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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 8638BA with service papers

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 8638BA with service papers

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Maker: Audemars Piguet
Model: Royal Oak
Reference: 8638BA
Year: 1977
Material: 18k Yellow Gold
Dimensions: 29 mm diameter, 8.1mm thickness
Lume: Yes
Crystal: Plexiglass
Caliber: Caliber 2062 automatic-winding movement
Service History: April 2023
Box/Papers: Service box and Audemars Piguet service papers

For over 140 years, Audemars Piguet has remained an independent and family-owned business. Throughout each era, the leaders have passed on the knowledge and expertise from their founders, Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet.

Jacqueline Dimier one of the preeminent female watch designers of the modern era joined the company in 1975. A graphic designer by training, prior to AP, she spent her formative years offering watch designs to Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Rolex. When she joined AP she was appointed as the in-house head of design and immediately tasked to make a ladies counterpart to the iconic Royal Oak launched by the brand four years earlier. Dimier reinterpreted Gerald Genta’s creation in a way that upheld its innovative and unmistakable character but added an element of lightness and femininity. The result was the 29mm Reference 8638, one of the first sport watches for women. It is worth noting that the 8638 was the first Royal Oak to have the white gold “AP” monogram at 12 o’clock. This key design element subsequently appeared on Model 8638 variants, on the latest generations of Model 540, as well as on countless future Royal Oak watches, starting with Model 4100. 

Presented in 1976, Reference 8638, was initially available only in steel. It was equipped with the small selfwinding Calibre 2062 (Rayville – LeCoultre blank) and it featured all the characteristics of the original Royal Oak. From 1977 onward, the ref 8638 was interpreted in two-tone and yellow gold versions. The first white gold version followed in 1978. Its total production run amounted to approximately 3,889 timepieces, mainly between 1976 and 1980.

The example we have here is the solid yellow gold version, the 8638BA. Its well worth noting that the 8638BA has the distinction of being the very first Royal Oak model produced in full 18k yellow gold. Prior to this, all Royal Oak's, whether it be women's or men's models, were made of stainless steel. According the Audemars Piguet archives, only 824 units of the 8638BA were produced.

Overall, this 8638BA is in excellent condition. As can be estimated from the serial, the watch was produced sometime in 1977. The 18k yellow gold case is very well preserved and has developed a beautiful gold patina. The original grey petite tapisserie dial has developed its own unique and attractive patina with a tropical pattern. Despite its aging, the dial is in excellent condition. The hands have been restored by AP during servicing. The dial, case, crown, movement, and bracelet are all signed by Audemars Piguet. The hallmarks on the case back are well defined and legible, as are the hallmarks on the bracelet and the inside of the clasp. The bracelet is in good condition with some light scratches consistent with the age of this watch. The bracelet has its full links and can fit up to a wrist size of 19cm or 7.5inches.

The watch was recently serviced by Audemars Piguet in April 2023 and is currently running at +6.2 seconds per day. The watch comes with a 2 year movement warranty (starting April 2023) from AP and comes with its service pouch and service papers.


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