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This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref 6009BA departs from typical Royal Oak tradition with its rectangular, yellow-gold case. Also featuring a Khanjar-signed dial, this example is all the more intriguing.
A Distinctive Royal Oak
Shortly after the introduction of the original Royal Oak 5402 in 1972, Audemars Piguet experimented with a few variations of the design. These were meant to bring the Royal Oak to a wider audience, by offering a range of different interpretations of the angular case. The reference 6009 was the first-ever Royal Oak to integrate a quartz movement, following demand from clients at the time. According to Raphael Balestra, from the Audemars Piguet archives,
“As we were introducing quartz into the Royal Oak for the first time, we wanted to mark this change by creating a different version of the design. This is how the rectangular Royal Oak came to be.”
Building on the design penned by Gerald Genta, the reference 6009 reshaped the Royal Oak case into a rectangular format, whilst keeping its core identity intact. Believed to have been produced for a brief five year period, between 1980 and 1985, it integrated the updated caliber 2502. This particular example is all the more noteworthy for being made out of yellow gold, a metal which is less frequently used within the Royal Oak collection.
This Royal Oak 6009BC is further distinguished by its unusual Khanjar emblem on the dial. The Khanjar insignia, which displays a dagger in a sheath, superimposed upon two crossed swords, is the national emblem of the Sultanate of Oman. It has appeared on a small number of wristwatches from the 20th century, which were especially ordered by the Sultan himself, either for his own collection or to present as gifts to foreign dignitaries, friends and employees, among others.
The Khanjar coat of arms was typically applied using the décalque technique. A form of printing, this technique allows for the transfer of a design engraved on a metal plate (known as a cliché) onto a dial, with the help of a silicone or gelatine stamp. Ink is placed into the recessed areas of the cliché, where the Khanjar symbol would have been engraved, and reproduced with impressive precision onto the dial.
Having appeared on other iconic models, such as the Royal Daytona or the Patek Philippe Nautilus, it is believed that all the Khanjar-signed watches were ordered by the Sultan through the London-based retailer, Asprey. Founded in 1781 in Surrey by William Asprey, the retailer hit its heyday during the 1970s, becoming a destination of choice for demanding clients. The fact that Audemars Piguet proudly displayed the Khanjar emblem alongside their own signature speaks to the strength of the relationship with Asprey and the Sultan of Oman.
This 6009BA reinterprets the core design principles of the original Royal Oak, in order to create a more angular design, which speaks to the period in which it was designed. The case and dial take on a more rectangular shape, with rounded edges, which extend the profile of the bracelet. It retains the varied textures one would expect to find, with angular, bevelled and polished edges throughout.
The sloped bezel is flanked by four polished "hinges", which contrast with the brushed portions of the case. The integrated bracelet is identical to the more traditional Royal Oak design, with a yellow gold deployante clasp and “AP” signed clasp cover. The case measures 28mm by 38mm, excluding the bracelet, though the watch wears larger than its dimensions would suggest, on account of the unique proportions of the Royal Oak and seamless transition from watch head to bracelet.
The dial 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, which is less faithful to the original design. The flat “Audemars Piguet” signature is also reminiscent of the one found on reference 5402, further imbuing this piece with a certain vintage charm. The anthracite-gray dial is wonderfully complemented by the applied gold index markers and crisp, white Khanjar signature.
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 6009BA is powered by the quartz caliber 2502. The movement represented Audemars Piguet’s foray into quartz movements, featuring a traditional pull-out crown time-setting mechanism.
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Royal Oak Ref. 6009BA
quartz caliber 2502
date, hours, minutes
36 mm yellow gold
yellow gold AP-stamped bracelet
Box & papers:
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