The Royal Oak, with its masculine octagonal case, exposed screws, and integrated bracelet is one of the most distinctive watches in the market today. It is imposing and recognizable, and in my opinion, one of the best statement watches money can buy.
The Royal Oak is not only famous for what it looks like, but also how it was introduced. First released in the ’70s, the original Ref. 5402 was a bold stainless steel watch designed by Gerald Genta that created shockwaves. It was designed as a luxury sports watch and the scandalous part was that it was priced accordingly- the same as an equivalent gold watch of its era.
People just could not accept that a pedestrian material such as steel could be priced so exorbitantly and consequently, it was not very popular. It was only after some time that the public saw this as something genuinely original and avant-garde. Today though, in-line with the craze for stainless steel, the Royal Oak is an icon.
Since then, Audemars Piguet has released every imaginable complication and color for the Royal Oak, all desirable in their own right. That being said, one of the most desired versions of the Royal Oak is what you see here, the 15305ST Openworked. As much as Audemars Piguet is known for the Royal Oak, I’d say they are also just as well known for their beautiful open working skills, as seen by this 15305.
The Royal Oak 15305ST has since had a successor, the 15407ST Double Balance. While it’s successor is technically superior in its mechanism, I still much prefer the old 39mm sizing fo the 15305ST, as supposed to the 41mm norm today. Even with that, the Double Balance is one of the hardest watches to get at retail these days, inadvertently elevating the 15305 as collectors begin to seek alternatives.
For those looking for something even more special than a normal Royal Oak, the 15305ST certainly ticks all of the boxes. Very rare and produced in very low numbers, it is a watch that finished to the highest standards.