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The Audemars Piguet luxurious steel sports watch genre will be incomplete without the Royal Oak. However, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400 experienced different levels of acceptance after its release. 

This timepiece broke into the limelight rather quickly. Because of this, there are several variants of dials, references, case materials, complications, and sizes of this same watch. Still, the wristwatch maintains its core throughout since its release in 1972. 

The design of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400 is the brainchild of the iconic designer, Gerald Genta. He is the brain behind this elegant and grand timepiece everyone desires today. His design remains relevant till this day and maintains its place in the heart of wristwatch enthusiasts. 

There are over 100 various forms of the contemporary Royal Oak wristwatch. A few of them are:

  • The “AP” at 6 o’clock, closely similar to the initial reference 5402. 
  • The basic two-hander time only watches 
  • The open-worked grand complications

Audemars Piguet laid the premises upon which the contemporary Royal Oak exists in 2012. That year, the brand introduced the 41mm Ref. 15400. This new range replaced the 39mm 15300. In addition, Audemars Piguet introduced Ref. 15202 in the 39mm watch. 

The inclusion of Ref. 15202 in some ways paid tribute to the initial A-series 5402. As for the 15400 which is our focus in this guide, it is readily available. All you need is a good retail outlet like Diamonds By Raymond Lee to get yours today!

For this review, we spent enough time understudying the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak reference 15400. Without a doubt, this timepiece lives up to the reputation that comes with its legendary name. 

However, before going into the details of this review, we must first consider the history of the Royal Oak. That way, you can understand how this variety carved a niche for itself over the last 46 years. Keep reading!

History Of The Royal Oak

In the early 1970s, there was a rise in the popularity of the quartz wristwatches produced by the Japanese. This rise in popularity is what is now known as the “Quartz Crisis.” It is enough to say that the impact of this crisis affected many areas and still lingers till today.

Due to the crisis, several top watchmaking brands were under growing pressure. Audemars Piguet was not an exemption. Finally, Audemars Piguet proffered a solution to the crisis. A part of this remedy was the launch of the steel luxury wristwatch genre. 

Gerald Genta played a major role in the design and production of this new genre. In the past, Gerald. Genta designed various flourishing designs. Good examples of these successful designs include: 

  • The Universal Geneve in the Pole router, 
  • Patek Philippe in the Golden Ellipse.
  • Omega in the Constellation 

The Design of The Royal Oak

Genta took inspiration for designing the Royal Oak from sea motifs. He watched as they settled on the octagonal structure of an ancestral diver’s mask. He then rounds off the design with noticeable screws at every of the watch’s 8 edges. 

For the dial of the watch, he used a sophisticated blue petite tapisserie shape. That served as background to the two pencil hands that kept the time. Also, the background extends to the date window at the 3 o’clock position. 

Furthermore, the wristwatch’s bracelet was just as sophisticated. But now, it had a blended design featuring links tapered close to the clasp of the bracelet. The craftspeople at Gay Frères handled the design’s production.

Moreover, the 39mm case enjoyed a fair share of prominence back in the day. Also, this case houses the caliber 2121. In its own right, this movement evolved together with Jaeger-LeCoultre as the ‘60s came to an end. 

The Caliber 2121 is an automatic caliber. This caliber measures a thin 3.05mm measurement in thickness. With that measurement, there was space for an entire case height of about 7mm. Thanks to the dimensions of this caliber, it passed off a plain subtle sight on the wrist. Hack then, collectors highly desired this feature.

Production Of Initial Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet gave out a total production capacity of 1,000 pieces of the Royal Oak wristwatch in the first production. Presently, this first production is the A-series watches. 

These initial pieces are in very high demand up till this day by collectors. Moreover, you can easily spot one of these earlier produced watches. This is thanks to the positioning of the “AP” logo at the 6 o’clock position. Contrarily, in present-day pieces, this “AP” logo is placed at the 12 o’clock position.

Amongst retailers, the Royal Oak was unable to find a foot until after several months. Finally, when it found its foot, Audemars soon expanded the model with new varieties. 

For example, Audemars released the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in 1981. No wristwatch had a slimmer size compared to this piece at the time. 

Again, early in the 90s, Audemars introduced another variant with the name, the Royal Oak Offshore. Essentially, this particular variant focused on appealing to the younger generation and sports enthusiasts. This time, the case was bulkier and larger.

Present Day Royal Oak

Presently, the Royal Oak now comes in a ton of varieties. The Offshore Family continues to expand and the Concept Line is not relenting in their production as well.  

Nevertheless, you still enjoy the possibility of buying a Royal Oak that maintains the real ideals. Imagine a Royal Oak timepiece that sticks to the original reference 15202. Also, this same timepiece houses the exact core caliber 2121. That is a Royal Oak that stays true to its roots. And, that is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400.


Finally, in 2012, Audemars Piguet marked off the 40th Anniversary with the introduction of the Royal Oak. 

It all began with some sort of house cleaning by Audemars Piguet in 2012. Afterward, the brand launched a modern, significant base reference. They include: 

  • The 37mm reference 15450, 
  • The Ref. 15400
  • The throwback reference 15202

The Ref. 15400 is a new version of the Royal Oak. This model comes in a Nobel size. For the first time, there is a watch sized at 41mm in diameter. 

In addition, the automatic caliber 3120 makes an impression through the case back. Then, the tapisserie dial and the sophisticated bracelet are still featured grandly on this timepiece. In every sense of clarity, this wristwatch bears total semblance to no other than a Royal Oak.

Following the line of previous editions, the Ref. 15400 is similar but unique. This timepiece indicates a fresh path. This is obvious thanks to the delicate modifications to virtually every part of the watch. Consequently, all of these produce a quite delicate variation from features of the source.

The Royal Oak exists as the spine of the brand as a whole. This model hears a high responsibility in the overall impression the watch portrays. If you are a lover of slightly larger wrists, the 15400 will give you enough perks to admire.

The Caliber Of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400

This wristwatch features the caliber 3120. The entire design and production of this caliber was an in-house job. 

Compared to the 3120, this is a superior caliber. For the 3120, it might have the looks to admire but it lacks that obvious luxurious aura. 

This caliber three-hander feature positions a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Likewise, this timepiece comes with 60 hours of power reserve. Also, the size dimensions of this watch are almost the same as an ETA 2824.

This caliber employs a lot of engineering expertise to produce what is a mainspring yet intricate timepiece. For instance, the date change system employs a safety mechanism. This rids users of any case of user error when trying to adjust the date. 

Finally, there is an escapement system working with direct impulse. The complicated nature of this watch’s caliber can get overwhelming. However, it remains an impressive 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400: Overall Appearance

Most importantly, when describing Royal Oak watches, you must pay attention to the case. The case stands out with an angular, slim, and flat case. With the addition of the sophisticated bracelet, the sight is always something to admire.

However, this timepiece reflects a slight fine-tuning to improve its overall comfort. With that slight modification, this is one wristwatch you can rock every day.

Simply put, the Royal Oak 15400 is a huge 41mm. Plus, thanks to the structure of the case, this is not the best wristwatch for smaller wrists. For those who are indifferent to wristwatches sized 40mm and above, the slightly tinier 15202 is perfect. Otherwise, this timepiece is a great buy.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400: The Sleek Bracelet

From a glance, the bracelet may appear uncomfortable. You might notice several links that might catch your hair as well as several solid edges. Therefore, the appearance doesn’t look like a wristwatch that would be comfortable.

However, it finds a sublime way to give that comfort. Practically, this bracelet is similar to either an oyster or a jubilee bracelet. Simply put, it feels good on the wrist. 

For the clasp, no evident micro-adjustments except to the tapered links at the extremes. What this implies is a wristwatch you can easily fit and remove as well.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400: The Detailed Dial

The dial is not a basic one. It passes off a minimalist feel and a sophisticated one at the same time. It helps to read the time without any stress. 

Thanks to the pattern featured on the dial, you have sufficient details to admire. Moreover, the hour scepters go in very deep into the dial. There are also double batons placed at the 12 o’clock position. This is quite similar to the initial A-series. In all, this dial produces a unique three-hand impression.

Moving on, this Royal Oak 15400 features a blend of polished and brushed textures. Thus, with the presence of various surfaces, the right reflection is striking.

Again, the elegant, beveled ends surrounding the perimeter of each link contribute majorly to the watch’s appearance.  Without any doubt, this watch is a striking piece for that formal outing you attend next 

Who Is The Audemars Piguet 15400 For?

As an exotic sports timepiece, the Royal Oak 15400 is similar to the Submariner. Compared to the Rolex, the Royal Oak passes off the impression of luxury that it does of sport. Hence, this timepiece is not the best example of a one-watch collection like the Submariner.

Therefore, the Royal Oak is a slightly more detailed piece considering its general production. Audemars Piguet gave the wristwatch a unique appearance and details that set it apart from other models.

Are you a fan of sports watches but you love to stay minimal? Then, you should try out another piece in the Royal Oak collection. The Offshore Diver might be a better buy.

Again, with the flamboyance of this wristwatch, it is a perfect accessory for only formal events. But, if this will be your only wristwatch, you will enjoy it the best in business or formal environments. Yet, if you have other wristwatches first for other occasions, the Royal Oak 15400 will come in as a great addition. 

Either way, take your time to try this watch on and see how it feels. The uniqueness in size and the structure of the bracelet and case means it is not a piece for everyone. 

Likewise, if you choose 40mm sized watches or lesser, this 41mm Royal Oak watch might be slightly larger. The 15202 can fit you better. 


The Royal Oak 15400 is a wonderful and distinct watch. Consequently, this makes it a watch that ranks top amongst other luxury sports watches. 

Also, based on the technical aspects of this watch, only a few wristwatches can compare to it. This is one of the reasons this wristwatch enjoys that wide acceptance it gets from watch lovers. 

You can grab your own piece of this outstanding and grand timepiece here!




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