Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo vs Royal Oak 15400 is a family feud with eight sides five hands, and two watches. Today on Versus, stainless steel Audemars Piguet 15202 and 15400 Royal Oak automatics wage a generational war between the nearest descendent of Gerald Genta’s 1972 Royal Oak 5402 and the 2018-spec Royal Oak 41mm automatic. High horology steel sports watches wage internecine warfare today on Watchbox Reviews!
The 1972 Royal Oak has a clear modern heir: the 2012-present Royal Oak Extra Thin 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 is a faithful modern interpretation of the first high horology steel sports watch. Audemars Piguet updated the 15202 in 2012 with a monotone date disc, AP logo at six o’clock, and changes to the dial printing outboard of the hour indices. In every other respect, the watch is immune to planned obsolescence and receives both few an infrequent changes.
At 39mm, the Royal Oak Jumbo retains the original watch’s diameter; 8mm thickness surpasses the original’s due to the use of a sapphire display caseback. The bracelet is more substantial than the 1972 watch’s Gay Freres unit, and so is the twin-trigger double deployant clasp. All exterior stainless steel on case, beze, and bracelet is finished with virtuosity at Audemars Piguet.
The classic Royak Oak Jumbo “petite tapisserie” is alive and well on the 15202. Since 2012, this dial has been manufactured in-house by Audemars Piguet, but the traditional tapisserie dial engraving with a vintage pantograph lathe continues unabated. The galvanized blue dial seen here has become an Audemars Piguet boutique exclusive. All Royal Oak Jumbos features two hands and a date; there is no seconds hand or running indication.
Audemars Piguet’s caliber 2121 ultra thin automatic movement continues its 47-year reign in the Royal Oak Jumbo. Based on the Jaeger LeCoultre caliber 920 ebauche, this ultra thin mechanical caliber has been used exclusively by AP, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin through its 52-year history. Today, AP builds and finishes the caliber 2120 and derivatives in-house. The slim movement boasts a vintage 19,800 vibration per hour beat rate, 40-hour power reserve, and protection equal to 50 meters of water resistance; hand finishing on the caliber 2121 is superior by far to the largely machine-finished caliber 3120 in the Royal Oak 15400.
The Royal Oak 15400 bowed at SIHH 2012; its successor, the Royal Oak 15500, launched at SIHH 2019. As the mainstream automatic Royal Oak model for seven years, the 15400ST has proved immensely popular with watch collectors. Its 41mm case offers wrists presence comparable to the Royal Oak Offshore chronograph, and the quality of its case, bracelet, and bezel finish is as fine as any Jumbo.
On its “grande tapisserie” dial, this Royal Oak 15400ST.OO.1220ST.03 features the same “boutique blue” galvanized color as its Ultra-Thin rival. But the 15400 also features larger white gold hour indices with sharp faceted shoulders, a seconds hand, and more super luminova for night time viewing.
The bracelet and clasp of the 15400ST are designed and finished to the same standards as the 15202ST, but the larger watch uses commensurately larger components for greater durability than the Jumbo. In terms of mass and volume, the 15400 feels more like a mini Royal Oak Offshore than a larger 15202.
Beneath the “grande tapisserie” dial, the Royal Oak 15400 employs an Audemars Piguet manufacture caliber 3120 automatic movement. In every respect, it is more durable and capable than the caliber 2121. The caliber 3120 features a 60-hour power reserve, full balance bridge, gyromax-style free sprung balance, stop seconds, and quickset date; the beat rate is 21,600 vibrations per hour. Although the 41mm Royal Oak features the same 50-meter water resistance as the 39mm Royal Oak Ultra-Thin, the former’s crown is a screw-down unit and the latter’s is not.
Audemars Piguet 15202 Jumbo vs 15400 starts now!
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