Audemars Piguet watch sells for world-record $2.1 million because of who owned it

by | May 10, 2022 - 6:09PM | Watches

This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo has just sold for a staggering $2.11 million, and it’s all down to the person who used to strap it to their wrist.

It’s a new world record for a vintage Royal Oak at auction.

And there’s a very good reason for this: it is the only Royal Oak that legendary Swiss watch designer Gerald Genta actually owned and wore.

Genta is known as the “Picasso of Watches”.

READ MORE: 4 weird but cool watches that are so crazy you can barely tell the time

Celebrities who own a Royal Oak

  • Serena Williams
  • Justin Bieber
  • Steph Curry
  • John Mayer
  • Drake
  • Travis Scott
  • Chris Hemsworth

Who is Gerald Genta

Born in Geneva in 1931, Genta is arguably the most influential watch designer in history.

His work includes the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the 1959 Omega Constellation and, of course, the Royal Oak.

Many regard him as a savior because he helped mechanical Swiss-made timepieces rise from the ashes following the so-called ‘Quartz Crisis’ that nearly killed the industry.

READ MORE: Inside Cristiano Ronaldo’s $10 million watch collection: Here are 7 of the wildest timepieces

In 1969, Seiko launched the first mass-produced, battery-powered watch, kick-starting the quartz revolution that crippled the Swiss watch industry in the 1970s and 1980s.

Japanese quartz watches were simply more affordable and more accurate than Swiss mechanical watches.

But the Swiss managed to save themselves thanks to Swatch, who responded in kind with their famous cheap and funky timepieces, and the Royal Oak.

First launched in 1972, it was a simple stainless steel sportswatch.

Over time, people began to appreciate its straightforward nature and started paying attention to mechanical watches made from Switzerland again.

This helped revive the industry and cement Genta’s reputation as one of the most prominent figures in the watch world.

Fifty years down the line, the Royal Oak is still relevant.

It is one of the most sought-after timepieces in the market.

Just a couple of days ago, the Phillips’ Royal Oak 50th Anniversary auction achieved $22.6 million through 87 lots, including the only Royal Oak to have been worn by Karl Lagerfeld and the second Royal Oak ever produced.

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