Audemars Piguet : Royal Oak/ 1972
When the Royal Oak was launched in 1972, it immediately captured the attention for two very good reasons.
Firstly for its truly original styling, the work of Gérald Genta, the incomparable designer who imagined its octagonal bezel, held in place by eight visible screws, and its integrated bracelet. Secondly, because the Royal Oak was the first high-end sports watch. Audemars Piguet flouted convention to make its watch in steel, a metal that would go on to win new respect. The brand gave its Royal Oak a self-winding movement with calendar function. It took its innovative shape from a porthole on HMS Royal Oak, the ship that would also give it its name. The brand's wider interest in trees came later.