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Review of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 50th Anniversary ref. 26240ST

Review of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 50th Anniversary ref. 26240ST


The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 50th Anniversary ref. 26240ST, a celebratory mark of half a century of the iconic Royal Oak series, is not just a timepiece but a testament to the enduring legacy of Audemars Piguet. This watch exemplifies the brand’s commitment to excellence in craftsmanship and innovation in the realm of luxury watchmaking.

Historical Significance

Audemars Piguet, established in 1875, has been a pioneer in the watchmaking industry. The company’s achievements, such as the introduction of the first skeleton watch in 1934 and the world’s thinnest watch in 1946, set a high bar in horological engineering and design. The Royal Oak, launched in 1972, revolutionized the concept of luxury sports watches and remains the brand’s most iconic model​​.

Design and Build

The 26240ST is a remarkable blend of heritage and modernity. Retaining the aesthetic essence of the original Royal Oak designed by Gérald Genta, this model introduces slight evolutions in its case, bracelet, and dial design. The enlarged bevels on the case, paired with a more integrated case-back, give it a wider, yet more slender appearance. The attention to detail in the craftsmanship is evident in the harmonious blend of satin-finished and polished surfaces, enhancing the watch’s luxurious appeal​​​​.

Movement and Functionality

Equipped with the latest-generation chronograph movement, cal. 4401, the 26240ST marks the first time a Royal Oak Chronograph in steel features an in-house movement. This movement includes a vertical clutch and column wheel, a flyback function, and a refined balance of the dial with evenly spaced sub-dials. Such technical enhancements not only improve the watch’s functionality but also its visual balance, making it a delight for both watch enthusiasts and casual admirers alike​​.

Dial and Aesthetics

The “Grande Tapisserie” pattern dial in “Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50” is a striking feature, adorned with white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. This intricate design is both a nod to the brand’s history and a step forward in watch design. The uniformity of the dial, with its subtle yet impactful color choices, lends the watch a sophisticated and contemporary look​​.

Wearability and Comfort

Despite its slightly increased thickness, the watch maintains a comfortable fit on the wrist. The stainless steel bracelet with an AP folding clasp further adds to the wearability of the watch, ensuring that it remains secure and comfortable throughout the day.

Final Verdict

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 50th Anniversary ref. 26240ST is more than just a watch; it’s a celebration of a legacy. With its impeccable design, advanced movement, and luxurious appeal, this timepiece is a fitting tribute to the 50 years of the Royal Oak’s dominance in the luxury watch market. It’s a must-have for collectors and a dream for enthusiasts, symbolizing both the past achievements and the future aspirations of Audemars Piguet.

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