive and revolutionary timepieces to ever come from Switzerland. Released as a last-ditch attempt to fend off the Quartz Crisis, the Royal Oak saved AP from certain financial ruin and has since gone on to become the foundation of the modern watch market with its design DNA permeating into hundreds of other watch designs.
First released in 1992, the ref. 14790ST was the posterchild variant of the mid-size Royal Oak. With its 36mm octagonal case, it wears on the wrist beautifully as its case and integrated bracelet balance one another out. Debuting in the very late 1990s, AP released the Royal Oak Military Dial ref. 14790ST that features the reference's signature mid-sized case, but introduced a bold new dial design that separated this unique variant from the rest of its peers.
Complete with radially-positioned white blocky Arabic numerals, large sword-shaped hands alongside an arrow-shaped seconds hand, and even the Royal Oak's own branding - not something printed on the Royal Oak's dial often, this new design introduced a whole new aesthetic to the Royal Oak collection. While originally a sleek stainless steel sports watch, this design brought the Royal Oak collection forward in line with the militaristic fashion niche that had developed in the 1990s thanks to the emergence of a 90's fashion period called the "70's revival."
Powered by AP's Jaeger LeCoultre cal. 889-derived movement, the cal. 2225, like the other ref. 14790ST variants, this example features solid caseback. Wearing comfortably on the wrist and perhaps a little larger than its 36mm case diameter may suggest thanks to its integrated bracelet, as the Royal Oak famously does, this military dial ref. 14790ST is a classic piece of neo-vintage timepiece design that has snuck under the radar of most collectors but will likely soon experience a surge in popularity just like the rest of its Gerald Genta-design siblings.