‘Ferrari’ Red 14790ST Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Through both a design and historic lens, the 14790 is perhaps the truest iteration of the mid-sized Royal Oak. After introduction taking over from the first ref. 4100 in 1992, it remained in production longer than any other mid-sized Royal Oak to date. This open window allowed for a huge degree of variants to emerge over three series, perhaps the most diverse Royal Oak reference to date. Amongst the most highly collected are the famed three vibrantly colored dials: Yves Klein blue, bright citrus yellow, and this outrageous ‘Ferrari’ red.
Amongst that trio, this bright red and lemon yellow are the least common, with just a handful of examples having ever come to market. Both exist only within the third series of steel 14790 cases, produced from about 2000 to 2005 and distinguished easily for their shorter hour markers and enlarged tapisserie pattern. Still in use, AP’s ultra-thin 2225, a JLC 889 ébauche which allowed for a then-razor-high 7.5mm rise.
It is somewhat incredible that this bold dial was ever produced by the famously reserved AP. Perhaps more interestingly, its origin is not yet fully clear. Some have speculated that the precise Ferrari-red tone is more than coincidence, a small order placed by a high-up exec or collector for close friends only. This theory is somewhat supported by that fact that many of these red 14790s which still have their papers originated from Milan, a stone’s throw from Modena. Yet, not all originated there. It is possible that a few VVIP Italian collectors asked nicely for a red Royal Oak and AP obliged in small numbers distributed worldwide. Whatever the case, fewer than 10 of these are known to the market with the most recent having gone under the hammer at Sotheby’s May Gevena auctions this year (thank you to @jonbinla for the correction).
This example has a full case with only the lightest visible surface wear at the extremities of its polished bezel section. The all-important dial is simply without fault. It comes without papers from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Red 14790ST here from The Keystone for 100000 USD.