Shortly after the 5402 graced the world with its presence, AP experimented with a few variations on the theme. Out of this early/mid 80s era came many of the iconic complicated Royal Oak offerings we revere today. However, the very first complicated offering to feature in AP’s midsized 36mm case was this ref. 25572. Unlike the jumbo case which debuted the perpetual calendar and chronograph offerings, the midsized approach was more discreet. This 25572 debuted AP’s approach to a sporting Day-Date, one which featured two clean and minimal registers. Many have not seen or heard of this reference in 36mm, as it was produced for only a few years and discontinued. Today, it more commonly goes by ‘The Owl’.
This reference represents the earlier productions characteristically, with a flat Audemars Piguet signature, unsigned crown, and lumeless Petite Tapisserie. The dial was executed in a warm cream tone, perfectly accenting the gold case and likely by Stern no less. The two oversized calendar counters which gave this reference its name have a tendency to oxidize over time and that process is only just beginning on this example. Interestingly, both lumed and non-lumed hands have been observed in this reference with no correlation to time of production. This may be a servicing artifact not well documented, however.
A huge part of the charm of this reference are in equal parts the lack of hype and extreme specificity. Everyone will know and recognize the Rolex Day-Date approach. Even many seasoned AP people will not be certain just what this dial is doing in a 36mm case. Moreover, there is the degree of practicality added by the automatic calibre 2224/2825 (JLC derived) with rapid-advance setting and usefulness of the Day-Date itself. It is worth noting that the fully integrated gold case tends to wear a bit more like a 37 or 38, as most Royal Oaks view larger than measurements suggest. Overall production numbers are not known, but great examples such as this are not an easy hunt.
This example has a beautiful case and bracelet, likely never polished. Its dial is unmarred by time, only in developing deeper cream tone than many we see. Its bracelet is said to have minimal stretch and comes with 22 links. It comes with a vintage AP box as a naked watch from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Royal Oak Day Date here from Voys Timeless for 43500 EUR.