Newswatch: Audemars Piguet sues over Royal Oak infringement

Newswatch: Audemars Piguet sues over Royal Oak infringement

Revolution is certainly in the air. Forget your Che Guevara t-shirts and sit down protests, the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet has been causing a stir of its own recently.

Recent reports have revealed the Swiss manufacturer has been carefully watching other timepiece companies very closely.

In fact they have already filed a suit in the last few weeks against a number of different brands including the Movado Group as well as Tommy Hilfiger.


Now what’s poor old Movado and Tommy H done I hear you cry? Well it turns out that AP has accused both respected brands of copyright.

The brouhaha is said to have unfolded over the Royal Oak watch that spookily resembles their versions. Why not see for yourself!


When it comes to the burning issue in question, the dispute seems to be over the TH Elon model that Movado is responsible for producing.

Audemars Piguet claims this particular model is very similar to their own Royal Oak product.  If it is a copy then it’s a damn good one, but Royal Oak watches are sublime in their own right.

Let’s step back in time to Baselworld 1972 where time stood still for just a moment. Audemars Piguet  launched their brand new steel watch which incoporated a number of different revolutionary features.


This included the likes of an integrated bracelet that had bold and innovative design at the heart of it. In addition to this, the AP Royal Oak took its inspiration from a diver’s helmet and offered a striking bezel in the shape of an octagon.

This was secured in place thanks to eight clearly visible screws as well as being waterproof with a dial that was beautifully adorned. Meanwhile, this particular watch was extremely slim at less than 8mm with a diameter measuring 39mm.

The AP Royal Oak has a rich and diverse history which has put it among the most glorious timepieces of its generation.

When it came to the movement, the self-winding Calibre 2121 was the weapon of choice, whilst the  “Grande Tapisserie” motif is synonymous across the world.


The name itself derived from a nautical based theme with Audemars Piguet selecting Royal Oak, named after a collection of eight vessels, corresponding to the unique octagonal design.

These particular eight ships belonged to the British Royal Navy which in turn led to one of the most iconic names being christened in this most famous of Swiss watch makers.

Back to reality and legal papers were officially filed on August the 13th in New York City. It clearly states that AP have “protested, in writing” and have given their viewpoint on the areas where Movado has clearly breached.


This features charges relating to trade dress infringement not to mention a registered trademark infringement with Audemars Piguet looking for an injuction wherby it hopes to prevent any extra production of the controversial watches in question.

They are also hoping for not only the annihilation of the so called current watches but extra punitive damages on top. Time as they say is most definately man’s worst enemy in this case!

Written by Simon Lazarus

Patrick Persaud – Romance In Time

Patrick Persaud – Romance In Time

I’ve noticed recently, whilst shopping with a client for a Valentine’s gift, fine metal-link bracelets and more streamlined case watches in a selection of shops – very much a revival of the early ’70s/’80s style. I am pleased to say that many of the luxury watch brands and jewellers have embraced this revival, for there’s no competition with classic timelessness in whatever you buy.

I have always liked the elegance and slight dressiness of this style of watch, both on men as well as women, as it gives the wrist a softer look. Back then my father bought one of these for both himself and for my mother: matching his-and-hers Piaget gold watches. He had them inscribed with the words ‘for ever in time….’; I thought then how romantic that was. Who said that romance is dead?

It’s nice to see elegance making a comeback from the more cumbersome watches that are so readily available now. How comforting with fashion that what was popular in bygone years will come back around again, as with everything! In my case I’ve found the bulkier watches a bit of a hindrance when dressing clients, as in many cases the cuff ends up sitting on top of the watch instead of skimming or sitting over the watch. I find the more sportier designs work well in a more casual environment, worn with polo shirts or sweaters at the weekend.

Here are some examples of what’s out there for Valentines gift ideas for your loved ones. Patek Philippe has very beautifully-designed Calatrava men’s and women’s 18ct white gold or yellow gold watches with mechanical manually-wound movement – perfect ‘his-and-hers’ gifts.

Patek Philippe – Calatrava (yellow gold)

Cartier has the iconic Santos de Cartier with a good selection of metal finishes and sizes to chose from; my eye is drawn to the gold and steel link bracelet, with screw design on the bezel of the watch.

Cartier – Santos de Cartier

And Audemars Piguet has the Royal Oak, for him and her, self-winding with 32 diamonds set in to the bezel.

Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak

Just a reminder: think carefully before investing in rose gold as a metal colour; you’ll find it more difficult to coordinate with other accessories and it is very limiting. On a positive note it can look great in certain watch-face styles, such as the Baume et Mercier Hampton, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, and the Cartier Tank Americaine; all three have an art deco feel and look to them, finished off with a chocolate brown leather or crocodile strap. The latter works better as it looks great with age. Also note that some of the women’s collections are semi- and fully-encrusted with diamonds.

Jaeger-LeCoultre – Reverso Grande Taille

Baume et Mercier – Hampton

This is just a small taster of what is available, and all the watches mentioned have other related accessories for all those other occasions, just to make shopping that little bit easier.