In 1995, well after the Royal Oak had become an icon, Audemars Piguet launched a reference 14802ST to commemorate its 20th anniversary. Limited to 1000 pieces, this ‘Jubilee’ model was available in platinum, gold, and the steel we see here (this was back when limited editions weren’t multiples of 1000). The steel models, when worn properly, tend to develop a beautiful tropical patination. Even though they are still a relatively recent model, the Royal Oak Jubilee is well on its way to becoming a modern icon.
Aside from the jumbo 39mm case, the main difference in design was a ‘Cous de Paris’ large guilloche patterned dial and sapphire case back with a skeletonized gold rotor. The Royal Oak’s cal 2121 balance is particularly gorgeous and I love to be able to admire its heart beating here. Particularly when you notice there is no running seconds hand on the dial. If you want to double check that your engine is running, you need to glance the escapement. That’s unique to the Jubilee and although a bit strange, it seems to me an increasingly charming design choice.
Even though most steel models have a dial that will eventually go light, an evenly tropical hue is fairly rare. Particularly when combined with such a strong case condition (polished but lightly) and tight bracelet. There’s not much to criticize with such a unique piece, with its undeniable significant to mechanical watchmaking. Aside from perhaps the price, which is available on request (and likely to be substantial). But you get what you pay for here and it seems to me this is a market only moving upwards.
Find this tropical Jubilee 14802ST here from Momentum in Dubai.