$2.3 Million Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Things unattainable for most are often those things always sought after by those with means.  A Porsche 917, a $20,000,000 home in Malibu, or, in this case, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak wrist watch, owned by the late designer, Gérald Genta himself. Genta’s Royal Oak includes an 18k yellow gold bezel that he personally produced and added to his watch at his Swiss workshop in 1978.

8 bidders, all eager, anxious, and of course, flush with funds, bid against one another for a cutthroat 6 minutes, those 8 vying for this extremely rare and valuable timepiece from the designer’s personal collection.


Worn regularly be Genta himself, the sale set a new record for watches and indicates that now the categories of art not only include paint and color, but engineering marvels from automotive, watercraft (Riva), World War ll aircraft, and horological masterpieces.

…often called the ‘Picasso’ of watches – designed it overnight at the behest of AP execs needing a sporty, steel, but crucially luxurious novelty for the Italian Riviera set, and the octagonal-shaped bezel with its 8 screws has become an instantly classic.


Mikael Wallhagen, Sotheby’s head of European Watches in Geneva, said in a statement: “Over the course of my career, rarely have I seen such an emotional response to any horological object, both by connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike, making today’s result all the more rewarding.”

$2.3 million may seem a hefty, ridiculous amount of money for something that merely displays time, but to those so inclined, the front money for this watch is small compared to the investment uptick sure to follow.

To those bidders, snagging this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the equivalent of buying a Ferrari 250 LM when they were a few hundred thousand dollars, or being handed an original Andy Worhal by the artist himself; an opportunity not to be passed up.


Visionary watchmaker and designer, Gérald Genta left a legacy of iconic designs. Not only did he pioneer genre-defining sporty chic models and Grand Complication timepieces, but he also introduced new ways to read time with his retrograde and bi-retrograde movements. And yet, he never forgot his sense of playfulness, infusing the art of watchmaking with his rule-breaking attitude. In 1982, Gérald Genta created his own atelier in Geneva. This was the beginning of a tremendous success and of unleashed creativity.      Gerald Genta Watches  

Look for more of the same bidding war to occur In June, 2022, when Sotheby’s will present another sale in New York City, offering Gérald Genta’s Icon of Time, featuring the most valuable Disney-themed watches produced by Genta, and will be an occasion not for the faint of heart or those looking for bargains.

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About the Author: Dave Miller

Dave Miller With Lotus GT
Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications. In addition to DriveWithDave.com, you can follow Dave's adventures via Drive With Dave Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tune into the Drive with Dave Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

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