Gerald Genta's Custom Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Sells For $2.13M USD

Just two days after a bidder broke the world record price for a vintage Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, it has once again been smashed, this time for the watch once owned by the iconic model’s designer.

Not even the second Royal Oak ever made could outshine Gerald Genta’s personal watch, a unique configuration stainless steel model from 1978 with 18K yellow gold bezel “that Genta produced and added himself at his workshop in Switzerland.”

The watch was the subject of a six-minute bidding war between seven bidders, eventually hammering for CHF 2,107,000 ($2,130,767), almost twice that paid for the Ref. 5402ST A2 at Phillips earlier in the week.

Genta’s watch was the highlight of Gerald Genta: Icon of Time, a three-part sale of more than 100 of Genta’s original designs, that concludes in New York in June.

“Gérald was an artist before all else, and I feel like Icon of Time demonstrates the ongoing influence Gérald’s creative genius has on watchmaking today,” says Mrs. Evelyne Genta, president of the Gérald Genta Heritage Association and life and business partner of Mr Genta. “His Royal Oak was of course one of his most iconic watches, and such an exceptional piece can only go to someone who appreciates this.”

A portion of the proceeds from the sales will also benefit the Gérald Genta Heritage Association, and their mission to encourage and reward the next generation in the watch industry, notably with the launch of the first edition of the Gérald Genta Prize for Young Talent.

“Over the course of my career, rarely have I seen such an emotional response to any horological object, both by connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike, making today’s result all the more rewarding,” says Mikael Wallhagen, Head of Sotheby’s Watches in Geneva.

The record for the most expensive Audemars Piguet Royal Oak of all time was set last year at the Only Watch charity auction, when an all titanium Ref. 15202 sold for $3.4M USD.

In other watch news, blue-dialed Rolex Oyster Perpetual sells for 12 times retail.
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