The Manufacture celebrates the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary with a dedicated book entitled Royal Oak: From Iconoclast to Icon.
Written by Bill Prince, an award-winning cultural journalist and former deputy editor of British GQ, the book presents this timepiece’s history from a broader cultural perspective, while shedding light on new archival materials uncovered by Audemars Piguet’s Heritage department alongside exclusive testimonies from longstanding friends of the brand. The lively narrative text is illustrated with imagery from six decades of groundbreaking art, architecture, fashion, music and cultural history, paralleling the evolution of this trailblazing timepiece beloved by innovative tastemakers and influential celebrities around the globe.
This issue retraces how the Royal Oak created a stir upon its release in 1972, with its armour of hand-finished stainless steel encasing the thinnest selfwinding mechanical movement of its era and shone around the world in the decades that followed. For the first time, steel was ennobled to the same status as gold. Inspired by the profound cultural, artistic and industrial changes of the 1960s and early 1970s, this forward-looking timepiece anticipated a more active yet casual lifestyle, while heralding the beginning of a new high-end watchmaking era combining sportiness and refinement.
For this ambitious project, Audemars Piguet has worked in collaboration with publishing house Assouline. During the next week, the two houses will celebrate the launch of the book with dedicated events in London, New York and Los Angeles in the weeks to come.
September 22, 2022