There’s just something about a Royal Oak, isn’t there? Ask HODINKEE founder Ben Clymer and he’ll gladly tell you, “it’s the realest of the real when it comes to high-end sports watches.” Who am I to disagree with the realest of the real, declaring a watch to be the realest of the real? On the wrist, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak replica is just built different. Sure, other watches have integrated bracelets but not in the same way as the Royal Oak. For me, it’s how the bracelet beautifully tapers from the case to the elegantly signed “AP” clasp.
The last time you heard from us, I highlighted the Rolex Daytona while declaring myself to be a bit of a contrarian. Well, some contrarian I am by following up one of the most beloved watches ever with another GOAT release. As is the case with the Daytona, this blue dial copy Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 15500 Royal Oak reinforces the idea that these highly respected watches often earn that reputation because they’re actually that good.
Introduced to the high-end replica Audemars Piguet catalog in 2019, the ref. 15500 represents a major reworking of the 41mm three-hand-with-date Royal Oak. By that I mean this watch has a central seconds hand, unlike the more classic Royal Oak ref. 15202 “Jumbo” which lacks seconds indication altogether. In handling the Royal Oak we have here and studying the changes that were made in 2019, I understand what AP was going for and think they truly knocked it out of the park.
The main characteristic that I keep coming back to are the slightly smaller, when compared to the ref. 15202, hour markers. Paired with the larger case size and, thus, larger dial, these smaller applied hour markers leave room for the traditional “Grande Tapisserie” dial finish to breathe and offer a refreshed look within the Royal Oak lineup.
With an AP-boutique exclusive blue dial, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 15500 copy with stainless steel bracelet we have here takes all the history of the Royal Oak and builds on that while bringing a completely contemporary feel and look on the wrist. Head over to the Pre-Owned Shop for all the details.