Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 4100BA - Tropical Fume Dial
It’s not unfair to say that Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is one of the most iconic watches ever made. Designed in 1972 by Gerald Genta, the Royal Oak completely changed the way that we look at a steel sports watch. For the first time, stainless steel was treated as a precious metal - receiving complex finishing techniques of brushing, polishing, and beveling - all by hand. The idea that its eight hexagonal bezel screws would be finely finished and left exposed for the wearer to see was a revolutionary thought. It’s no reason that the model became the calling card for the family owned Audemars Piguet - not to mention one of the most sought after watches in the world.
What’s better than a Royal Oak? How about a solid-gold Royal Oak?
The present example is part of the ‘mid-size’ Royal Oak collection which was introduced in the 1980s. The Mid-Size Royal Oaks Range from 35 - 37mm with this being the 36mm variety of watch. Its hallmarks are extremely crisp and strong - matching the overall condition of the case which is clearly worn while retaining excellent bevels. These watches strike the perfect balance between the size and value proposition that a Royal Oak can offer. It is also one of the rarest mid-size Royal Oak family members. The weight of the solid gold makes this wear far larger than it is while still fitting the wrist in a more comfortable way than a full size 39mm Royal Oak which can fit a little odd on some wrists due to how flat it is.
To top it all off, this dial has aged to a stunning ‘fume’ colorway - which is the exact configuration that inspired the most recent 16202BA release. The colors are the effects of ‘brassing’ to the dial paint which is revealing the darker colored brass underneath. Something highly prized by vintage watch collectors as it makes every watch truly unique.
Like we said, What’s better than a Royal Oak? A solid-gold Royal Oak. Full stop.
*Some marks or spots on the dial are reflections or dust on the crystal and are due to high intensity strobe lighting used while photographing. They are not actually on the watch or visible in natural lighting.
About the brand
From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.
Oliver & Clarke