Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15300ST

AP Royal Oak 15300 ST with black/grey dial. Property of a gentleman.

Apparently it's a common conundrum, loving and hating this piece:
Look at Angelica Houston, or Lauren Bacall; incredibly beautiful and yet with a turn of their head or change of light, somehow strangely ugly at the same time. Some things can be so sensitive to how you look a them and yet you know they can be beautiful - so why don't you like them?
That was me talking about the Gerald Genta designs of Royal Oak, Nautilus and Overseas. Maybe they appeal more with age? Or is it simply because these kinds of watches stand impervious as a lighthouse in a currently rough sea of tasteless dross? Or am I impressed with the carefully conceived and executed 3120 movement (thorough analysis and awesome pics from Suitbert Walter here)?

So, at as good as 40mm, is 15300 the young pretender to Jumbo's throne? Maybe, but surely there's an even larger one in the pipeline in the current climate for b i g watches. Aesthetic hairs may be split over the greater thickness of the 15300 compared to the Jumbo and the gravitas of the Jumbo's older movement, but the sweetest reason I can see for not having the 15300 is to enjoy the stillness of Jumbo's face without a sweep second hand. If you do go for the Jumbo, try to make sure you get one with a free sprung balance version of the movement - just a bit of icing on the cake.

As for the 15300, I may have it, but it may yet turn out to be just a case of beer goggles in the morning.


Speedmaster said...

My friend owned a Jumbo for some time up until recently. He loved the watch and the history of the movement.

I like some APs, respect the brand's history, but can't get into too many of their designs.

As far as Genta goes, I love most VC watches, Patek too. But I can't wam up to the design of the Nautilus.

Rowley Birkin QC said...

Ahhh beer goggles - reminds me of Match of the Day, down the pub, and then an evenings entertainment. Who can forget taking the Magic Bus home when wearing the beer goggles...only to be woken up in place you did not recognize. Only to be repeated the following week!

As an owner of the 15300, there are no beer goggles necessary. Simply beautiful and for once, it was nice to see a manufacturer get it exactly right. Love the piece.