Quintessential Modern QP: AP Royal Oak White 25820ST Perpetual
I have been accused once or twice of showing my vintage feed favoritism. This is perhaps fair, I do find myself drawn to bit a tritium, manual chronographage (that’s a word, just invented it), and acrylic crystal. However, I love modern watchmaking. An enduring favorite of mine within the genre is AP’s Royal Oak QP. The model is historically monumental, technically a complete masterpiece, and thoroughly bewitching. Though I’ve touched on many rare QPs recently, I’d like to take this opportunity to make the case for the basic (if there is such a thing), no-frills white QP.
Despite what you and Richard Mille may think, the Royal Oak is a sporting watch and the QP is the most technically impressive variation of that sporting subset. The entire conception of a steel haute horology model was invented within this lineage. People were appalled at AP’s audacity in the steel 5554. I have heard collectors attempt to exalt the superiority of the 5548 QP by saying this movement deserves a classic case. In my eye, that completely misses the point and charm of the complicated sports watch.
The ultra-thin JLC 920 derived caliber just fits in the 39mm case. AP are what they are today because not only do they make this feat of vertical-fittage work, they make it even thinner. This is all while applying the same level of dedication and finishing to the steel Royal Oak as the gold 5548. If one is going to contrast the world’s best watchmaking against a steel sports construction, I believe a pure white QP fulfills that most fully. Salmon, Yves Klein blue, and UAE teal are all available in this range. They’re good fun.
However, can you still remember back to when you first saw the Polar Explorer II? I’m sure for most of you, your first encounter with the striking white face and steel 24-bezel was decades ago. What I recall from that first glance was, “wow, white on steel feels very pure.” That’s what we have here: no fucking around with limited editions, no cheap gimmicks. Pure, modern, distilled QP (I will also make an exception for the “no tapisserie” grey dials a purest QP contender).
This example is lightly worn without much to show for it. The polished sections of the bezel appear clear of bangs and the only small sections of the brushed case and bracelet show any wear. Cases are numbered in this series but not limited. They are limited un-artificially, by difficult of production. As it should be in my eye. It comes with a full set and setting tool from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this white 25820ST here from Subdial for 77500 GBP.