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This unusual Audemars Piguet 6009BC features a reimagined Royal Oak case, made out of white gold, with an intriguing Khanjar-signed dial. The emblem of the Sultan of Oman, the provenance of this piece is matched only by its precious, elegant design.
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 Raphaël 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 quartz caliber 2502. This particular example is all the more noteworthy for being made out of white gold, a metal which is rarely ever used within the Royal Oak collection, reserved for a small handful of special pieces.
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 specially ordered by the Sultan himself, either for his own collection or to present as gifts to foreign dignitaries, friends and employees, among others.
Having appeared on other iconic models, such as the Rolex 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 6009BC reinterprets the core design principles of the original Royal Oak, in order to create a more angular appearance, which speaks to the period in which it was imagined. The case and dial take on a rectangular shape, with rounded edges, which extend the profile of the bracelet. The watch retains the varied textures one would expect to find, with angular, bevelled and polished edges throughout.
The sloped bezel is flanked by four polished notches, which contrast with the brushed portions of the case. The integrated bracelet is identical to the more traditional Royal Oak design, with a white gold deployante clasp and “AP” signed clasp cover. The case measures 26mm by 36mm, excluding the bracelet, though the watch wears larger than its dimensions would suggest, on account of the unique proportions of the Royal Oak.
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, less faithful to the original design. The flat “Audemars Piguet” signature, applied in silver, is also reminiscent of the one found on the reference 5402, further imbuing this piece with a certain vintage charm. The anthracite dial is wonderfully complemented by the applied hour markers and crisp, silver Khanjar signature.
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 6009BC is powered by the quartz caliber 2502, as confirmed by the Extract from the Archives. The movement represented Audemars Piguet’s foray into quartz technology, featuring a traditional pull-out crown time-setting mechanism.
This Royal Oak 6009BC is accompanied by an Extract from the Archives from Audemars Piguet, confirming production in August 1984. This watch is offered with a complimentary service through Audemars Piguet in London.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment only.
Royal Oak ref. 6009BC
quartz caliber 2502
Khanjar dial, white gold case, diamond indexes
26mm x 36mm white gold
white gold AP-stamped bracelet
Box & papers:
Extract from the Archives
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oakref. 6009BC is in very good condition, having been well preserved for a vintage watch of its age. The case and bracelet are excellently finished, with angular, bevelled, polished and granular surfaces throughout. Both the case and bracelet are original to the watch, with appropriately corresponding signatures on the reverse.
There are visible signs of ageing on the surface of the bracelet, indicating that the case has not been polished since it left the manufacture. There are also a few superficial marks throughout, consistent with wear over time, notably on the caseback. The original bracelet has virtually no stretch and has 20 links (not counting the two end links), including 7 removable ones. The anthracite dial is preserved in excellent condition, with no visible imperfections. This Audemars Piguet Royal Oakref. 6009BC is offered with a complimentary service from Audemars Piguet in London and comes with a lifetime guarantee of authenticity from A Collected Man.
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