Feature: 5 of the BEST Royal Oak lookalikes
Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak is a trailblazing watch that, along with Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, helped popularise the luxury steel sports watch genre in the 1970s. But the distinctive yet understated design of the Royal Oak—courtesy of the late, great Gerald Genta—is far from old hat; in fact, it’s more sought-after than ever and now comes in countless variations. However, if it’s top of your wish list but beyond your budget, check out five of the best affordable lookalikes below.
Like the Royal Oak, Bulgari’s Octo was originally designed by the legendary late watch designer Gerald Genta—albeit in the 1980s rather than 1970s—and when you put these watches side by side you can see the consistency of his style. In 2012, Bulgari released the Octo we know today, with its unique layered and multifaceted case. If you want a Royal Oak-style watch for less, the Octo is a great choice. Better still, you’ll own some real Genta magic!
Take one look at any timepiece from the Laureato line and it’s clear which watch inspired it. Featuring all the hallmarks found on the Royal Oak including an integrated bracelet, angular case, octagonal bezel and tapisserie dial, this is one almighty alternative to Genta’s icon. This model, though, stands out with its black ceramic case and bracelet and matching dial with legible white details on the hour markers and hands.
Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
Described as a “slim, smooth watch with an authentic ‘70s feel” by Tissot itself, the PRX Powermatic 80 turned heads when it was released in 2021 thanks to its slick design and colourful advertising campaign. And this model isn’t just reminiscent of the Royal Oak, but an old vintage Tissot from 1978, too. Again, this watch flaunts an integrated bracelet and a “honeycomb” motif dial, much like AP’s own Grande Tapisserie dial.
Atelier Wen Perception
Atelier Wen is a French-Chinese micro-brand whose watches are made from an intriguing mix of components. Take this Perception model, for example, which runs on a nicely finished Chinese self-winding movement yet uses superior 904L steel for its octagonal case and integrated bracelet, the same steel that Rolex uses. Meanwhile its stunning dial, which comes in blue, salmon or grey, is the work of China’s sole guilloche master craftsman. All this for £2,355.
Baume & Mercier Riviera
This model from Baume & Mercier boasts the beefy dimensions of Royal Oak’s larger offshoot, the Offshore, but for a fraction of the price. The 45mm case is black PVD-coated steel, the chronograph is of the less common flyback kind, and it features a skeleton dial below lumed Roman numerals for good legibility. The water resistance of 200 metres is also impressive for a chronograph. This is a piece that punches well above its price category.
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