The first time we encountered the frosted white gold version of the Royal Oak 15400 in the flesh was on the first morning of SIHH 2017 and on the wrist of Audemars Piguet’s CEO, Mr. François-Henry Bennahmias.
While unaware at the time that this was, in fact, not the 37mm 15454 white gold frosted Royal Oak that the maison had announced late in 2016, we asked Mr. Bennahmias, why he had chosen to sport a watch that the brand was quite clearly targeting towards their female clientele, rather than what was, even at that early hour, the peerless darling of SIHH 2017: The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic.
So Mr. Bennahmias, explained saying,” We showed the frosted Royal Oak to a very small group of people at SIHH in 2016. And a gentleman there told me that he wanted one for himself. Even though we had told him that we were aiming the watch for our female clients.”
Perplexed by such a reaction, Mr. Bennahmias asked the gentleman if he was simply pulling a joke. To which, said gentleman responded to say he was dead serious.
Says Mr. Bennahmias, “In fact, when we launched the watch at our Florence event, a lot of guys there, too, said that they’d want a frosted Royal Oak for themselves.
“This got me thinking. So, I asked my team to make me a 15400 in frosted white and rose gold. I wanted to wear it for myself and see if I would end up wanting to wear one.”
So how’d that self-imposed social experiment go? “Well, I’m wearing one and showing it you, aren’t I?” explained Mr. Bennahmias, while seated at the head of the table. “So, these guys weren’t kidding when they said they wanted one for themselves. I can now understand what they had already seen in the frosted Royal Oak when we launched it as part of our pre-SIHH announcements”
Although, to understand the complete extent of the impression the watch had on Mr. Bennahmias, we must tell you about an encounter later in March, in Singapore with Chadi Nouri, Head of Product Management at Audemars Piguet, who was in town to launch the 37 and 33m rose and white gold Royal Oaks. After a bit of interrogation, she shared in confidence that plans were under way to launch the 15400 frost as early as November of 2017. Of course, now we know that things had moved fast enough that they were able to launch the watch early October of 2017. An entire month earlier!
Designated the ref. 15410, the 41mm white gold frosted Royal okay is essentially the 15400 with the blue “Grade Tapisserie” dial, save for the frost treatment on all of the surfaces of the watch that are otherwise brushed.
The kicker, though, is that Audemars Piguet has said that they will only produce 200 pieces of the 15410. Which means, the watch is as good as sold out. Which shouldn’t be surprising, considering the reaction we go when we first posted the watch on Revolution’s Instagram account, straight off of Mr. Bennahmias’ wrist.
Technical Specifications: Royal Oak Frosted Gold Limited Edition of 200 Pieces – 41mm
Self-winding Manufacture Calibre 3120; hours, minutes and centre seconds with date; 60-hour power reserve
41mm frosted 18-carat white gold case; water-resistant to 50m
Hammered 18-carat white gold bracelet with AP folding clasp