On November 10th, 2018, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25721ST ‘The Beast’ belonging to Emmanuel Gueit —the designer that designed the original Royal Oak Offshore— was sold at the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction EIGHT. Setting an all-time high for any stainless steel Royal Oak Offshore sold at auction and especially for the very first and original model reference 25721ST a.k.a ‘The Beast’, his watch sold for CHF 102,500 Swiss Francs including buyer’s premium —$102,600 USD.
One of the very first examples produced of this first Royal Oak Offshore reference, his watch was rare in many ways. First, it is part of the first 100 examples produced where there is no ‘Offshore’ designation on the case back and only ‘Royal Oak’ is engraved. Additionally, his was number 39 which is one of the earliest examples of the Royal Oak Offshore to appear on the international auction market. Lastly, his watch didn’t have the correct clasp. If you want to know more about this reference and the subtle nuances between different examples from the D-series and E-series as well as about the correct folding ‘blade-type’ clasp on the first 500 Royal Oak Offshores, just click on either of the articles below.
Even though Emmanuel Gueit’s watch had no box or papers as he claims that it was given to him straight from a watchmaker’s bench by Stephen Urquhart the CEO of Audemars Piguet at the time, the availability of box and papers will drastically affect pricing, especially if the watch has the correct box that features a glass porthole like the one below on the first 500 examples ever made. Later examples have a similar box but with a solid leather top instead of glass.
Of all examples we've studied in the past, there are no Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25721ST 'The Beast' that fall within the F-series production timeline; therefore, we can fairly assume that the production of this reference with this particular dial had already been halted by then and replaced by the launch of the 'Themes' Royal Oak Offshore line with reference 25721ST.OO.1000ST.09 and reference 26020ST circa 2003-2004.
Per our research, production of the Royal Oak Offshore reference 25721ST 'The Beast' started in the D-20000s and only a total of approximately 1,250 pieces fall within the D-serial production period, making these examples more coveted. Of course the first 500 watches are extremely more rare and special, especially if they are unmarked or if they have the blade-type clasp.
If you find a Royal Oak Offshore reference 25721ST within the first 500 pieces ever made and the bracelet doesn't have this type of blade clasp, is very likely that the clasp was replaced by the seller to either make extra money in the future or because it got damaged from wear and it was replaced at service. Any early example —case serial No. up to 500— without this clasp, should command a lesser price, even if the watch comes from the first unmarked 100 pieces. A correct example should have all special elements present to maintain its future value untouched.
Regardless of its production date, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25721ST 'The Beast' was equipped with blue 'therban' pushers and crown. The pushers and crown are wrapped with a rubber-like material developed by Dupont called 'therban'. This material, is a high performance elastomer that is fireproof to very high temperatures. Unfortunately, some examples of 'The Beast' that have been serviced will have black or blue rubber clad black pushers and crown.
With Emmanuel Gueit’s Royal Oak Offshore ‘The Beast’ being sold in excess of six figures for $102,600 USD, the pricing for ‘The Beast’ has severely changed from what we posted over two years ago on our extensive and comprehensive guide of this AP reference. And just as it happens with A-series Royal Oak Jumbos ref. 5402 or any other highly collectible watch, the nuances between early and latter examples of a particular reference will have a direct impact on pricing.
Additionally, watches that are 'correct' as well as watches with boxes and papers will command even higher prices. While earlier examples of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01 a.k.a. 'The Beast' will command higher prices than latter examples, the pricing of 'all correct' early examples will always be exponentially higher than that of an early example missing certain attributes that should've been present on the watch to be considered 'all correct'.
To make things easier on sellers and buyers, here's a pricing guide based on what we've seen across collectors purchasing or selling the D-Series and E-Series 25721ST in the past two months including examples offered for sale after Emmanuel Gueit’s watch was sold. Prices are estimated based on market conditions, prices paid by collectors, auction results, and listings across Watch fora including Chrono24 amongst others.
Price ranges vary depending on the condition of the watch and the availability of box and papers. Of course lower case numbers or cases with serial numbers with triple eights or double eights —good fortune in Chinese culture— will command higher prices.
Unmarked Examples: D-Serial with Cases No. 1 thru 100
All Correct including blade-type clasp. Full Set with box and papers — $65,000+ USD
All Correct missing blade-type clasp. Full Set box and papers — $60,000-62,000 USD
Missing correct pushers. Full Set with box and papers — $58,000-62,000 USD
Missing blade-type clasp and correct pushers. Full Set with box and papers — $58,000-60,000 USD
Marked Examples: D-Serial with Cases No. 101 thru 500
All Correct including blade-type clasp. Full Set with box and papers — $58,000-60,000 USD
All Correct missing blade-type clasp. Full Set box and papers — $55,000-56,000 USD
Missing correct pushers. Full Set with box and papers — $45,000-48,000 USD
Missing blade-type clasp and correct pushers. Full Set with box and papers — $42,000-43,000 USD
Marked Examples: D-Serial with Cases No. 500 thru 1,000
All Correct. Full Set with box and papers — $42,000-45,000 USD
Missing correct pushers. Full Set with box and papers — $38,000-40,000 USD
Marked Examples: E-Serial
All Correct Full Set with box and papers — $37,000-40,000 USD
Note: Deduct anywhere between $2,000-3,000 USD for lack of box and/or papers.
Any example that is ‘correct’ and that is selling below these prices should be considered a ‘steal’ or a watch that requires further examination. As we always say, do your homework and check for every single detail and nuance we’ve made reference to on our comprehensive guide which you can check here.
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