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This is a real great watch based on the original iconic design of the legendary watch designer Gérald Genta (1931-2011). In 2018 Audemars Piquet celebrated the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Audemars Piquet Royal Oak Offshore also known as “The Beast". Get yourself the chance to buy the original Beast, the real deal, for less!
The Royal Oak
Throughout his career, Gérald Genta designed many iconic watch pieces that stood the test of time. He draw the design of the Royal Oak in the 70s, a watch that’s is to be considered one of his best designs among with watches as the Patek Nautilus and the and the Universal Polerouter. Also he re-designed IWC Ingenieur as well as the Omega Constellation.
In April 1972 Audemars Piguet introduced the first Royal Oak at the annual Swiss Watch Show in Basel (later renamed BaselWorld). The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was the first modern watch carrying a haute horlogerie price tag to be cased in stainless steel. They also marketed this watch in that kind of manner. They actually advertised with a slogan: “Introducing steel at the price of gold. And other rewarding contradictions”. The Royal Oak was launched in steel and it came with a hefty price. The public was quite hesitant at the beginning but embraced the design later and it became a huge success.
Gérald Genta designed the Audemars Piquet Royal Oak in 1970. It was his first real big success, a watch that later got the recognition as one of the most iconic watch designs ever made. First in the mid 1950s he introduced the Polerouter for Universal Geneve, a watch to commemorate SAS’s (Scandanavian Airlines Systems) polar flights from New York/Los Angeles directly to Europe. And in 1968 he made the Ellipse for Patek Phillippe. But in 1970 he designed the Royal Oak for Audemars Piquet. This was the first steel luxury sports watch. It took some time to get the appreciation from watch collectors, but after two years it was clear that this watch was here to stay and that would become a real success. Nowadays, the profit-driven business of AP is driven by the successful sales of the Royal Oak line.
The story of the design of the Royal Oak is quite interesting. The managing director of Audemars Piguet, Mr Georges Golay, called Genta and told him that "I need a steel sports watch that has never been done before. I want it to be something totally new and waterproof". Not only did Mr. Golay task Mr. Genta with creating something that had never been seen before, he wanted it done by the next day. His impatience is understandable as Audemars Piguet was on the verge of bankruptcy and with the release of the battery powered Seiko 35SQ Astron a year prior, the Quartz Crisis was looming large over Switzerland. After hanging up the phone at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, Gérald sat down at his table and didn't get up again till the next morning when he had completed the preliminary sketches of what would become the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
Gérald Genta had designed was a sports diving watch with a raised octagonal bezel attached to the case with eight very visible screws with an integrated bracelet flowing right into the case. Genta himself said that his intention was to replicate the helmet of a deep sea diver. This steel beast was a world apart from what Audemars Piguet was known for as the company had focused solely on conservative gold dress watches for much of it's ninety five year history. When shown the designs, Mr. Jacques-Louis Audemars (AP remains the oldest watch company to be owned by the founding family) was apparently horrified however this did not stop him from signing a contract with Genta for the exclusive rights to the design.
The theme of the watch was very nautical due to the design that resembled the shape of a divers helmet but also looked a bit like a pothole of a ship. The name was also influenced by nautical history. Over the course of three hundred and fifty years there have been eight ships in the British Royal Navy that have been called HMS Royal Oak named after the oak tree that Charles II hid in during an escape from parliamentary forces.
The Royal Oak offshore
In the late eighties, more specific 1989, Stephen Urquarth (predeessor of Omega’s current president Reynald Aschliamann), gave the young designer Emanuel Gueit the instructions to design an outdoor chronograph based on the iconic design of the Royal Oak. Emanuel Gueit had just joined Audemars Piquet one year before. Stephane Urquhart somehow had a strong belief in his young employee since he entrusted him to design for the commemorative watch to celebrate the anniversary of the 20th birthyear of the Royal Oak.
Emmanuel Gueit came up with a watch of an unprecedented format. It was a watch based on the Royal Oak but it was aimed to a more . While most people at Audemars Piguet felt that the design wasn't good enough, Stephen Urquhart supported the project and ultimately became the man who would name Gueit's creation 'Royal Oak Offshore'. Nicknamed 'The Beast' due to its massive case proportions measuring 42 mm in diameter —excluding the crown— and 15 mm in thickness, the Royal Oak Offshore, reference 25721 presented in 1993 at BaselWorld, seemed to be a monster of a watch with little to no foreseen future success. Much controversy was unleashed when Gérald Genta himself — the father of the original Royal Oak — was said to have burst into the AP stand at BaselWorld, denouncing the Offshore as having ruined his original design.
At the time the design of the Royal Oak Offshore was really out of the box. The size of this watch was similar to a watch from the Big Friendly Giant. Consider this, at that time Panerai was a brand that wasn’t really available to the masses. So 42mm was a case size that people couldn’t compare. So arguably, the Beast established the trend for large-sized watches, becoming the norm in today’s modern production watches.
Six years later, it's creator Emmanuel Gueit would depart AP. Today, the Royal Oak Offshore is as successful as it was never expected to be, just like it happened in 1972 with the Royal Oak. "The story repeats itself."
The Offshore incorporated a chronograph complication with silicon caps on the pushers and crown, curved bracelet links, and a thick, visible gasket on the bezel. Due to the substantial size of the case, the automatic caliber 2226/2840 was placed inside an inner anti-magnetic case.
The case is 42mm big and bold 14,5mm thick and very heavy weighing 238 grams. This watch has the most beautiful 'chamfers' on any watch. The pushers and crown are wrapped with a rubber-like material called 'Therban' which is a high performance elastomer that is fireproof to very high temperatures.
The bezel is secured with eight hexagonal nuts or screws that go through the bezel and case and are fastened by screws caps (almost looking like cylinders) that come in from the case back.
The dial features a guilloché "petite tapisserie" pattern – a motif resembling small paver stones. Scholarship suggests that dials found on later Offshores have a total of nine squares along the top of the 'Audemars Piguet' signature, whereas these earliest versions only have eight. For over twenty years, the Royal Oak Offshore has remained a centerpiece within the firm’s collection with well over 100 different variations in existence. Its iconic, robust case with signature octoganal bezel can easily be spotted from a distance, and continues to be a favorite amongst collectors.
This particular watch is a E-series Royal Oak Offshore. The first 500 watches ever produced of the reference 25721ST fall within the D and E-Series production timelines. The E-series were made from 1994 to 2000
The first 200 examples of this coveted reference fall within the D-Series production period of Audemars Piguet timepieces and are even more special and unique than their successors. It seems like no more than 2,500 examples of reference 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01 a.k.a. 'The Beast' with its signature blue dial were ever produced.
Of all examples looked at in the past, there are no 25721ST 'The Beast' falling within the F-series production timeline; therefore, we can fairly assume that the production of this reference with this particular dial had already been halted by then and replaced by the launch of the 'Themes' Royal Oak Offshore line with reference 25721ST.OO.1000ST.09 and reference 26020ST circa 2003-2004. Per research, production of the Royal Oak Offshore reference 25721ST 'The Beast' started in the D-20000s and only a total of approximately 1,250 pieces fall within the D-serial production period, making these examples more coveted. Of course the first 500 watches are extremely more rare and bear some nuances we will be explaining here. (Read more on watchcollectinglifestyle.com/home/insider-explaining-the-audemars-piguet-royal-oak-offshore-reference-25721st-the-beast-a-comprehensive-guide-to-these-d-series-and-e-series-royal-oak-offshores)
Audemars Piquet is a brand that’s is considered to belong to the “holy” trinity of Swiss watchmaking (with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin). AP is a truly unique watch manufacture. It is one of the few global haute horology brands that remains in the hands of its founding family, with several members of the Audemars family still sitting on its board of directors.
This particular watch has just undergone a full service at the Audemars Piquet factory. The movement got a complete overhaul and has a company guarantee for 2 years.
As with all of our pre-owned watches this watch comes with a full 12 month warranty with ourselves that will be invoked from the day of purchase.
Brand: Audemars Piquet
Model: Royal Oak Offshore
Reference: 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01 a.k.a. 'The Beast'
Year: Circa 2002 (with original box and papers, sold in 2002, servbi
caliber: Automatic, cal. 2226/2840, 54 jewels
Case: 42 mm signed case, 14,5mm thick
Crystal: Sapphire glass
Dial: Blue dial with “Petite Tapisserie” pattern, blue counters, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, blue inner bezel.
Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Audemars Piguet link bracelet, max. length 180mm.
Price: 19.000 euro or shoot me an offer at email@example.com