15.03.2022 - Audemars Piguet

Gerald Genta artwork and NFT sells for almost £0.5M

It was said the craze would be dead in the water by now but the demand for NFTs is still growing.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are entries on a blockchain – a type of digital ledger that’s completely unalterable. For example, a digital certificate that is sold with the physical asset to prove what you have is authentic.

We’ve obviously set a trend in our industry after becoming the first watch retailer to create and give out NFT certificates… There was Patek Philippe with its digital replica of the iconic Nautilus and now Audemars Piguet has been to auction…

Sotheby’s tribute auction

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, Sotheby’s held an auction in tribute to its inventor Gerald Genta, that would include his watch designs, drawings and watercolour paintings sourced from his estate.

The auction sold a Genta-signed original prototype design of the Royal Oak on blue paper measuring 21 cm x 14.7 cm, along with a unique NFT featuring an artistic digital replica of his design. This one went for a staggering top bid of $610,000 – that’s around £467,900!

As it happens, Audemars Piguet was the top bidder, sailing in to take the lot with only eight seconds left on the clock. It will now be displayed at its Bjarke Ingels-designed museum.

The final phase of the auction takes place in May when Genta’s own Royal Oak Jumbo is set to be sold, along with four of his oil paintings. Experts believe the watch will achieve between $300,000 and 500,000.

Some of the cash raised from the sales will go to the Gerald Genta Heritage Association which rewards budding young watchmakers. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The Royal Oak is a must-have stainless steel sports watch for any collector. A multipurpose watch that is fit for a multitude of occasions and created in the mid-seventies. Inspired by the look of a traditional diver’s helmet with its octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet, not to mention its aesthetically pleasing design, help make it one of the world’s most sought-after designs.

In its golden anniversary year, the Royal Oak shows no signs of retreat. To celebrate this milestone in watchmaking history, January saw the release of a host of new watches, each engraved with ‘50 years’ .

The Royal Oak Jumbo 16202ST, features a new movement (also extra thin) – the first new one since 1972’s 2121 calibre. The new in-house movement, 7121 boasts a better power reserve and a quick set date function. 

How you can get your own NFT

Luxe Watches became the first luxury watch retailer to launch personalised NFTs, providing certificates of authenticity, in October last year. 

Our experts are always open to offers to sell luxury watches. We particularly enjoy seeing rare or unusual pieces. And of course, if we do buy your watch, you’ll get your very own NFT. 

If you’d like to make an appointment to see us at our Epping boutique, contact us today.