The auction house Sotheby's has just sold the Royal Oak 2 owned and worn by the man who conceived and designed it for over 2,107,000 million euros (5402 CHF): Gérald Genta.
Gèrald Genta has forever transformed wrist watchmaking and the way of interpreting it. From his pencil the great watchmaking classics were born, such as the Royal Oak, the Nautilus, the Ingenieur and the Octo .. His aura is so powerful that he is mistakenly attributed the authorship of some watches, instantly creating a ' explosion of requests. In this regard, the creation in 2019 of the Gérald Genta Heritage Association by Ms Evelyne Genta was a very welcome and important initiative. In addition to supporting new talents in the watch industry, it protects and promotes Gérald Genta creations.
The Royal Oak is undoubtedly one of the most important wristwatches that will ever be created. Over the past 50 years it has held a precious place in the hearts of collectors. A survey would also make it appear as one of the very first watches that come to mind, even to the wider audience.
The Royal Oak is perhaps the most important example that has ever been made. In fact, it is the only example to actually arrive on the market owned by his father, Gérald Genta. The Audemars Piguet Archive confirms that the watch that was beaten at Sotheby's was purchased by the Master on May 15, 1978.
This is a watch that is not only unique in its provenance, but is also unique in being the only reference 5402 in stainless steel with a yellow gold bezel to appear at auction. The family tradition has it that this bezel was made by Gérald Genta's atelier. The absence of this operation in the Audemars Piguet archives tends to corroborate it. The effect created is superb and gives even more power to the design. It is in line with its creator's vision: to always go a little further.
The octagonal bezel, the shape loved by Mr. Genta who considered it perfect, seems to float above the watch, highlighting each element and creating a truly amazing effect. Gérald Genta has proudly worn this timepiece for many years, even in some famous photos.
It was the first time that a timepiece that belonged to Gérald Genta has left the home of its original owner to be presented at auction, and the figure reached yesterday in Geneva has taken this into account.