Royal Oak: From Iconoclast to Icon retraces how the Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak created a stir upon its release in 1972, with its armor of hand-finished stainless-steel encasing the thinnest self-winding mechanical movement of its era and has shone around the world in the decades that have followed. For the first time, steel was ennobled to the same status as gold. Inspired by the profound cultural, artistic, and industrial changes of the 1960s and early 1970s, this forward-looking timepiece anticipated a more active yet casual lifestyle, while heralding the beginning of a new high-end watchmaking era combining sportiness and refinement.
Although an outlier at birth, the Royal Oak soon found an audience among the free-spirited youth, who recognized the watch’saudacious blend of technological advances and ancestral craftsmanship. The Royal Oak has been a canvas of innovation ever since, conversing with art, music, architecture, and sports. Today, a cultural artifact beyond watchmaking, the Royal Oak is an object of permanence in a world of obsolescence, embodying the creative freedom and the youthful spirit of those who have contributed to writing its story.
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