The Best Audemars Piguet Watches for First-Time Buyers

Timepieces from Audemars Piguet combine classic designs with painstaking handcrafted movements. Accordingly, most of the brand’s luxury watches command up to six figures.

For budding collectors and those considering their first Audemars Piguet purchase, here are some options to consider.

Royal Oak Selfwinding

In the timepiece industry, manufacturers use the word “audacious” to describe their creations far too often. Although the design of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak watches may seem “safe” and tame rather than bold and daring by today’s standards, it was, indeed, the quintessence of an audacious timepiece when Audemars Piguet launched it in 1972. Back then, it was an immensely desired watch. Today, the Royal Oak continues its reign as a design icon, and it is undoubtedly the most well-known Audemars Piguet collection.

The sophistication and timelessness of timepieces from the Royal Oak Concept make them the perfect pick for new watch collectors. 

This design is popular among Hollywood celebrities, too. In the music industry, celebrated stars such as Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Travis Scott, and Jay-Z use Royal Oak watches extensively. In fact, Royal Oak watches have been Jay-Z’s preferred timepiece since 1997. He reportedly finds the complicated design more unique and fascinating compared to gigantic chains made of gold and embellished with diamonds. On many different occasions, the 22-time Grammy winner was spotted wearing Royal Oak Concept watches, including the renowned Tourbillon Chronograph.

Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Volcano

If the Royal Oak is iconic, then the Royal Oak Offshore is a contemporary sensation. Otherwise known as “ROO,” Offshores are Royal Oaks turned up to eleven. In modern times, the ROO seems natural or nothing out of the ordinary. However, when the concept was first pitched, it shocked even the management team of Audemars Piguet. Fortunately, the manufacturing of Offshores received a green light, and a new era for Royal Oak timepieces was born.

Sophisticated, fashionable, and accurate, Royal Oak Offshore watches emanate the dapper appearance and high-precision men like LeBron require when shooting hoops.

One of the most popular varieties of ROO is the Chronograph Volcano timepiece. A remarkable creation of its own kind, this watch integrates the timeless and classic octagonal bezel of Royal Oak with head-turning orange accents. Eight hexagonal screws secure the bezel on its 42mm stainless steel case. These top-quality screws help support the Sapphire crystal safeguarding the black “Méga Tapisserie” dial, as well as the inner bezel with the tachymeter scale.

Royal Oak Offshore Diver

Another highly sought-after variety is the Offshore Diver, which is an automatic timepiece mainly for dive enthusiasts. This model includes extraordinary features, including a rotating inner bezel with a diving scale. What’s more, the Offshore Diver watch is equipped with a 40-jewel calibre 3120 self-winding movement, which means it can reserve power for up to 60 hours.

Millenary 4101

The Millenary 4101 is Audemars Piguet’s modern interpretation of a classic dress watch. Similar to the Royal Oak Offshore, the attractive size and shape of the Millenary 4101’s case helps this luxury watch stand out from the rest.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the case of a Millenary timepiece may be the first thing that catches most people’s attention. The movement, however, is the true game changer. Unlike other shaped watches, the in-house caliber 4101 movement of a Millenary fits the case perfectly and follows its form flawlessly. Even though at first glance, the movement may be comparable to a so-called skeleton watch — it is not. No material was removed from other components to enhance the view. The small dials of a Millenary 4101 timepiece allows the wearer to enjoy the traditionally-finished movement beneath, and the stunning sapphire display on the back offers visual enjoyment from that often-neglected side as well.

Audemars Piguet designed the watch’s movement to achieve a deep, three-dimensional effect. The construction highlights the free-sprung balance at 3 o’clock, and Audemars Piguet inverted the escapement to enhance the view from the dial side. Moreover, the manufacture caliber 4101 has a 22K solid gold winding rotor spinning on ceramic bearings. Each part of the movement is, of course, handcrafted.

“These time-consuming operations by highly trained specialists contribute significantly to the cost of the watch,” according to WatchTime, America’s leading watch magazine. “The mainplate wears horizontal Côtes de Genève on the front and perlage, or circular graining, on the back. The bevels and countersinks are polished.”

Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph – 42 mm

In 2015, Audemars Piguet introduced a total of six new ROO models, and the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph was one of the most popular. The luxury timepiece has a 42mm x 14.21mm case with a slate gray “elephant” dial on a hand-stitched hornback alligator strap.

The collection paved the way to a handful of well-received updates. For one, Audemars Piguet replaced the rubber accents on the pushers and crown with black ceramic pieces. Consumers praised the new and improved Mega Tapisserie dials, and the snailed subdials helped add more texture.

One of the biggest surprises was on the other side of the case: sapphire display backs that provided a clear view of the caliber 3126 chronograph movement and its 22k gold winding rotor. The high-end timepiece’s movement features a cam-switching chronograph mechanism, as well as stop-seconds for precise time setting.

Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph – 44 mm

If you are searching for something a bit bigger and bolder than the 42 mm Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph, then consider the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph with a 44mm x 14.13mm case. This particular model retains the familiar black bezel, which Audemars Piguet fashioned from scratch-resistant ceramic. Sizeable rectangular pushers are in place of the smaller round pieces on the 42mm models. This model also features the sleek Mega Tapisserie dial, which white gold hands and hour markers complement. The broad tachymeter found at the outer edge of the dial allows you to calculate speed over a known distance.

Is Audemars Piguet Worth It?

Since Audemars Piguet’s debut in 1875, the Swiss manufacturer has continued revolutionizing its timepiece lineup with unparalleled designs that feature a blend of traditional craftsmanship, contemporary aesthetic, and world-class quality. If you are considering your first-ever Audemars Piguet purchase, then you can’t go wrong with the options mentioned in this article.

Luxury watches from Audemars Piguet are investment pieces, too. If you are on the other end of the spectrum and are looking to sell, Biltmore Loan and Jewelry would be glad to purchase your authentic Audemars Piguet watch for a fair price. Complete our online form now to request a free market appraisal.