Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 56049ST
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK 56049ST
Steel | Petite tapisserie black dial
The Audemars Piguet Manufacture was founded in 1875 in Le Brassus in the Vallée de Joux, by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward August Piguet. Two young entrepreneurs grown up in the cradle of fine watchmaking in the Swiss Jura, born into a generation of watchmakers and passioned about rare complications and their horological roots.
From the early days on, Audemars Piguet produced some fine mechanical timepieces such as minute-repeaters, perpetual calendars and ultra-thin self-winding movements, receiving recognition from far beyond the valley. By the 1970’s the Swiss manufacturer was already well established amongst connoisseurs alike, but it was during the following years of the quartz crisis that the watch brand made itself immortal.
While most traditional watchmakers were struggling to stay relevant, Audemars Piguet shook the market with a bold move: the introduction of the Royal Oak in 1972 at Baselworld – the first luxury sports watch in steel, created by the legendary designer Gérald Genta.
It has been estimated that a mere thousand Swiss watch companies did not survive the quartz crisis – with two thirds of the workforce being laid off – yet Audemars Piguet documentation shows that the yearly production increased from 9,500 to 11,000 pieces during those years (1974-1984). This revolutionary success can be greatly attributed to the Royal Oak line, an instant icon made to last.
This classic rectangular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is an exceptionally rare quartz watch. You’ve probably heard of the highly sought after 6009st and the 6005st references – better known as the medium and large, or jumbo, Royal Oak’s – but the 56049st might catch you by surprise. This timepiece in steel carries the iconic 6009-design, yet the 56049st dial features a date window at 3 setting of in sophisticated white, made between 1980-1985.
An unrivalled golden find – even the Audemars Piguet boutique in Paris had never seen a similar model. Only 12 of the 56049 Royal Oak in steel have been made, as confirmed by Audemars Piguet after looking into their archives,
Having the same size as the 6009st, the 56049st case measures 28mm by 38mm. The difference between the 56049st and the 6009st is of course the date but also the steel bracelet. The 56049st has the same steel Bracelet as the 6005st, compared to the 6009st that has a thinner bracelet. The design of this gamechanger was inspired by vintage diving helmets with exposed mounting screw heads in their case architecture. The bold black dial in Petite Tapisserie pattern, a signature choice for the Royal Oak collection, features contrasting grey gold baton hands, grey gold applique indices and the grey gold AP logo at 12.
Audemars Piguet is written on the dial in an old font, underling the vintage feel of this Royal Oak. An integrated component bracelet with deployant clasp and ‘AP’ signed clasp cover provides secure comfortability and delicate hand-finishing, that was earlier unseen on durable sport watches.
An example of this exquisite finishing is the ‘quartz’ engraving on the caseback of the watch. Its ultra-thin profile in combination with the flat sapphire crystal and rounded edges of the case, extending to the profile of the bracelet, give this piece a very elegant look. This is only enhanced by the varied textures of the watch – polished notches and an overall brushed finish – with its angular, bevelled and polished edges throughout.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak quartz has been produced mainly in bicolor editions, a fashion choice in the eighties. Steel variants, like this one, are considered to be limited.
Quartz was used for the first time in the 70s and revolutionized the notions of horological precision. The original Audemars Piguet quartz movement, calibre 2711, is based on a regulator, the time-measuring element, consisting of a quartz crystal through which an electric current is passed. Time is divided into equal intervals by this resonator, vibrating at an exceptional high frequency (32’768 Hz).
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 56049ST is in mint condition and perfect mechanical functioning. It has just had a complete service (the watch will be delivered with AP service papers, a service box and AP travel pouch). Both the watch and its integrated bracelet, with full links and without stretch, are in mint condition. Accompanying the service papers, the timepiece will be handed over with an Extract from the Archives from the Audemars Piguet.
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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|Size (Case)||28mm x 38mm|
|Papers||Extract from archive & service papers|
|Box||Service Box and AP pouch|