Audemars Piguet has a thing for birthdays. On the 20th anniversary of what was slowly but surely becoming the most iconic wristwatch design to ever bear the Audemars Piguet name, the brand brought it to market – the Ref. 14802ST Royal Oak Jubilee. In a limited edition of 1,000 watches in total, AP introduced the first reference number change for the main Royal Oak. Of course, the original ref. 5402 is divided by series into A, B, C and D but it was not until Jubilee in 1992 that the full reference number was changed. The Jubilee series is all contained under the ref. 14802, yet the 1000 watches were made in a variety of case metals and dial colors. There were 700 in steel (with blue or pink tapestry dial), 280 in yellow gold (with slate, gold, white or ivory tapestry dials), and 20 in platinum (with dark blue or Tuscany blue tapestry dials, the first with diamond indexes). Jubilee Royal Oaks are believed to have been available for purchase until 2000 – that was another era, these were frankly sitting in shop windows, waiting for a buyer to walk through the door.
For the first time, the Royal Oak featured a sapphire crystal caseback – and for good reason. Each watch is fitted with a unique skeletonized 21k yellow gold oscillating rotor stamped “ROYAK OAK”, “JUBILEE” and the limited edition number over 1000. Of course, this very special rotor is mounted on the iconic Audemars caliber. Piguet 2121, the same movement found in all Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thins. Small noticeable details with the Jubilee include the arrangement of the dial with an “AP” logo taking the place of the 12 o’clock hour marker, as is the case with some earlier examples of 5402 – the modern “Jumbo” features a “AP” above six o’clock. Additionally, the font reflects the more contemporary AP branding with serifs. These distinctive little features make the 14802 a real choice if you know it in the crowded crowd at Royal Oaks.