Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Reference Guide
Ref. 5402ST (the first Royal Oak from 1972 – A Series)
Ref. 5402SA (two-tone)
Ref. 15202 (modern Jumbo)
Ref. 15400ST (41 mm Royal Oak)
The quickest way to identify an A-Series Royal Oak is by the placement of the “AP” insignia on the dial. All A-Series examples were made with the “AP” placed above 6 o’clock. Later Royal Oaks, including modern pieces, feature the AP logo at 12 o’clock. Early B Series watches, which typically date to around 1975, may also feature the AP at 6 o’clock. On occasion, you may find some late B series and even C series watches with the AP above 6 o’clock, but this would likely be a replacement dial provided during service. Also, an original A-Series dial should read “Swiss” below 6 o’clock. If the dial reads “Swiss Made”, it has likely been replaced.
On dials that read “Swiss Made” at the bottom, you often find luminescent markers that are considerably shorter and wider than those found on “Swiss” dials. The origins of these questionable dials are believed to stem from the former US distributor for Audemars Piguet during the 1970s. It is believed that these dials were shipped to the US distributor of AP to avoid having to send pieces back to Switzerland should they need a refresh. While they are likely authentic Audemars Piguet dials, the archetypal A-Series should read “Swiss” and feature long, thin luminescent markers.