Beyonce name drops it in her songs. Rappers wear them. And Shah of Iran was the first to buy it. Whether you’re a serious watch collector or simply love watches, a Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet is bound to figure in the mix.
Surprisingly, the model by the Swiss maison (still one of the few independent companies owned by the founding families in the industry) took a while to kick off when it debuted. Launched in 1972, it was conceived by well-known watch designer Gerald Genta in just a day, and intended to be a stainless steel luxury sports watch at a time when sports watches were anything but that.
Its distinctive octagonal bezel was inspired by a diving helmet (an apt inspiration for a water-tight timepiece). It also spawned a series of best-selling models, including the Royal Oak Offshore chronograph, which remains one of the most popular watch models around.
Which is why the limited-edition 50-piece run the brand designed for The Hour Glass is one desirable timepiece. For one, it’s18K yellow gold look and forest green dial is a palatable throwback to the ’70s. Then there is the discreet 3.05mm case which hides an automatic movement but does not scream “towkay”. The final collector’s touch: the “The Hour Glass” and “One in Fifty” inscription on the oscillating weight on the case back of the watch.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin The Hour Glass 18K yellow gold watch, price upon application, The Hour Glass