Assouline's coffee table book "Royal Oak: From Iconoclast to Icon" follows the remarkable path of Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak, which caused a sensation in 1972 with its groundbreaking design. This watch, with its hand-finished stainless steel case and the thinnest self-winding mechanical movement of its time, has garnered worldwide admiration in subsequent decades. It is a story of innovation, culture and the timeless appeal of craftsmanship.
A new era in watchmaking
For the first time, steel was elevated to the same status as gold. Inspired by the profound cultural, artistic and industrial changes of the 1960s and early 1970s, this progressive watch anticipated a more active yet more casual lifestyle. It marked the beginning of a new era in high-end watchmaking, merging sportiness and sophistication.
From maverick to cultural phenomenon
Although the Royal Oak was an outlier at birth, it quickly found an audience among free-spirited youth who recognized its bold combination of technological advancement and ancestral craftsmanship. Since then, the Royal Oak has been a canvas of innovation, in conversation with art, music, architecture and sports. Today it is more than a watch; it is an enduring object in a world of impermanence, embodying the creative freedom and youthful spirit of those who helped write its story.
The Coffee Table Book: A Cultural History
The book presents the history of the Royal Oak from a broader cultural perspective, shedding light on new archival material discovered by Audemars Piguet's Heritage department, along with exclusive testimonials from longtime friends of the brand. The lively text is illustrated with images from six decades of pioneering art, architecture, fashion, music and cultural history, paralleling the evolution of this groundbreaking watch beloved by innovative tastemakers and influential celebrities around the world.
Generation Royal Oak: The voice of a movement
Bill Prince also gives voice to what he calls "Generation Royal Oak," a group of watch connoisseurs who came of age after the watch's launch and whose accomplishments reflect the global, cultural movement it inspired. This group includes notable names such as Kevin Hart, Bjarke Ingels, Elle Macpherson, Mark Ronson, Serena Williams and Ning Zetao.
Title: Royal Oak: From Iconoclast to Icon
Author: Bill Prince
Size: 320 x 383 x 47 mm
Size: 292 pages
Weight: 4.7 kg