Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 14790ST.05 Blue Yves Klein Dial
The Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet is easily the most recognisable model to have graced the watchmaker's collection, as it became the first luxury steel sports watch the industry had seen in 1972. After Gerald Genta was brought in to assist Audemars Piguet, he famously was only given 24 hours to design 'a steel sports watch that has never been done before. Something totally new and waterproof.' The outcome just so happened to be both one of the most significant watches produced and simultaneously the spark that transitioned steel into the luxury sphere. During the years post-1972, other watch brands began to follow suit and shift some attention to steel, from Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin to IWC, Chopard and Piaget.
Initially launched measuring 39mm under the 5402 reference number known as the Jumbo, it wasn't long before the desire for a reduced size Royal Oak was rising. So in the 1990s, after some experimental references, Audemars Piguet debuted the 14790, which came in three millimetres smaller than the original reference at 36mm. The 14790 enjoyed a long life in the Audemars Piguet production line, with colourful dials and experimental case materials making an appearance until the reference was discontinued in the 2000s. In total, there are three generations of 14790 dials, each carrying nuanced furniture and details along with colours and finishes. Although its measurements on paper may say one thing, due to the Royal Oak's integrated design, they typically wear a little larger than their specifications suggest, which likely contributes to its continued appeal amongst collectors today.
Dating from 1996, this 14790ST is an outstanding example of a Yves Klein dial cased in stainless steel. As its full reference number denotes (14790ST.OO.0789ST.05), this example with the 05 ending confirming the original Yves Klein dial. Therefore, this example and its desirable dial colour are an original matching set. Externally this 14790ST is quintessential Royal Oak, imagined in steel just how Genta pictured it, only scaled down to 36mm rather than 39mm. Its brushing is sharp, defined, and crisp, and its bevels throughout the Gay Frères signed bracelet to bezel are beautifully smooth. A testament to the quality and design of Audemars Piguet and the impressive condition of this specific piece. Its finishing complements its proportions, width, length, and remarkably slender profile.
Nevertheless, the real star of the show is this vibrant blue original dial known as Yves Klein. Named after the French artist who made a name for himself due to his blue monochrome paintings, the blend of typical "Petite Tapisserie" texture with its rich blue colour sets this 2nd series dial off wonderfully. The second series dial features subtle differences compared to the first series, with points of interest including the more stylised font for the Audemars Piguet and 'Automatic' signatures and thicker luminous baton hands matched by its long hour batons. A white date aperture hugs the dial's periphery sitting at three o'clock. As alluded to earlier, not only is the dial matching to the watch, but its epochal bracelet is also period correct, complete with its Gay Frères signature and folding clasp.
Watches do not get more iconic than the Royal Oak, and this 14790ST with correct Yves Klein dial, details and overall condition is a special specimen to behold.
Powering this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 14790ST is the AP calibre 2225. This automatic movement comes with many features, including its 28,800 vph beat rate, 21k gold rotor, 36 jewels, and 40 hours of running time. The movement is also adjusted to five positions and measures only a hair over 3mm, contributing significantly to the piece's overtly thinness.
How It Wears
The striking blue dial of this reference has rarity and beauty as credentials resulting in an ability to produce a truly distinctive presence on the wrist. The Yves Klein pops in bright light and takes on a muted, almost purple tone in the shadows. Measuring 36mm in width, you may be forgiven for assuming this 14790ST Royal Oak is small, dainty, and lacking in wrist presence. The reality is, in fact, quite the opposite. Of course, it does take up a smaller amount of wrist real estate than the more prominent 'Jumbo', but its measurement on paper doesn't tell the whole story. The 14790ST is a mid-sized reference that would make a brilliant regular wearer for a wide range of wrist sizes in all types of situations, from formal board meetings to relaxing downtime.
The Ref. 14790ST.OO.0789ST.05 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Yves Klein is presented in mint condition with only a few light hairline marks. There are zero dents or scratches, and the bracelet is complete with all of its links and zero stretch. Included with the sale of this watch are the AP box, manual, service box, service card, service papers dating from 2018 and Audemars Piguet extract confirming the originality of the reference and its matching dial.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium
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|Dial||Original Yves Klein Blue|
|Size (Case)||36 mm|