We’re going to do something different today, folks. Instead of us providing our ever-irreverent opinions about another watch or brand, we wanted to give you the opportunity to provide us with some direction. Ready, kids? Then we’ll begin…
You see, both your editors plan to acquire Audemars Piguet timepieces in the next 12 months or so. We’ve long been admirers of the brand, lovers even, and the classic octagonal design so perfectly penned the first time round by the recently departed Gerald Genta. Little Six even owned an early 80s Royal Oak for a short while before trading it in. Yes, we still spank him for that mistake.
Today, both Six and Fool are genuinely torn about which of the AP models on offer deserves their hard-earned cash (read: credit) and reserved space in their watch boxes. After much chin-stroking and argument, three models were selected from within the AP stable: the Dual Time, or 26120ST; the 15300ST and 15202ST.
A while back we wrote about our lust for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time (26120ST), a complication timepiece that somehow side-stepped looking, well, complicated. This takes some doing given the intricacy of the AP bracelet and subtle finishing. We duly added the Dual Time to our want list, despite the EUR10,000 price tag on the secondary market, and moved on.
Fast forward a few months and one of our readers, El Guapo, decided he would indulge in a blue dial AP 15300ST, which go for around EUR7,000 second-hand. He was even kind enough to fill out our Prodigal Questionnaire on his acquisition. Mostly at gunpoint.
The gun flashing was forgiven shortly thereafter over drinks at Bob Bob Ricard’s, when the Fool and I had some time to more closely examine El Guapo’s AP. It turned out the blue dial was a real stunner and utterly discreet – not something one immediately sees in photos. The Fool decided there and then he had to have an AP, while Six had to admit that this was the only real alternative to the Dual Time within the AP stable.
But we’re no strangers to surfing the net for more than a little watch porn, and boy did we find it with Robert-Jan Broer’s review of the 15300ST, and subsequent move to the 15202ST, on watch blog Fratellowatches.
RJ is the reason you’re looking at so many tasty pics to your right, and what his pics and posts bridged to was the purists’ pick: the 15202ST. The latter is lighter than the 15300ST, with a less robust bracelet/clasp, but it commands a serious premium (a minimum of EUR3,000) given it comes with the venerated AP Calibre 2121 movement.
So, while the 15300ST enjoys better construction and a little dial “movement”, courtesy of a seconds hand, the cognescenti all point toward the 15202ST. Is it any wonder we’re confused as hell? All this fuss over a movement and increased rarity?! Well, yes. A pic of the movement is also shown, so you can see what all the noise is about.
The three APs span a price spectrum of EUR7,000 – EUR13,000; a watch with a complication vs. two that have none at all. And between the latter, only a seconds hand marks the most obvious visual differentiator. Like many things in watch land this is largely about subtleties that no-one but us geeks care about.
When all is said and done, what we really want to know is this: which one would you point us toward, and why?
A tale of three Royal Oaks: the Audemars Piguet challenge
There comes a time in every collector’s life where s/he needs to enter the hallowed doors of Audemars Piguet. But which Royal Oak to choose? We need your help…
Eric (AKA Straight-Six) had a proper job as a journalist for Dow Jones before lowering himself gently into the warm, forgiving waters of The Guide. He’s our resident fanatic: he relished detailing his BMW M3 for two full days at a time before crashing it at Eau Rouge in the wet; he spends insane amounts on his home-cinema system and has thrown tens of thousands of euros at vintage Rolex sports watches. The little fool simply does not understand the concept of restraint or the meaning of excess. He also – following a legendary "heavy" lunch – once nibbled (yes, like little dogs do) a dear lady friend of ours.
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