This is a story regarding the restoration of a Royal Oak 'Jumbo' 5402SA. Our Editor and Publisher is the owner of this marvelous reference and grail piece. The watch under review circa 1978 is from the one and only batch of the two-tone Royal Oak Jumbos ever made. Actually, we just found out that only 951 pieces of this reference exist. The serial number of this watch under 300. We are talking here about a highly collectable and desirable Royal Oak. Due to the age of the watch and multiple owners outside of the final owner, the watch needed a major movement overhaul, a new dial —old dial was flaking and Audemars Piguet wouldn't service it without replacing it— and a serious bezel/case refreshing —the bezel was very rounded and so thin that the owner was told by Audemars Piguet that this was the last time it could be refinished.
Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus serviced this piece and it took almost six months. By the pictures, you can tell that it almost looks like new and to be quite honest, there is no one other than Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus to refinish a Royal Oak to its original appearance. Just pay attention to the chamfers, bezel and case.
The History Behind The Watch
This watch was first purchased back in 1998. At the time, this was our Editor's third Royal Oak 5402 Jumbo. The watch was in good shape and running strong. This was one of his favorite Royal Oaks and it was purchased during a very successful time in his career. After a couple of years of ownership, the watch was sold. In 2004, the watch was repurchased from the person that it was sold to but in terrible condition and not running anymore. After several weeks, a talented watchmaker brought it back to life. Two years later, our Editor sold the watch one more time. Fast forward to 2008, and that's when our Editor stumbled upon a for sale listing with pictures of a watch that looked exactly like the one he had let go for the second time—the flaking on the dial was so unique that he was almost 100% sure it was his old piece. Immediately, he emailed the seller and asked if the serial number on the watch was 2XX. The seller replied the following day and confirmed that indeed that was the number. As any other watchlifestyler would do, he decided to purchase the watch back one more time.
Finally, in 2012 with the watch still running, our Editor decided to finally get a full service to bring his precious possession back to mint condition. Today, the watch is fully restored and looking almost like new. All original parts including the dial where returned by Audemars Piguet. The final result of this restoration is just superb.
The last picture at the bottom is one of the watch before the major overhaul. BIG KUDOS to Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus.
This is what we call top notch restoration service! For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.