Audemars Piguet
Royal Oak: From Iconoclast to Icon is available from Assouline Publishing, $250. Image Credit: Audemars Piguet

Luxury publisher Assouline is releasing an exclusive book celebrating 50 years of the Royal Oak launched in 1972 by Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet

To celebrate 50 years of the iconic Royal Oak watch, Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet teamed up with luxury publisher Assouline to release a dedicated anniversary book titled Royal Oak: From Iconoclast to Icon written by British award-winning journalist Bill Prince.

Tracing the history and the cultural impact of the Royal Oak since its release in 1972, the book delves into how this stainless masterpiece of innovation and style changed perceptions around the world and lifted the status of steel as a material of choice for unpretentious connoisseurs.

Audemars Piguet
The new book traces the cultural history and impact of the Royal Oak, first launched in 1972. Image Credit: Audemars Piguet

With the first Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet introduced the thinnest self-winding mechanical movement of its time, looking towards the future of active and casual watches and anticipating the market by decades.

“We had to invent a model both sporty and stylish in spirit, suitable for evening wear and the daily activities of today’s man of taste,” said Georges Golay, who was Audemars Piguet Managing Director from 1966 to 1987.

Audemars Piguet
When it was released the Royal Oak was priced the same as a sports car, which was unheard of at the time for a sport stainless steel watch. Image Credit: Audemars Piguet

The large format book numbers 400 illustrations over 296 pages, covering not only the history of the Royal Oak but also the pioneering contributors to its success, those ‘early adopters’ who recognised what the watch stood for, traditional craftsmanship and daring innovation. Some of the exclusive testimonies gathered by Prince include long-standing Royal Oak aficionados, such as actor Kevin Hart, architect Bjarke Ingels, model Elle Macpherson, athlete Serena Williams and swimmer Ning Zetao, to name a few.

“The beauty of Royal Oak: From Iconoclast to Icon resides in the seamless harmony between the book’s modernity and the historic richness of its content. A bridge between past and future, it represents a remarkable tribute to the heritage of this iconic timepiece and to the people who have contributed to its success,” said François-Henry Bennahmias, Audemars Piguet CEO.