I understand, tagging a 5548 as a value proposition is a bit absurd but hear me out. Any watch, regardless of price level, has the potential to become a value if listed below the market. That’s precisely what we have here. And the watch in question is an appreciating fan favorite of the dedicated modern AP historian. If you see a 5548 in the wild, that person knows their watches: point blank. So value proposals aside, why is this thing so revered?
AP’s first Perpetual Quantieme, the 5548, was conceived in secrecy during the height of Switzerland’s quartz crisis. At the time, the marque was struggling and contemplating leaning more on quartz for future models. Three senior watchmakers within AP (Michel Rochat, Daniel Golay, and Wilfred Berney) developed an ultra-thin perpetual calendar movement that would become an icon. They feared executives would not allow spending on development and so spent extra hours in this passion project. Their foresight and determination placed Audemars Piguet in a position of watchmaking prowess when mechanical luxury returned to dominance. It may be a mild hyperbole to state that this reference saved AP from the crisis. But it was certainly one of handful of watches to play a major role in resurrecting AP. This reference inexorably tethered AP to the perpetual calendar in the minds of many collectors, a complication which AP still commands today.
Along with under-market valuation comes relatively shit photography. This is no surprise to the seasoned hunter, these things walk hand-in-hand. I am not an expert in the 5548 but at a casual investigation I see nothing major out of place. There is a small bit of degradation around the moon-phase complication noted but it’s not serious. The case is sharp, it’s an early B series, and it even features the coveted Swiss only dial. It comes as a naked watch from a private party.
Find this 5548 here on Chrono24 for 22500 USD.