Wrist Game or Crying Shame: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial

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Wrist Game or Crying Shame: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial Will You Fall into Line with this Oddity for 13,490 Euros? by Michael StocktonJanuary 08, 2020 MIN READWrist Game or Crying Shame: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial

Welcome back to Wrist Game or Crying Shame, the weekly series that aims to make all of your New Year’s Resolutions come true! This week, we take a look at the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial.

Can you believe it was something like three weeks ago that we were last here on Wrist Game or Crying Shame? That’s so last decade that I can’t even recall what the heck we were discussing. Thankfully, through the futuristic powers of the internet, I used the search function on the Fratello page and found that we last looked at the Genta-penned IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo from back in the ’70s. You guys must have been riding that sweet stock market spike during that article’s publishing because you saw it to an inspiring 71% Wrist Game win! Well done, IWC! Well, guess what? We’re back this week with yet another design that, at least in its original form, came from the mind of Gerald Genta. We’re talking about a watch from the turn of another decade — actually millennium — with the 2000s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial!

If you’ve ever heard that saying “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken,” I think that might describe today’s Wrist Game candidate: The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial. Back in 2000 or so, it was apparent that AP wasn’t content with producing relatively sleek and understated Royal Oaks. Wait, stop. We know this because they introduced that Offshore back in 1993. So let’s start again. Around the turn of the century, it seemed that AP was no longer satisfied with producing somewhat sleek Royal Oak timepieces that weren’t chronographs. Ah, that’s better. And so they set about introducing the model that is today’s focus.

Now, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial gets its name from the fact that it contains blocky white Arabic numerals radially festooned around its dial. Only the 3 o’clock marker is absent because of the required date window. We all tend to like stark black and white dialed watches with some bold numerals on them, but I’ve always found this one to be like John Lewis on Boxing Day, which is, in a word, rammed. Part of that is likely because reference 14790ST comes in at 36mm in diameter. So, no, this isn’t a so-called 39mm “Jumbo” that will gain you entrance into all sorts of questionable social groups. But hey, we like robust 36mm steel watches like the Rolex Explorer, don’t we?

Now regarding the nickname of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial — meaning, the Military part — let’s not blame AP for that. It could well be the work of influencers or hopeful resellers — hey, sometimes they’re even one and the same! But the moniker has sadly stuck, and if you’ll excuse me, the thought of a military Royal Oak is about as fathomable as a Navy Seal going black ops in one of those hideous Versace printed silk shirts. That would end up being rather FUBAR indeed…

Nonetheless, we know that AP makes a good watch, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial is likely no exception. Despite its appealing (to me) but unpopular 36mm case, these watches were available on that famous bracelet, and you even get those confounding “screws” in the bezel. And despite lume that looks like something from Seiko, and loud branding that reminds me of a similar vintage Hamilton Khaki, you know you’re wearing a Royal Oak. Also, note the lume-filled hands and the arrow-tipped sweep seconds hand; they’re something a bit different.

Inside the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial, we have the caliber 2225 automatic, which is based on the JLC 889. Don’t fret, though. Many high-end brands such as AP and Patek relied on JLC movements for their sportier watches during the ’70s. Some still do. Oh, and if you think that the JLC 889 sounds familiar, you can find it in such watches as the IWC Mark XII. That watch and, no surprise here, the AP have a reputation for being cantankerous due to their supposedly delicate movements. No one said luxury was easy!

But if you’re worried about servicing your Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial, perhaps things will come running smoothly on today’s example from Schloß Holte, Germany (I had to look it up – it’s not too far from Paderborn!) via Chrono24. This piece comes to us with Wempe service papers from both 2011 and 2015. The watch dates from 2000, so who knows if it’s seen more service! But the good thing is that the watch dealer gives you another 12 months of warranty. And with that, you get a no-dicker sticker of 13,490 Euros (for those unfamiliar with American used car colloquialisms, that means no negotiating!). You don’t get the box nor the papers included in that price, but this RO looks to be in nice shape aside from a bit of lume degradation on a couple of pips.

I have to say that I’ve been a bit negatively biased on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Military Dial, and I hope I haven’t influenced your vote. Perhaps it’s all the silly Instagram shots I see of this watch that are trying their utmost to tell me that this watch is the next big thing. Let’s see how you feel…

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About the author

Michael Stockton

Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became… read more

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