In addition to the highlights we featured in our previous article, the upcoming Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit auction will be offering a rare Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Maktoum Dial watch Ref. 4100BA, dating from 1980.
The Royal Oak, widely considered one of the most influential designs of all time, was originally designed by Gerald Genta for Audemars Piguet.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 4100 was launched in 1977 as a mid-size version (35 mm) of the iconic Ref. 5402 (39 mm). Designed by Jacqueline Dimier, it was also the first Royal Oak to be equipped with a centre seconds hands. It exists in steel, yellow gold, and two-tone versions.
According to Audemars Piguet, around 2,130 pieces of Royal Oaks were made in yellow gold between 1977 and 1988. Sheikh Mohammad’s name has appeared on vintage Rolex wristwatches in the past, but it is hardly to find vintage Audemars Piguet models with his signature.
The present lot has the distinction of carrying the name of Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the current ruler of Dubai, who, in the 1980s, held the position of Minister of Defence of the United Arab Emirates. To accommodate his signature on the top half of the dial, the Audemars Piguet script was moved to bottom half of the dial.
It was common practice among Gulf royalty and prominent Government establishments in the region to commission watches with their names or logos on the dial. These watches were given as state gifts or commemorative tokens to individuals, diplomats, or business partners. Within collectors’ circles, these watches were known as “Arabic dials” and are considered collector’s pieces.
This Royal Oak Maktoum Dial watch Ref. 4100BA comes with Audemars Piguet Extract to confirm is authenticity. It will be put on sale between 24 April and 4 May in Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit Sale.