Part of the so-called Holy Trinity of Swiss watches, Audemars Piguet is one of the most recognizable and in-demand luxury watch brands on the secondary market. The company is particularly well known for its collection of Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore models, which are exceedingly popular today. Thanks to that strong demand fueled by interested buyers, selling pre-owned AP Royal Oak or Royal Oak Offshore models is relatively straightforward. If you’re interested in selling your Audemars Piguet watch, we’ve compiled a helpful guide below with everything you’d want to know.
While we’ve already published a comprehensive guide on how to sell a luxury watch regardless of brand, there are some key AP-specific tips that can help you enjoy a smoother selling process.
Identify Your Audemars Piguet Reference/Model Number
The first step to take when selling any watch is to identify its reference number, also known as the model number. This number will tell you the model, material, and style of the watch. If you have any of the original papers of the watch then you can quickly determine the reference number by looking at those. However, if you don’t have any paperwork, it can be a little trickier since AP does not engrave reference numbers on its watches.
If you’re trying to identify an AP reference/model number without any papers, try these steps:
- Verify what collection your watch belongs to: Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore, Code 11.59. Millenary, Jules Audemars, and so on. You can research these collections on AP’s website
- Try to pinpoint design details such as size, material, movement type, dial color, bezel style, and bracelet type. The approximate year of production would be useful too. Then try to Google the details to help you narrow down potential reference numbers
- Take a clear front-facing picture of your watch and do a Google image search to find the same or similar watches online. You should be able to see reference numbers on these listings
- Post your picture on a watch forum (such as r/Watches on Reddit) and see if any friendly members can help you ID the AP watch
- Order an Extract of the Archives directly from AP (we’ll cover this in more detail below)
Understanding Audemars Piguet Model Numbers
Audemars Piguet model numbers include a series of letters and numbers, generally structured like this: #####XX.XX.####XX.##. For example, 15500ST.OO.1220ST.01.
- Root Reference: First Five Digits
- 15500 = Royal Oak Selfwinding 41mm
- Material Code: Two Letters
- ST = Stainless Steel
- Bezel Code: Two Letters
- OO = Standard Decoration (Smooth)
- Bracelet Code: Four Digits and Two Letters
- 1220ST: Royal Oak Bracelet in Stainless Steel
- Dial Code: Final Two Digits
- 01: Blue Dial with “Grande Tapisserie” Pattern (dial codes are different across different references)
While Audemars Piguet watches don’t include reference numbers on them, they do include at least two other numbers:
- The movement number, unique to each movement
- Engraved on the mainplate of the movement, which is visible if the watch has a display caseback. Otherwise, solid casebacks have to be removed to see it
- The case number (also known as a serial number), unique to each watch.
- Depending on the watch, the case/serial number can be engraved on the outside caseback, inside caseback, or both
- Comprised of one letter and 4 or 5 digits, originally issued in sequential order
- In 2017, AP began issuing random serial numbers, thereby eliminating the possibility of dating the watch by using this number
AP Serial Number Production Years
Audemars Piguet introduced an alphanumerical numbering system consisting of two letters followed by four digits starting in the mid-1970s. These serial numbers were issued sequentially, so you can roughly estimate the watch’s production year. However, starting with the K series in 2017, AP switched to randomized serial numbers.
|Case number (From)||Case number (To)||Approx. |
|B 1||B 99999||1975||1990|
|C 1||C 99999||1984||1996|
|E 1||E 99999||1998||2010|
|F 1||F 99999||2003||2010|
|G 1||G 99999||2009||2015|
|H 1||H 99999||2011||2015|
|I 1||I 99999||2013||2020|
|J 1||J 94000||2015||2020|
Some Royal Oak watches also have what the brand calls a “small case number,” which starts with “No.” and represents that watch’s placement within a specific series. According to the brand, these numbers allowed AP to show its low production numbers without having to put a limit on a particular run. From about 2017, Audemars Piguet stopped engraving watches with the “No.” small case numbering system.
Assemble Documentation and Packaging
When selling a luxury watch, a complete set with original warranty cards, certificates of authentication, receipts, service records, instruction manuals, and boxes will always net more than incomplete sets or “naked” watches.
So, if you think you have some of the paperwork and boxes of the Audemars Piguet watch you’re selling, then take the time to locate and collect them.
There are also two official Audemars Piguet documents you can order directly from the company.
For instance, Audemars Piguet can offer a Certificate of Authenticity after a detailed inspection of the watch at its workshops in Le Brassus, Switzerland. Authorized AP boutiques can send the Audemars Piguet timepiece you want to sell to the company’s headquarters for examination. This service costs CHF 2,500.
Furthermore, Audemars Piguet also provides an Extract from the Archives program, which costs CHF 500. While this is not a certificate of authenticity, it does certify that the case and movement numbers appear in AP’s records and provides a range of details about your watch.
Ordering official documentation from Audemars Piguet can go a long way to ease a potential buyer’s concerns about the authenticity of your watch.
Determine the Value of your AP Watch
Once you know the reference number, it’s time to research the approximate value of your Audemars Piguet watch. Audemars Piguet does publish Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) on its website; however, only for current-production models. Moreover, when reselling an Audemars Piguet watch, understanding its current market value is more relevant than the sticker price.
Start with our Audemars Piguet price guides:
- Audemars Piguet Watch Prices: Historical and Current From Actual Sales Numbers
- How Much Does an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Cost?
Other sources that you can look at when trying to figure out how much your AP watch is worth include:
- Sold Auction Listings (Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips)
- Pre-Owned Watch Dealer and Grey Market Dealer Websites
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re figuring out how much you can sell your Audemars Piguet watch for. First of all, what you see online will almost always be higher than what you’ll end up pocketing for selling your AP watch. After all, businesses have margins and overhead to consider. What’s more, secondary market prices for luxury watches can fluctuate–especially for hype brands like AP. Therefore, the prices you see right now may change quickly.
Should I Service My Audemars Piguet Before Selling It?
You may be tempted to send in your AP watch for maintenance and servicing before selling it in hopes that you can get more money for it. However, we recommend against servicing your watch before reselling it. Not only do watch collectors generally prefer all original components on any high-end timepiece (parts are sometimes replaced during servicing) but it’s also unlikely that you’ll redeem the expensive cost of servicing the watch when you finally sell your Audemars Piguet.
Plus, if you decide to sell your watch to a grey market dealer, they will take care of any repair or maintenance needs before offering it to another buyer. In short, there’s no need to burden yourself with the time and cost of servicing an Audemars Piguet watch prior to selling it.
Get an Offer: Sell your Audemars Piguet Watch
Luxury Bazaar has decades of experience in the luxury watch business and has purchased a great deal of Audemars Piguet watches from countless happy customers. Whether a Royal Oak, Millenary, Code 11.59, or Royal Oak Offshore, Luxury Bazaar provides the simplest and safest way to sell your AP watch.
All you need to do is answer a few questions about the Audemars Piguet watch you want to sell and you’ll receive an instant offer. The whole process is fast, easy, convenient, and most importantly, risk-free.