Cream Dial 25594ST Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Day Date
For all the collectability that surrounds the cream dial 16550 Explorer II, you’d imagine a cream dial Royal Oak would see drastically more furor. After all, it was AP’s loyalists who practically burned Bennahmias at the stake, deservedly so, for the Code 11.59 release. One would imagine there would be particularly eager attention when cream dials are mostly seen on ref. 25594 or 25572, the mildly complicated RO Day Date with and without moonphase, respectively. But it’s not so; yet. Perhaps it’s because it’s already a waffle dial, or petite tapisserie for the nerds, and who needs cream when you have waffles? The Royal Oak Day Date has proven a slow burn, one which has only seen scholarship and serious interest in the last couple years following the overall increase in neo-vintage interest. And digging deep around it yields much left for us to uncover. Why? That’s a bit tricky. . .
This ref. 25594 was introduced in ’84 and was one of the most successful designs of neo-era AP, in production longer than any other Royal Oak, from 1985 until ’06. That said, over 20 years 6534 examples were made. Of those, just under half are in steel, the other half mostly split between bimetal and yellow gold. Interestingly, there are just 19 in white gold and a sole example in rose gold sold in Spain in 1997. Neither of the rarest two golds have ever surfaced at auction. Of the 3131 steel examples, you’ll see blue dials more than white, and pure white far more than cream (which is just white with UV-induced patina, not a separate production) in the market. The point I’m making here is that, actually, these may not be quite as common as overall production figures would have one believe.
Perhaps more importantly, though, there’s nothing else like it. The Nautilus didn’t get a Day Date until 2010, but only as part of an Annual Calendar. The Overseas comes in retrograde date or all-out QP. Rolex’s Day-Date is an institution, but not integrated nor sporting. No, the 25594 is Run-DMC in watch format. The Queens trio made hip hop, full stop. When you try something bravely new and it works, you’re in a class of one. The 25594 and Run-DMC both enjoyed years of total uniqueness, each with nothing else remotely like it in existence. Coincidence that Run-DMC and the 25594 were created in ’83? I think not. Now do the decent thing go listen to It’s Tricky, because it will be to grab one of these in the coming decade and that’s how a proper morning starts.
This example is in great overall condition. It’s a tritium dial with little to no visible damage. The cream tone is a patina that develops over time, this one is on the lighter side but it’s definitely present. The case has great bevels and may just be untouched. It comes from a well-regarded Dutch retailer.