In the mid-1990’s, when my affection for mechanical watches truly took off, I purchased as numerous magazines and watch books I could discover as data on the web was rather difficult to track down and not so particularly common as it is presently. In a couple of these generic watch books, giving the peruser an outline of various watch brands and their models, I generally had a couple of most loved brands I’d like to find out about. One of them was Audemars Piguet. Not just their octagonal Royal Oak models that I appear to have been appreciating from the principal second on (which is anything but something common to do) however I likewise examined their round and vintage models with complications with extraordinary interest. In spite of the fact that I’d like to imagine that I can’t be influenced by showcasing campaigns and tributes, it was actually the tribute of Bruno Rubinksi in one of the last part of the 1990’s Audemars Piguet catalogs that made me need a Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ ( you can peruse more about it here ). It would require another 10 years before I purchased (and had the option to) this Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ reference 15202 I ached for.
Our companions at and have been focusing on vintage Audemars Piguet and I have consistently perused it with extraordinary joy. As far as I might be concerned, it appears to be that – especially back in the day – Audemars Piguet was focusing on a similar audience as the other enormous two (Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin) with their little and clean round watches with complications. Today at Audemars Piguet, the complications and the wish to come up with new and enhanced complications and arrangements is still exceptionally clear, yet the packaging is somewhat not quite the same as it is from those other two major names. Despite the fact that you could say that the Royal Oak is like Patek’s Nautilus and Vacheron’s Overseas, their Royal Oak Offshore Concept and Laptimer references can’t be matched to any of these other brands’ watches. Despite the fact that I have incredible respect for Audemars Piguet’s innovations and their craftsmanship when all is said in done, I have by and by more interest in the more ‘toned down’ 39mm Royal Oak models than the cumbersome and noisy Royal Oak Offshore collection and Concept timepieces.
Some times I do wish that Audemars Piguet could figure out how to utilize those vintage models for their current collections. In spite of the fact that there is a Millenary and Jules Audemars collection (including models with complications), they are still moderately ‘loud’ to the classic watches they manufactured in the past.
In Geneva, I had the chance to talk with Audemars Piguet’s history specialist Michael Friedman. After a career at fame auction houses like Christie’s and Antiquorum, Michael Friedman began as an antiquarian at Audemars Piguet in 2013 subsequent to being in touch with them as of now for quite a while. Voyaging everywhere on the globe (including to Le Brassus, where Audemars Piguet has their head quarters) yet his old neighborhood is New York City.
In most cases when you request the CEO from a watch brand about his number one watches from the collection, he will consistently come up with models that have recently been introduced. I figured this may be distinctive when I ask an antiquarian. Thus, here they are, the Top 3 most loved Audemars Piguet references by Michael Friedman.
1. Audemars Piguet reference 5516
Truth to be informed that this reference 5116 didn’t ring a bell from the outset when Michael Friedman referenced this as his pick. Notwithstanding, a quick vertical query in my cerebrum revealed to me that this Perpetual Calendar was covered by a couple of sites. However, frankly, I missed the auction of Christie’s in December where a gold 5516 fetched $545,000 USD. The over 5516 is from the Marcus Margulies collection, . The Audemars Piguet ref. 5516 is basically a dazzling watch with its delightful dial and Valjoux 13″‘VZSSQ based movement.
Audemars Piguet began making interminable calendar wristwatches from 1950 onwards. From what I comprehended from Michael Friedman, Audemars Piguet just began utilizing reference numbers in 1951. So those first unending calendar wristwatches didn’t come with a specific number. Audemars Piguet about these ref 5516 unending calendar watches with leap year indication. I can envision why this is one of Michael Friedman’s most loved Audemars Piguet watches of all time.
2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402 A-Series
The story of the Royal Oak has been told commonly, even here on Fratello Watches ( click here ) so let’s not recurrent what we have composed effectively on this iconic games watch. This A-arrangement Royal Oak is simply astounding was another pick by Michael Friedman. Actually, it is his watch you see here. This 5402A is in a delightful condition and shows some patina on the dial. Actually, I didn’t see it that clear when I grasped the watch in Geneva, yet on the macro shots that picture taker Bert Buijsrogge took, it is clearly obvious. It adds character to the watch!
Now, you can’t turn out badly with any of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” or “Extra-Thin” references (5402, 14802, 15002, 15202) with its wonderful caliber 2121 development. Be that as it may, this 5402 A-arrangement is only a fantasy of a watch, not just for Michael Friedman. This Royal Oak reference prepared for any remaining Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore models. Nothing beats the first though.
3. Audemars Piguet reference 5528
Reference 5528 is a 18 carat gold moment repeater wrist watch manufactured in 1951 by Audemars Piguet. This 38mm watch is considered to be ‘oversized’, compared to the other references from that period. There were just three reference 5528 watches produced, and as composed by Michael Friedman, they are not every one of the three identical. This was very common, to include minor changes inside the equivalent reference.
Anyway, this 5528 uses a development that was at that point created and manufactured in the late nineteenth century and utilized in various watches before it wound up in this 1951 Audemars Piguet. This development is marked “Audemars Piguet, Genève, no. 8712” and produced in 1885. The primary existence of this development began in 1889 when it was sold as a swinging watch. It got back to the Audemars Piguet workshops again in 1904. In March 1921, Audemars Piguet re-utilized the development in an Art Deco case. Eventually it establishes its way back to Audemars Piguet again and was then utilized in this 1951 reference 5528. Audemars Piguet produced just 47 of such little moment rehashing developments somewhere in the range of 1882 and 1900. In 2014 this reference 5528 was expertly reestablished to be auctioned at . It fetched an incredible $651,051.- USD. I revealed to Bert this in the wake of making the photographs in Geneva, to keep him from getting nervous.