The Royal Oak
It’s been 45 years since the creation of the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and this now-classic piece, is more popular than ever. First unveiled by Audemars Piguet in the 1970s and designed by Gerald Genta, who incidentally designed the Patek Philippe Nautilus amongst others, the Royal Oak has become a cultural icon due to its distinctive features and its role as a pioneer for high-end luxury sports watches.
A Day Date Royal Oak
Shortly after the initial Royal Oak ref. 5402, Audemars Piguet experimented with integrating a range of complications within its iconic, angular case. From the mighty perpetual calendar to a range of chronographs, they repurposed the design to fit a wide range of functions, catering to consumer’s evolving tastes and appetite for variety.
The combined day and date function was one of the first complications to be integrated into the Royal Oak, appearing as early as 1978 - only six years after the original reference. However, this was confined to the 36mm case size for quite a while, as this size was favoured by a wider range of customers at the time.
However, Audemars Piguet eventually integrated the complication into their “Jumbo” Royal Oak size, with this reference, the 26330. Classically sized, at 39mm in diameter, it recreates the original proportions of the reference 5402, within a more contemporary design. The reference 26330 was discontinued shortly thereafter, remaining the only 39mm Day Date Royal Oak reference to have been produced.
This steel, Royal Oak Day Date 26330ST watch is the perfect balance between utilitarian function and elegant design. The case and bracelet are excellently finished, with angular, bevelled and polished edges. The polished screws, bezel and case edges fantastically-contrast with the brushed surface of the case and bracelet. At 39mm in diameter, and only 10.25mm thick, the case proportions remain relatively restrained, despite the addition of a day date complication. In fact, it is only around 3mm thicker than the Royal Oak 15202, one of the brand's most sought-after modern offerings.
The weaving pattern of the “Grande Tapisserie” dial, forming the square and lozenge motif, alters the black colouration of the dial as it reflects light from different angles. Two silver counters stand out against the black backdrop, displaying the day and date in an intuitive and symmetrical way, at 3 and 9 o'clock. The white gold applied hour-markers and the distinctive Royal Oak hands are filled with luminescent material, for added legibility.
This Royal Oak Day Date 26330ST is powered by the self-winding calibre 2325/2810. This automatic calibre features 31 working jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 VpH, while delivering 40 hours of power reserve.
This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Day Date 26330ST is accompanied by its outer box, inner wooden box, instruction manual, service booklet and Certificate of Origin. The stainless steel bracelet features 21 links, including 7 removable ones.