Royal Oak | 25920BA | yellow gold
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Annuel 25920BA 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 Quantième Annuel 25920 remains the one and only annual calendar reference in the brand’s history. The fact it’s housed within a yellow gold Royal Oak case makes it all the more compelling.
An innovative complication
In 1996, Patek Philippe released the world’s first annual calendar wristwatch. It was developed to show relevant information about the day, whilst also providing a more accessible price point for such a complication when compared with the brand’s perpetual calendars. An annual calendar only requires adjustment once a year in February, as it accounts for the long and short months throughout the year.
Not far behind, Audemars Piguet saw the potential of such a useful complication and started developing their own annual calendar movement. It is understood that the Quantième Annuel 25920 was briefly produced from 1999 to the early 2000s, remaining the only annual calendar Audemars Piguet ever made. This particular example, sold in 2006, bears an individual number below 150, which gives us a broad sense of how few pieces were produced. The brand made the choice to house the newly designed complication within their mid-size Royal Oak design, which was popular with customers at the time. Produced in stainless steel and yellow gold, the reference is seldom ever seen in the latter metal, with examples housing a white dial being all the more unusual.
An all-gold design
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. More unusual than its steel counterpart, this Quantième Annuel 25920BA elegantly combines the practical complication with angular yellow gold case. Usually more susceptible to wear than its stainless steel equivalent, this 25920BA is well-preserved, retaining its original lines, crisp hallmarks and a thick case.
At 36mm in diameter, and only 8mm thick, this Royal Oak case is a beautiful twist of perspectives and size. It comes with its original bracelet and deployant clasp, featuring the hallmark of famed bracelet maker Gay Frères, who produced the first Oyster bracelets for Rolex, as well as integrated bracelets for the original Nautilus and Royal Oak.
Thanks to the slim profile of the case and bracelet, the ref. 25920BA hugs the wrist, in a way which may surprise the wearer, considering the complication it houses. Collectors have noticed that on account of the unique case shape of the Royal Oak, the mid-size version of the watch wears much larger on the wrist than its dimensions would suggest.
The multi-levelled dial features a radial date and an off-center month sub-dial. The contrast between the tapisserie pattern in the center and the brushed outer section lends a satisfying contrast to the dial, especially when it catches the light at certain angles. Usually found with a blue dial, on a small handful of examples have appeared publicly with a white dial. The lighter colour complements the softness of the yellow gold case, bringing visual coherence to the overall design.
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Annuel 25920BA is powered by the ultra-thin AP caliber 2225/2814, derived from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s JLC 889 calibre movement. The first and only annual calendar movement developed by Audemars Piguet, the 35-jewel movement is rhodium-plated, with fausses côtes embellishment. It includes a self-compensating flat balance-spring, and a 21K gold rotor segment.
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Annuel 25920BA comes with its outer box, inner box, pusher, original hangtag, instruction manual and certificate of origin. This particular example was sold at the Hour Glass in Singapore in July 2006.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment only.
|Model:||Quantième Annuel 25920BA|
|Movement:||mechanical automatic AP Caliber 2225/2814|
|Functions:||annual calendar, date, hours, minutes|
|Case:||36 mm yellow gold|
|Bracelet:||yellow gold AP-stamped bracelet and clasp|
|Box & papers:||outer box, inner box, pusher, original hangtag, instruction manual and certificate of origin|
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