The Great Oak

It is extraordinary to think that one of the most irresistible watches of the modern era can trace its origins to an antiquated diving helmet. But Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak has always possessed a special kind of alchemy. Ross Povey celebrates five decades of a horological legend and previews AP’s anniversary models.
  • fashion director Grace Gilfeather

  • by Ross Povey

  • photography Charlie Gray

Leeny wears cashmere cable-knit sweater, wool pleated trousers with belt, Polo Ralph Lauren. Royal Oak Selfwinding 34mm, Audemars Piguet. Robertas wears a cashmere and silk Ravello jacket, cotton shirt and silk pocket-square, Brioni. Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph, 41mm, Audemars Piguet.

I remember reading a letter from the sheriff of these parts, Editor-in-Chief Tom Chamberlin, in which he argued that the labelling of an object or person as ‘iconic’ was overused and therefore grated on him. Ever since, I have used the word sparingly. However, I feel that in writing this story, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the shackles have been removed and I can liberally throw around the term. For if any watch deserves to be held up as an icon, it is surely this rock star of the watch world.


    Ross Povey


    April 2022


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