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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. 26331ST

There is already so much to love about the Royal Oak design, so when it comes to variations of the looks whether it be via different complications or sizes, the watch in question is already off to a great start. Such is the case with this model, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph ref. 26331ST.

Like all Royal Oaks, one of the primary draws of the watch is its iconic case shape. The chronograph measures 41mm in diameter, sizing somewhere just between a classic time and date Royal Oak and an Offshore, with its famed octagonal shape made even sportier with the addition of two chronograph pushers. As a result of its integrated bracelet, it is worth noting the watch does wear slightly larger than its diameter may have you think though, sized more similarly to a traditional non-integrated watch that might be measured at 43mm.

The case otherwise features what Audemars Piguet is known best for in its superb quality of finishing. Beveled edges, extremely sharp satin and mirror polishing adding to an incredibly refined contrasting look, and the seamless execution and construction of the case’s steel make up the bulk of the appeal, with a wrist roll quickly explaining visually why so many have loved the Royal Oak since its '70s debut.

On the dial, a Grande Tapisserie texture provides the background to the unique chronograph configuration, the primary distinction of the style being in its contrasting silver registers to the otherwise black colorway. Outside of the chronograph elements, the watch is fully Royal Oak, with applied and lume filled hour markers, signature hands, and once again the extremely fine execution fans of the brands have come to love.

Inside the chronograph is Audemars Piguet's caliber 2385, a well-regarded mechanism used extensively within the history of the collection. The movement is based upon the Frédéric Piguet 1185, and features a vertical clutch and 40-hour power reserve, while being protected via an engraved solid steel octagonal case back.
The pride and joy of watch collections around the world, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the definitive luxury sport watch. We won't bore you with all the details surrounding its genesis at the hands of Gérald Genta in 1972, but if there's one thing to take away from its origin, it's this: Often imitated, never duplicated, there's nothing quite like a Royal Oak on the wrist. It's even fair to say that the popularity of the Royal Oak - distributed equally among enthusiast circles and the Jet Set - kickstarted the integrated stainless steel sport watch trend that's taken over 21st century watch design.

The name "Royal Oak" came from a historical tree in England where King Charles II hid from Cromwell's army in 1651. That tree ended up saving King Charles' life and became a historic political English symbol. The name was applied to no fewer than four British naval ships between 1769 and 1914, which is where the wristwatch comes into play. The octagonal bezel was inspired by the porthole of a naval ship, hence the name Royal Oak. Additionally, Audemars Piguet liked the name because of its "royal prestige and longevity."

This model, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph ref. 26331ST, is just one part of this storied history. Launched in 2017 on the 20th anniversary of the original Royal Oak Chronograph debuted in 1997, the series replaced the 2012-introduced design most importantly via its updated two-tone dials in comparison to the previous monochromatic look. This change more directly recalled the history of the '90s launched series, and importantly further helped distinguish its watches within the wide range of offerings included in Audemars Piguet's catalog.

This particular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph is in overall excellent pre-owned condition, which indicates that there are signs of very light wear, possibly some small scratches on the case or bracelet. The case and bracelet have been professionally refinished. During our quality control check, any necessary adjustments are made to ensure the watch is functioning as intended. The dial is in excellent condition. The caseback is marked with the serial number "K01XXX."
Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet founded Audemars, Piguet et Cie, in 1875. To this day, members of the two families remain on the Audemars Piguet board of directors, making the brand one of the oldest family-run companies in the entire Swiss watch industry. Located in Le Brassus, Switzerland, since its inception, Audemars Piguet is considered one of Swiss watchmaking's Holy Trinity and is one of the most popular brands in all of contemporary watch collecting. The designer Gérald Genta created the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet in 1972, and today, the classic sport watch with an integrated bracelet has become one of the most collectible watches from any brand.

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