The luxury fake Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 released in 2012 —to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak— is as close as it gets to owning the original Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 5402ST from 1972. Despite the lack of a monocoque case with a solid case back —as on the original Royal Oak Jumbo—, the Royal Oak Extra-Thin ‘Jumbo’ ref. 15202ST maintains almost the same very slender proportions of the original Jumbo and the same dial configuration with double-batons at 12 o’clock and ‘AP’ applied logo at 6.
This past Monday, March 29th, 2021 during the AP Social Club presentation of Audemars Piguet’s 2021 novelties, AP’s CEO François-Henry Bennahmias commented that reference 15202 would be discontinued as of 2022 and replaced by a new reference. Do we expect to see another swiss movement copy Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with a monocoque case construction to celebrate the year that marks its 50th anniversary? Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what AP has in store for such a milestone year, the year of the Royal Oak.
As soon as the news came out, a wave of watch collectors jumped to say that Audemars Piguet was following Patek Philippe’s move when the latter discontinued the Nautilus reference 5711 earlier this year. Let me clarify that the Royal Oak was released in 1972 and the Nautilus in 1976, so who follows who?
The king is dead, long live the king! The Swiss movements Audemars Piguet Royal Oak replica watches with blue dial changed the watch industry in 1972 and made stainless steel as luxurious as gold. At the time, not only Audemars Piguet was wandering into uncharted territory in a very risky move, but they were also desperately trying to save the company from going under. AP did what no other watch company had ever done by presenting an all-around luxury watch in stainless steel at the price of gold. The images below were taken during our last visit to the Audemars Piguet Museum in Le Brassus, Switzerland.
Considering that next year marks the biggest milestone in the history of the Royal Oak, it makes total sense for Swiss made fake Audemars Piguet to phase out one reference that has been around for almost two decades and bring something new to commemorate a watch that was advertised with some of the most epic taglines: “A Tribute to Steel”, “It Takes More Than Money to Wear the Royal Oak” and “Steel at the Price of Gold”.
As expected, the news had a huge impact on the secondary market prices that were already soaring the high $40Ks USD since the beginning of the year. With prices skyrocketing and finally reaching the six-figure mark —a first for any modern 1:1 copy Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’—, we now see that the reference 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 watches are selling/trading anywhere between the low $70Ks USD and as high as $105,000 USD.
As a reference, the Royal Oak ref. 15500ST is now selling in the secondary market for as high as $49K USD and the older reference 15202ST.OO.0944ST.03 —blue dial— selling for as high as $60K USD.
Without trying to be a mind reader or look at a crystal ball to predict the future, I have to ask you and myself two questions:
Will the release of the successor to the 15202 in 2022 will continue to impact pricing in the secondary market or is this as high as it will get for this reference moving forward?
Is the best fake Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 destined to become a grail investment-grade type of watch as the Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 5402ST?
All I know for now is that it is impossible to get a 15202ST at retail and even I have struggled to get one allocated by high quality replica Audemars Piguet. Should I venture into the secondary market and pay up the nose for one?