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Audemars Piguet Skeleton Watches

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Audemars Piguet Skeleton: Special model for the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak

The Audemars-Piguet skeleton watch – AP Skeleton for short – is a special model from the Royal Oak range. It was launched in 2012, on the occasion of the 40th birthday of that legendary steel watch with its distinctive porthole design. Limited to just 40 copies, the Royal Oak skeleton anniversary version is a true rarity among luxury watches. Within it is the firm's sophisticated 5122 movement, which has automatic winding and is extra flat, with a height of only 3.05 mm. It's fascinating to look inside the platinum case and witness the interaction of the different components and functions – a genuinely enchanting spectacle.

Cost of an Skeleton Watch

The Audemars Piguet Skeleton Price Check

The Swiss company manufactures its skeleton watches by hand, working exclusively with experienced specialists who are masters of their craft. Needless to say, hand-engraved details and filigree work come at a price. You should expect to pay around £55,000 for an Audemars Piguet skeleton stainless steel model. This can rise up to £64,000 for other options such as the Audemars Piguet skeleton in rose gold and the Audemars Piguet skeleton with frosted finish. Also, special models like the Audemars Piguet skeleton iced out will always be at a premium. Or for a more affordable deal that can save you several thousand pounds, try looking at the pre-owned market. Whether you buy new, used or vintage, we'll give you a 24-month CHRONEXT guarantee for absolute peace of mind on every watch.

The Mechanics of AP Skeleton Watches

Like hardly any other manufacturer, Audemars Piguet are masters of the art of skeleton watches. Since the 1970s, this Swiss company from the village of Le Brassus has had its own department dedicated to the manufacture of these spectacular timepieces.

The interior of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak skeleton watch is a delight for horology enthusiasts thanks to its sophisticated complications, and even an untutored eye is sure to be stunned by the filigree workmanship, whether it's the one-sided spring barrel or the winding rotor in gold embossed with the words “AP Royal Oak 1972-2012".

The watch features the "tapestry" motif standard on all Royal Oak dials. The octagonal porthole shape with the distinctive screws has also been retained in the new edition, seamlessly channelling the cult appeal of the original.

Historical Review

Skeleton Watches, a Trend with a Long Tradition

The New York stock market crash of 1929 Wall affected the high quality luxury watch business around the world. In the Great Depression of the 1930s, watchmakers looked back to the craftsmanship of the 18th century and increasingly focused on skeleton watches as an eye-catching novelty.

When precise, easy to make quartz timepieces flooded the market in the 1970s, luxury watchmakers again turned to the skeleton watch. Putting a movement's intricate interior functions on display was a way of highlighting the beauty of traditional workmanship. Shortly after the quartz crisis, manufacturers such as Patek Philippe and Jaeger-LeCoultre began to invest heavily in skeleton watches. It was at this time too that Audemars Piguet founded an entire department dedicated to their manufacture.

For around 20 years, skeletonised watches enjoyed a heyday. They conveyed a feeling of luxury and exclusivity, thanks to their painstaking hand-craftsmanship, combined with the almost baroque appearance of their exposed mechanisms. In many cases, these pieces were also showcases for other decorative skills, such as enamelling, engraving and gem-setting. Yet despite this popularity, craftsmen truly skilled in this work remain scarce. Even today, Audemars Piguet is one of the few manufacturers with complete command of this hugely complex process.

It's that simple

Watch Sales at CHRONEXT

Would you like to sell your skeleton watch? No problem! Our team will be happy to advise you on your options and help you find the best possible deal. You can reach us by phone, email or via live chat. Alternatively, fill out our online form for an estimate of your AP Skeleton timepiece.