In 1972, luxury Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet released a new watch collection called the Royal Oak. The watch was designed for Audemars Piguet by a young jewelry and watch designer named Gerald Genta, who had been making rounds designing watches for a few other similarly positioned timepiece brands — and who would later go on to design the Patek Philippe Nautilus and several more watches, along with eventually creating his own eponymous brand.
The Royal Oak was a marine-themed luxury lifestyle watch inspired by Genta’s lifelong fascination with boats. What made boat design interesting to a generation of European-educated creatives such as Genta was their dual focus on utility and aesthetics. To be successful as a trophy boat, a vessel needed to not only exhibit elegant beauty in its design and materials but also needed to be engineered to perform as a craft to cross waters and protect lives. It follows, then, that the ethos of boat design in the mid-20th century would naturally in..Continue reading