AUDERMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK 'TANTALUM ROSE'

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AUDERMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK 'TANTALUM ROSE'

  • London Showroom

    Pickup available, usually ready in 2-4 days

    35/37 Ludgate Hill
    London EC4M 7JN
    United Kingdom

    +442072481321

FULLY AUTHENTICATED
PART EXCHANGE AVAILABLE
12 MONTH WARRANTY
FREE WORLD WIDE SHIPPING

THE ESSENTIALS

MAKE: AUDERMARS PIGUET 
MODEL: 14790TR
YEAR: 1994
BOX/PAPERS: NO/YES (EXTRACT FROM THE ARCHIVE)
CASE DIAMETER: 36mm
CASE MATERIAL: TANTALUM / 18K ROSE GOLD
BRACELET MATERIAL: TANTALUM / 18K ROSE GOLD
MOVEMENT: AUTOMATIC

Named after Tantalus, a Greek mythological figure who murders his own son, and then tries to trick the gods into eating him; Tantalum is a Rare Earth Element - making up circa 0.0001% of the Earth's crust. Used mostly in electronics in the form of capacitors, it could be considered an odd choice for a watch, however Tantalum is known more so for its material properties; an immense resistance to acids and extremely high-melting point. While these characteristics not likely to be exploited by the human wrist its other, more aesthetic traits offer the warm rose gold of this Royal Oak a cold, bright, subtly blue-silver backdrop from which to standout from.

Aside from this unique look, it also represents a technological feat - due to the high melting point (over 3000 degree Celsius) Tantalum is exceedingly difficult to shape, attempted rarely by watchmakers for their case constructions - it cannot be soldered or ground down and can only be made exclusively in single-element designs - perfect therefore for the blocky, Neue-industrious Royal Oak.

The humble CNC machine had very much met-its-match, and as such the production numbers on all Tantale references were extremely limited - with some variations being as low at 600, and this reference - the 14790TR - likely even lower.

This offers us a brief call-back to the original Royal Oak 5402 prototypes, which had their tricky architecture made from white gold rather than steel due to its ease of machining. The story goes that the first uses of ‘Tantale’ by Audemars Piguet was actually at the request of King Juan Carlos of Spain - produced by case makers Favre & Perret - who enjoyed a signature blue style as early as 1986 when traditional heat-bluing techniques did not achieve the desired results.

This particular reference, the 14790TR [TR - Tantale et Rose] sits in the middle of the Tantale references from the marque - hailing from 1994 - and while the earlier references up to the late 80s featured Quartz movements (Calibre 2613 and 2610) this reference features the self-winding automatic Calibre 2225 which provides the time, date and sweep centre seconds, housed in its 36mm structure. The movement is running at an exceptional +5 seconds per/day, with a strong amplitude of 300 degrees and a beat-error of 0.1ms.

Beyound the lustre of the Tantalum, and that familiar rose-glow, sits a ‘Dacron vertical Tantale’ dial with rose gold reliefs and tritium filled rose gold markers - initially it may seem like an odd choice to match the muted towns of the case, where a more contrasted colour may seem like the obvious choice, but for us this dedication to a stealthy design language takes the cake - and we adore the subtle rose framing of the date window combined with a rose-ink appliqué for the Audemars Piguet wordmark and outertrack - perfection.

Coming with an Extract from the Archive, this example also has its original Tantalum and rose gold GTF bracelet that will accommodate up to a 19.5cm wrist.

With thanks to Marcus Siems - Goldammer - for his fantastic deep-dive on all things Tantale: https://goldammer.me/blogs/articles/tantalum-royal-oak-history

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