Only Watch is an important charity watch auction that takes place once every two years and supports research into curing muscular dystrophy.
There are 54 brands participating this year, and each company has created a one-of-a-kind timepiece. What makes Audemars Piguet’s submission really stand out — is that they chose the most iconic, collectible, and hard-to-find reference in their entire collection: the Royal Oak 15202.
Introducing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202 “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Only Watch 2021. Royal Oak models are typically made in stainless steel or precious metal — titanium is rather rare within the collection, however, a limited edition platinum/titanium 15202 was made in 2018. That watch had polished titanium contrasting the platinum.
The Royal Oak Only Watch measures 39 mm x 8.1 mm, as with all 15202s, but has a titanium case middle, bracelet, and crown — with a distinctive sandblasted matte finish — contrasted by polished beveled edges, and in a first for Audemars Piguet, the bezel, caseback, bracelet studs, and part of the clasp, are all made of the innovative new palladium-based alloy called bulk metallic glass. This unique material has been hand polished to a mirror finish, providing excellent contrast with the matte gray titanium.
Bulk metallic glass has a composition of over 50% palladium (hence the Pd500 hallmark on the caseback), which is a rare noble metal in the same group as platinum, and that’s often used in micro-electronics. According to Audemars Piguet, “When cooled rapidly, this palladium-based alloy shares several characteristics with other glasses, including amorphicity and high strength, making it highly resistant to wear and corrosion. Its non-crystalline nature results in a unique play of light when hand-finished.”
Featuring a dark gray colored “petite tapisserie” pattern, and the original typography for the signature and monogram as seen on the very first Royal Oak 5402 A series, the dial is special.
Originally created by Jaeger-LeCoultre — and also used by Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe — the Audemars Piguet’s caliber 2121 movement, which beats at 2.75Hz, measures 28.4 mm x 3.05 mm, has 36 jewels, 247 total components, Geneva stripes, beveled and polished edges, perlage on the mainplate, and a 40-hour power reserve, is effectively being discontinued when the Ref. 15202 goes out of production at the end of 2021.
The Royal Oak 15202 “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Only Watch 2021 (Ref. 15202XT.GG.1240XT.99) is engraved with “Unique Piece” on the frame of the sapphire caseback. The titanium bracelet has a sandblasted finish on the top side and satin-brushing underneath, with polished bulk metallic glass studs, secured by a titanium folding clasp that has a bulk metallic glass plate.
A combination of the unique dial with a distinctive rhodium-toned dark gray-hue, old-school font and positioning of the monogram applied logo AP (at 6 o’clock), and the innovative bi-metal matte and polished case, bracelet, and bezel, should result in this 15202 fetching a very high final bid.
Not to mention, the 15202 is already near impossible to purchase, and this will be the last unique 15202 and last unique piece powered automatic caliber 2121, which has been in production since the Royal Oak’s introduction in 1972. In 2022, a new generation of 39 mm Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin will arrive with a new movement, and perhaps slightly restyled case.
Only Watch 2021 will take place November 6th, at Christie’s in Geneva.