March 28, 20246 min Read

The Reference: Audemars Piguet Skeleton • 15407ST

By Niclas Berglund

Bezl meets watch enthusiast and Instagram profile BelgianCollector.

With a passion for watches and an impressive collection, BelgianCollector has become a prominent figure in the watch world. Not only does he purchase rare and coveted watches, but he also possesses deep knowledge and understanding of the history and mechanics of watches. His views and reviews are followed by many on social media, especially on his Instagram.

We meet outside Brussels to discuss a special gem from the watch house Audemars Piguet – specifically, the Royal Oak Double Balance Openworked model, reference: 15407ST.

Audemars Piguet, often abbreviated as AP, is considered one of the world’s most prestigious watch brands. The brand is known for its uncompromising quality, innovative design, and technically advanced movements. This model is no exception, representing the absolute pinnacle of the brand’s current collection.

BelgianCollector, what can you tell Bezl’s readers about this model?

– The model we are discussing today is 15407ST, specifically the steel version. This watch was launched by Audemars Piguet in 2016, replacing the previous model, 15305ST. The previous version had a 39 mm case, while this new model has a 41 mm case. I received my piece in 2022 directly from Audemars Piguet in Spain. It’s definitely a “Heavy Hitter,” and a model that is highly sought after by watch enthusiasts.

Elegance on the wrist: The 15407ST balances sophisticated design with groundbreaking precision.

The 15407ST: A testament to Audemars Piguet’s mastery in watchmaking, showcasing the exquisite Double Balance Wheel.

AP chooses to replace its old skeleton model with a new one, why?

– AP has always been at the forefront when it comes to skeletonized movements. They reintroduced the skeletonization technique to the watch market. This model truly represents one of their greatest innovations in this area. It showcased a new complication for the brand in a prominent way. In a short time, it became one of the most significant watches in their catalog. It is often compared to “Jumbo,” which is the most iconic Royal Oak model. The Double Balance Openworked is arguably the most sought-after model within the Royal Oak collection, meaning it is also one of the most coveted by AP. It is highly appreciated among collectors, and when you see the watch in person, you understand why – the finish and the movement are outstanding.

You mention that the watch is one of the brand’s greatest innovations?

– Yes, I’m referring to the most prominent technical feature of the watch. As the name suggests, “Double Balance Wheel,” the watch has two balance wheels and two hairsprings mounted on the same axis. This innovation improves the watch’s precision by reducing the effects of gravity. The two balance wheels work in tandem with each other, which enhances the watch’s precision. The watch’s movement is a masterpiece, and with this watch, AP shows that they belong at the very top of watchmaking.

Who gets to buy this watch from AP?

– Definitely VIPs, but AP looks at things very differently compared to, say, Rolex or Patek. It’s not just about reaching a certain level of purchase history with the brand. In the brand’s eyes, you also have to be a true enthusiast for Royal Oak and in a way an ambassador for the brand and the products they offer. So, it’s not just about the money. It’s also about the passion and how you engage with the brand.

A closer look at the 15407ST reveals the artistry behind the double balance wheel, a symbol of horological excellence.

An up-close view of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked 15407ST, showcasing the intricate skeletonized movement and dual balance wheel.

Every detail of the AP 15407ST is a testament to Audemars Piguet’s unmatched craftsmanship.

You are a big profile on Instagram, has that helped you reach this level within the brand?

– I wouldn’t say that it’s my Instagram account that has given me the opportunity, but I believe it has helped me. If the seller in the store, or your contact person, follows you and is aware that you have a platform to share your passion, it can have a certain impact on how they view your profile as a whole. I know that my contact follows my account on Instagram. Instagram helps me show AP that I keep my watches, that I’m not out to make a quick deal.

How is this watch to wear?

– It’s a very special watch. The Royal Oak models tend to feel larger on the wrist than the measurements suggest. Even though it measures 41 mm in diameter, it has a significant presence on the wrist. It’s not particularly thick, only 9.9 mm, partly due to its double balance complication. The watch has a substantial weight, and the complex dial – or rather the absence of a traditional dial – gives it a very characteristic presence on the wrist. Despite the detailed dial, the watch can feel simpler to wear, precisely because it’s so detailed. I have another 41 mm Royal Oak with a gray dial, and it feels more dominating on the wrist because the dial is large without much detail. The 15407ST, on the other hand, has a lot going on on the dial, which makes it feel smaller on the wrist.

Would you dare to wear a 15407ST as a daily watch?

– I don’t wear it daily, but bring it out for special occasions. However, I want to highlight something that I think AP does exceptionally well. When you buy a watch from them, you can register your purchase on their website. After registration, AP protects you against theft or damage to the watch. If your watch is stolen or gets damaged, they replace it with a new one if the model is still being produced. If the model has been discontinued, you get your purchase amount back. Thanks to this, I’ve dared to wear the watch at certain events where I otherwise would have chosen a different model.

Embrace the sophistication of the 15407ST, an iconic creation that redefines the boundaries of watchmaking elegance and precision.

The 15407ST: A piece of wearable art, celebrating the fusion of tradition and avant-garde technology.

Experience unparalleled elegance with the 15407ST, where every detail exemplifies Audemars Piguet’s commitment to perfection.

What can you tell us about the previous model 15305ST compared to the new 15407ST?

– The previous model, 15305, featured a smaller 39 mm case, which might make it somewhat easier to wear for some. However, in terms of movement, precision, and technology, the 15407ST is superior in every way. AP’s watchmakers designed the double balance with the aim to innovate and add more character compared to the previous version. While the 15305ST might be easier to wear for some due to its smaller and thinner design, the 15407ST is technically a superior watch in comparison.

If someone is looking to buy their first AP watch, what would you recommend Bezl’s readers to look out for?

– First and foremost, you should try on different sizes and models of watches in a boutique. AP’s main focus is on their iconic model, the Royal Oak. There are also variants like the Royal Oak Offshore and Code 11.59. The Code 11.59 is available in 41 mm but also in a newer 38 mm version which might be seen as more feminine. If it’s your first AP watch, I would suggest the Royal Oak in a simple design, especially the 37 mm with a gray dial. The gray dial is elegant and complements the Royal Oak’s industrial design well. The Royal Oak is also versatile and suits both casual and formal occasions.

With its striking presence and refined mechanics, the 15407ST is a beacon of innovation in haute horlogerie.

From the meticulous polish to the dynamic double balance wheel, the 15407ST is a masterclass in watch design.

By introducing the model 15407ST, Audemars Piguet set a new standard for skeletonized movements.

Which AP Royal Oak in the current catalog has the best proportions, in your opinion?

– I would definitely say the 39mm Jumbo has the best sizing and proportions. I’m a sucker for thin watches. All the characteristics of the Jumbo (wether 5402, 15202 or even the latest 16202) are absolutely perfect in my eyes and there’s not a single design element I would change.

Is there anything you’d like to highlight about the AP Double Balance Wheel?

– How this watch came to life is a fantastic story. It was a meeting between employees, watchmakers, and research and development heads where Audemars Piguet’s CEO François-Henry Bennahmias noticed a watch on one of his watchmaker’s wrist that he had never seen before. When François-Henry Bennahmias inquired about it, his employee became nervous. The watchmaker then revealed that he and some others in the team had been working on a new version of a skeleton. François-Henry Bennahmias was initially surprised, but upon closer inspection, he realized its beauty and superiority. Reflecting on how he often took initiatives without being told as a schoolboy, he felt an unexpected respect for their drive to improve without being asked. It reminded him of an event from 1978 when three of Audemars Piguet’s watchmakers created a new perpetual calendar on their own initiative. That watch also became a huge success.

Ultimately, they discussed the technical advantages of the new model, highlighting how innovative and advanced it was compared to its predecessor.

I would like to recommend Bezl’s readers to watch a short film from Monochrome Watches, where they visit AP. François-Henry Bennahmias talks about how the model came into being. The film is available on YouTube. (Link at the end of the article)

Thank you, BelgianCollector, for your time and for sharing your expertise on this model.

The Audemars Piguet 15407ST – a marvel of engineering, offering a glimpse into the future of luxury watchmaking.

Lastly

The Double Balance Wheel mechanism in this watch marks a milestone in haute horlogerie. From its advanced mechanism to its aesthetic expression, this movement stands as a symbol of both innovation and tradition within the watch industry. Although the 15407ST is an upgrade of its predecessor, it still carries the heritage and sophisticated sensation from the previous 15305 model.

When worn, its presence on the wrist is unmistakable. I was convinced that this model would feel too large on my 17 cm wrist, but I was surprised by how well the proportions felt despite its 41 mm. I was struck by the feeling of both strength and elegance.

The movement itself is a testament to craftsmanship. Every aspect, from the polished finish to the meticulously crafted details on the dial, highlights a passion for detail. The sophisticated design, enhanced by the unique double balance mechanism. Even though the model is available in several materials, the steel version is my favorite. I really appreciate the contrast that the 18k yellow gold balance wheel provides against the grey steel of the case and bracelet. Audemars Piguet 15407ST is a masterpiece for the wrist 

Check out BelgianCollector’s outstanding collection on his Instagram
BelgianCollector recommends the film “Audemars Piguet Double Balance Openworked” from Monochrome Watches.

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🎥 See the trailer, Audemars Piguet Double Balance Openworked 15407ST