Since the company's start in 1875 Audemars Piguet has stood among the best, with its early development of the 8-ligne minute repeater and its 1960's record breaking thin movement. But it is the Royal Oak that has become AP's most renowned watch. It was designed in 1972 by Gerald Genta, who's well-known skill has been used to create masterpieces for many other high end brands such as Patek Philippe, Omega, and IWC. The Royal Oak was a surprise success, carving out its niche as a luxury sports watch.
The Royal Oak got its name from three of Britain's Royal Navy's warships that sailed between 1802 and 1939. Its relationship to ships can be seen in the porthole shaped bezel, and its sporty design. In 1993 Audemars Piguet introduced the sturdier Royal Oak, the Offshore designed for the more extreme sports. The Offshore has raised the lines success to new levels. In 2003 the brand saw some of its greatest success when it sponsored the swiss racing yacht the Alinghi in the America's Cup race. Soon after AP released the Royal Oak City of Sails Chronograph to mark the success of Team Alinghi. Since then AP has also become involved in formula one racing and in 2004 honored juan pablo montoya with a limited edition piece followed in 2006 with a watch honoring Rueben Barrichello.
With the brands new success they have branched out in the world. Recently, several other limited edtion pieces have been created to honor the opening of boutique stores around the world, such as the Royal Oak Offshore Rue St-Honoré Limited Edition series of 100 . The Paris edition is a beautiful watch on a White Hornback crocodile strap with red, white and blue seams and stainless-steel AP folding clasp. The Royal Oak Offshore Ginza Limited Edition of 200 was created to celebrate the opening of the AP Boutique in the Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan.