Royal Oak | 25572BA | yellow gold
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Day Date 25572BA is an unusual combination of the iconic Royal Oak design and a seldom seen complication. Believed to have been produced for only a handful of years, the Day Date 25572 remains one of the few Royal Oak references to house this practical complication, which undoubtedly proves itself useful on a daily basis.
The first Royal Oak Day Date
Shortly after the introduction of the original “Jumbo” 5402, Audemars Piguet experimented with a few mid-size versions of the design. These were meant to bring the Royal Oak to a wider audience, who at the time favoured more modestly sized wristwatches. In 1983, less than a decade after Gerald Genta’s sketch was turned into reality, Audemars Piguet came up with the reference 25572. This was the first time that a complication was housed within a mid-size Royal Oak case.
Sized at 36mm and produced for a handful of years, the reference was eventually discontinued in the early ‘90s. On account of its symmetrical dial design, it has come to be known as “The Owl” among collectors. This example represents the earliest incarnation of the 25572, displaying a few distinctive features, from the flat “Audemars Piguet” signature to the unsigned crown. In many ways, it is reminiscent of the original Royal Oak pieces, and all the vintage charm which they embody.
“The Owl” Dial
The symmetrical dial of the Royal Oak 25572BA is rendered in a creme colour, which wonderfully complements the gold accents found throughout the watch. It retains the more understated “Petite Tapisserie” pattern, forming the square and lozenge motif, as seen in earlier executions of the Royal Oak. Newer versions of the Royal Oak have since adopted the manufacture’s bolder “Tapisserie Evolutive” dial pattern, less faithful to the original design.
The flat “Audemars Piguet” font is also reminiscent of the one found on the reference 5402, further imbuing this piece with a certain vintage charm. Two dark silver counters stand out against the off white backdrop, displaying the day and date in an intuitive way, at 3 and 9 o'clock. These counters have developed a degree of oxidation over time, which creates a certain warmth as they interact with the light. Evidence suggests the dial was manufactured by Stern Créations, the storied manufacturer which also produced dials for the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Rolex “Stella” models, among others.
Though the majority of pieces come with stick hands, this particular example of the ref. 25572 features unusual lume-filled hands, in the style commonly found on Royal Oak watches. Over time, the lume has faded to a creamy tone, which complements the warm tone of the yellow gold case.
A Yellow Gold Royal Oak
An all-gold Royal Oak is a bit of a paradox. The Royal Oak was originally conceived as a luxury steel watch, yet its design and proportions render wonderfully when executed in yellow gold. Usually more susceptible to wear than its stainless steel equivalent, this 25572BA (with the BA standing for yellow gold) is extremely well-preserved, retaining its original lines, crisp hallmarks and a thick case.
At 36mm in diameter, and only 9mm thick, this Royal Oak case is a beautiful twist of perspectives and size. Thanks to the slim profile of the case and bracelet, the ref. 25572BA hugs the wrist, in a way that is both supremely comfortable, yet distinctively elegant and characterful. Collectors have noticed that on account of the unique case shape of the Royal Oak, the mid-size versions wear much larger on the wrist than their dimensions would suggest.
This 25572BA comes with its original yellow bracelet and “AP” signed clasp cover. The blade-style clasp, which is found on all Royal Oak watches produced between 1972 and the mid-‘80s, is made out of white gold, as is confirmed by the hallmarks on the back. This example also features the correct unsigned crown, which one should expect to find on the models from this period.
This Royal Oak Day Date 25572BA is powered by the self-winding calibre 2224/2825, based on a Jaeger LeCoultre ébauche. This automatic calibre features 32 working jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 VpH, while delivering 40 hours of power reserve. It features an oscillating weight mounted on an unlubricated ceramic ball bearing, with one segment of the weight made out of 21-carat gold.
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 25572BA comes with its original Certificate of Origin and Warranty (unsigned and undated), Day Date Instruction Manual and an Extract from the Archives (to follow).
|Model:||Day Date 25572BA|
|Movement:||mechanical automatic AP Caliber 2224/2825|
|Functions:||day, date, hours, minutes|
|Features:||black dial, silver sub-dials
|Case:||36 mm yellow gold|
|Bracelet:||yellow gold AP-stamped bracelet and clasp|
|Box & papers:||Certificate of Origin and Warranty (unsigned and undated), Day Date Instruction Manual and an Extract from the Archives (to follow)|
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