It is no secret that the perfect fake AP Royal Oak is at its prime. The octagonal bezel luxury sports watch in almost every diameter and configuration is ultra-hot right now. Where better to begin with the first Royal Oak reference 5402 launched in 1972 and designed by the late Gerald Genta. It is fitted with the ultra-thin automatic caliber 2121 from the famous JLC 920 ebauche never used by Jaeger-LeCoultre, but delivered as an ebauche to Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet. And within the 5402 series produced within batches starting with letters (A to D) followed by individual numbers, none are more prized by collectors than the early A series (under A1xxx).
The example up for sale here is all of those things and has a tropical (color change) dial to boot. Many of these dials oxidized and would turn from blue to a golden brown color, but rarely did so evenly and across the whole surface of the dial. I have to admit this example looks great and really is stunning in person.
The success of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak fake with steel case and its sharp rise in pricing on the secondary market followed that of the Patek Philippe Nautilus. With that in mind, every time we previously assumed the Nautilus had reached a peak, prices again rose. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the same phenomenon with the Royal Oak.
With only a few thousand pieces having ever been made of the best quality replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, there are not enough to go around, so like other watches of its kind, I think these will become increasingly more difficult to find in the wild or come up for sale. I expect prices of today, which some of us find already to be outrageously high, could be dwarfed in the future and even seem low. Just my opinion. The only critical note on this particular watch is that the movement number does not match the reference, meaning it was likely assembled outside the AP workshops.
Estimate CHF 40,000–CHF 80,000