6 Best Audemars Piguet Watches to Buy in 2023
6 Best Audemars Piguet Watches to Buy in 2023
There are many reasons to own a luxury watch like the Audemars Piguet. Apart from standing out in a room and making a luxury statement, many experts consider them surefire pieces to retain and grow in value.
However, all AP watches are not created equal. You must understand the market and its trends to make the right pick. That’s why we’ve handpicked six options for you.
Six of the best Audemars Piguet watches to buy in 2023 include the Custom Diamond Set Royal Oak Dual Time Rose Gold, Royal Oak 37mm Steel 15450ST, Royal Oak Chronograph Rose Gold Custom Diamond Set with White Dial, Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm Custom Diamond Set, and more.
In this article, we review these six watches and provide the advantages of custom diamond watches. We also dive into why an Audemars Piguet watch is a good investment.
1. Custom Diamond Set Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time Rose Gold
The Audemars Piguet 26120OR model is part of the top-of-the-line Royal Oak collection. This Custom Diamond Set Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time Rose Gold blends the classic octagonal Royal Oak bezel with VS1 high-quality and high-clarity diamonds.
The underlying piece comes in a rose gold (or pink gold) case, a black alligator leather strap, and a folding clasp in the same color as the casing.
One of the most eye-catching features of the Royal Oak Dual Time model is the black dial equipped with the glorious AP “Grande Tapisserie” pattern.
Some of the outstanding complications and features of this model include:
- Power reserve indicator (up to 38-40 hrs power reserve)
- Dual time zone
- Day and night indicator
- Date indicator
- Automatic-self winding movement
- 50-meter water resistant (Not recommended to swim with, though)
This gem is accompanied by a Time4Diamonds presentation box, a Time4Diamonds certificate, and a 12-month warranty.
The AP royal oak rose gold dual time model is a desirable piece among many enthusiasts, making them a valuable addition to any watch collection.
As of 2023, the Audemars Piguet 26120OR model is priced at around £35,335, while the Custom Diamond Set Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time Rose Gold retails at £39,995.
2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 37mm Steel 15450ST.OO.1256ST.02
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak - Image via The Watch Club
A steel AP watch is one of the best at retaining its value. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 37mm Steel 15450ST.OO.1256ST.02 falls into this category.
The AP 15450ST model is a monochromatic design that stands out. This timepiece has a fixed stainless-steel bezel with the classic octagonal bezel and obvious screws of the Swiss watchmaker’s Royal Oak line.
It features a Ruthenium-toned dial with the iconic “Grande Tapisserie” pattern and stainless steel bracelet with a double fold-over clasp. The white gold applied hour-markers are also embellished with a luminescent coating.
The case is 37mm in diameter and 9.8 mm thick. Additional features of this monochromatic model include:
- Water resistance: 50 meters (165 feet)
- Automatic-self winding movement powered by the caliber 3120
- 60-hour power reserve
- 3.00 HZ frequency
- Sapphire crystal glare-proofed case back
- Date functionality
This 2017 beauty is still in mint condition and accompanied by its original Audemars Piguet box, original 2017 AP papers, and 12 months warranty.
There’s consistent hype for stainless steel luxury watches. They remain one of the most sought-after gems. Buying one is a prudent business. A similar product, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo ExtraThin, has more than doubled in price between 2020 and now.
The current price of a mint pre-owned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 37mm Steel 15450ST.OO.1256ST.02 is £34,995.
3. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Rose Gold Custom Diamond Set with White Dial
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26320OR is a luxurious and practical timepiece with similar features to the classic Audemars design.
Its silver-toned or gray dial beautifully contrasts the suave appearance of the AP watch rose gold bracelet and case.
The custom Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Rose Gold is practically the same as the 26320OR but adorned with high-clarity VS1 round diamonds.
This mint gem features a diamond-paved dial instead of the original “Grande Tapisserie” pattern. The case is also fitted with the same premium hand-picked diamonds.
Some of the additional features of this custom Audemars Piguet timepiece include:
- Classic Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating
- Folding clasp
- Chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds, date functions
- 40-hour power reserve
- Self-winding mechanism
- 50-meter water resistant
- Pink-gold applied hour markers
- Glare-proofed sapphire crystal
The custom Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Rose Gold comes with its original AP box and 2013 papers.
The pre-owned plain Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Rose Gold 26320OR model retails at £78,786, and the Custom Diamond Set with White Dial currently sits at £84,995.
4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm Custom Diamond Set
This AP Royal Oak Chronograph design features a sleek stainless steel case and bracelet for that underrated stylish feel.
The white/silver dial with a tapisserie pattern further enhances the contemporary look of the watch.
This timeless timepiece has been custom-fitted with brilliant round diamonds on the 41 mm case. It also comes in a Time4Diamonds presentation box and with Time4Diamonds papers. Buyers also enjoy a 12-month warranty.
Additional desirable features of the custom Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm with fitted diamond set include:
- 40-hour power reserve
- Chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds, date functions
- White gold applied hour-markers
- Double-fold clasp
- Automatic winding mechanism with 2385 caliber
- 50-meter water resistance
This AP Royal Oak Chronograph 26320ST has shown strong price growth in the last few years. The AP Royal Oak price has been on an uptrend since 2015. Between May 2020 and May 2022, the price jumped by 149%.
Expect to invest about £38,995 to own this custom Royal Oak Chronograph model.
5. Custom Diamond Set Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Steel Watch
This Custom Diamond Set Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch augments the AP Royal Oak 26400SO design with VS1 diamonds.
It features a custom diamond set that adorns the stainless steel case and buckle clasp for a true statement piece. The dial is equally diamond-paved, an upgrade on the previous silver “Grande Tapisserie” design.
This design comes with a blue rubber bracelet and AP Royal Oak black ceramic bezel material for that luxury sports watch feel. With a high water resistance level, this custom AP design is appropriate for recreational water sports like swimming, sailing, and surfing.
- Additional features of this gem include:
- Automatic-self winding mechanism
- Date, chronograph, small Seconds, and tachymeter functions
- 60-hour power reserve
- 100-meter resistant
- Luminescent-filled hour markers
Leveling up with this 2019 custom just-as-new timepiece will currently cost you about £31,995. The plain version retails at £24-25,000+. It comes with a Time4Diamonds presentation box and Time4Diamonds papers, and Time4Diamonds 12 months warranty.
On top of its aesthetic appeal, the AP Royal Oak Offshore is a smart investment. Between May 2020 and August 2022, its price rose by approximately 42%.
6. Custom Diamond Set Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 42mm Black Dial
This unique and exquisite customized AP Royal Oak diamond men’s watch is a testament to exceptional craftsmanship.
High-quality diamonds adorn the case, bezel, and clasp of the piece. The dial is partially covered with diamonds, with the bulk of the space retaining its iconic black “Grande Tapisserie” detail.
Complications on this particular gem include chronograph, date display, and small seconds functions.
Other exciting features of this custom Diamond Set Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 42mm Black Dial piece include:
- 100-meter water resistant
- Self-winding automatic movement
- Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
- Steel fold clasp
The uncustomized preowned version costs between £16,000 and £22,000, but this diamond-customized Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore design retails at approximately £23,000.
As the other AP models mentioned above, this design has enjoyed a steady price uptrend in recent years. Its value grew by 30-40% between 2020 and 2022.
Why are custom Audemars Piguet diamond watches so unique?
Every Audemars Piguet watch and design is inherently unique. The Swiss-based company is renowned for its impeccable craftsmanship and watchmaking expertise. This expertise allows it to churn out distinctive watch models.
Customizations allow users to add a personal touch to an already unique piece. Users can imprint their style and preferences to create a truly exclusive piece. This process ensures no two watches are alike, even if the base model is the same.
Users can choose which type of diamond they want, the areas of the watch they want to embellish with diamonds, and the kind of bracelet or band they want to use. Users can further add other personal expressions, including adding engravings.
As such, custom Audemars Piguet diamond watches tell stories and may hold sentimental value.
What is custom diamond watches’ resale value?
The most appropriate answer to this question is that it depends on the timepiece.
Many factors determine a custom diamond watch's resale value. The first factor is the diamonds on the timepiece.
Here, we are talking about quality, size, cut, color, and diamond grading. If the diamond is of low quality, the resale value will be low. The resale value will be higher if it's high quality, like the VS1 diamonds we use at Time4Diamonds.
The demand for the base watch is also an important factor. If the base watch is in high demand, there's a high chance the diamond-crested version will have good value in the resale market.
The AP Royal Oak concept is incredibly popular among watch collectors.
Other potential factors that affect a diamond watch's resale value include the condition of the piece (new, preowned with little or no scratches) and the availability of the original box and papers.
In the grand scheme of things, though, many people that buy customized watches think of opulence and elegance before thinking of potential returns on investment.
The experience of buying custom Audemars Piguet Royal Oak/ Other models Online
As with buying luxury brands online, purchasing a custom AP Royal Oak watch online requires being eagle-eyed. The entire process is exciting and rewarding, especially with the added convenience of shopping online. However, the keyword remains safety.
Many websites will advertize the AP Royal Oak for sale, but is the watch authentic? Is the AP Royal Oak price accurate and commensurate with market trends?
The platform makes all the difference when buying custom Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches online. The online store or company must be reputable and trustworthy. They must also provide a seamless buying experience.
A reputable company will have great reviews on trusted platforms like Trustpilot. Additionally, check social media platforms like Reddit, Twitter, and other channels for what customers say about the company.
Being trustworthy involves providing clear terms and conditions, presenting watches as is (checked and verified by the company), guaranteeing the authenticity of the Audemars Piguet watch, and adding a warranty to all purchases.
For a seamless buying experience, the company must offer 24/7 sales support, swift delivery, a return policy, multiple payment options, and accurate product description (including details about original documents and boxes).
On your part, check the customs duty & other charges that may be levied against your watch. This is particularly important if you’re importing the timepiece. Lastly, enter your correct address and contact information.
Custom diamond watches advantages
Building custom diamond watches from scratch gives you multiple ways to style the piece.
The primary advantage of custom diamond watches is that you can create a one-of-a-kind timepiece that makes a personal statement about your style and taste. You’re in the driving seat to determine how opulent and extravagant the piece is.
One of the advantages of buying a custom diamond piece is that it instantly allows you to stand out in a crowd, particularly if the diamond is paired with a prestigious brand like Audemars Piguet.
Additionally, an AP watch with diamonds rarely goes out of fashion. Whether demand trends up or down, diamonds will always be regarded as a symbol of wealth, affluence, sophistication, and status.
Custom vs Plain Watches
Custom and plain watches both have their pros and cons.
For custom watches, advantages include uniqueness, personalization, exclusivity, and enhanced splendor. One of the major factors to consider with custom pieces is cost. They’re typically more expensive than their plain counterparts.
On the other hand, the advantages of plain watches include having a higher resale value than customized pieces, classic appeal, and a broader market appeal and acceptance. They also serve as a blank canvas if you want to customize the piece.
When it comes to plain watches, you have no input in the design, and maybe a mismatch with your personal style or needs.
Ultimately, your choice will depend on your needs, personal style, and budget.
Are Audemars Piguet watches a good investment?
Audemars Piguet luxury Swiss watches are good investments. Between 2017 and 2022, watches from this luxury brand yielded an average return on investments of 158%. This ROI is better than what Rolex watches delivered (93%) within the same period. Patek Philippe yielded Patek Philippe within the five years examined.
Looking at other asset classes, AP watches significantly outperformed the S&P 500, gold, British FTSE 100 index, real estate, and silver. The only asset class that outperformed AP watches during the same period is crypto.
That said, not all luxury watches are created equal. The best-performing offering of the Swiss brand is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202ST with blue dial, which provided a whopping 600%+ ROI between 2017 and 2022.
The 15202ST model is remarkably close to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 37mm Steel 15450ST.OO.1256ST.02 model we reviewed above, except the latter has been custom-fitted with high-quality diamonds.
Royal Oak models remain one of the most sought-after watches today. As such, owners can sell them at a premium because demand always outstrips supply.
Factors that contribute to Audemars Piguet high ROI
Many factors contribute to the high demand for AP watches. First off is the undeniable heritage of the brand.
Founded in 1874 by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, it is known for its exceptional craftsmanship, innovation, and timeless designs.
These designs are also known for multiple complications such as perpetual calendar, moon phases, minute repeater, and more.
Secondly, the company controls its distribution fully and sells directly to customers through monobrand stores. Because of this, they can control inventory levels, especially with limited production.
The Swiss watch company also has an A-list celebrity clientele and ambassadors that keep it in the news and own Royal Oak watches extensively. In 1997, Jay-Z said the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Chronograph was his favorite timepiece.
These factors ensure Audemars Piguet watches retain and exceed their value in the resale market.
Another brand with immense value retention and ROI is Rolex. The brand needs no introduction. If you’re looking for a Rolex watch to invest in, check out our article: 7 Best Custom Rolex Models to Buy in 2023.