Steel & yellow gold
Watch & original papers
From the second half of the 1970s, the Royal Oak became a collection. In response to market demand, Audemars Piguet created smaller versions. The women’s Model 8638 designed by Jacqueline Dimier in 1976 measured just 29 mm in diameter. From 1980, it was followed by numerous other feminine models with a diameter of 30 mm (6008, 4587, 14470, etc.) and even 26 mm (6010, 6012, 6007, etc.). This miniaturisation reached its limits in 1997 with the Mini Royal Oak family, featuring a diameter of 20 mm (67075, 67076, 67287, etc.), notably created for the Japanese market.
The men's models were also shrinking. Introduced in 1977, the Royal Oak 4100 measured 35 mm in diameter and set a new standard. For six years, all the new mechanical men's models (4120, 4153, 4331) featured this diameter, as did some quartz models (6023, 6036, 6037, etc.). The lines shifted slightly in 1983 and from then on, the 35 mm size continued to appear in only a few rare models (14544 in 1987; 14486, 14567, 14575, 14674 in 1990), whereas the new 36 mm standard prevailed for two decades.
The wild child had mellowed. The Royal Oak was no longer oversized or exclusively in steel, but also available in gold, in gemset versions, etc. Equipped with Calibre 2125, Model 4332 introduced in 1983 heralded the line of 36 mm Royal Oak watches. That same year, the range was enriched with calendar functions (Day Date, 5572, 5581, 5584; moon phases 5658, 5595). This was followed by "three-hand" models, including Model 14498 (1986), the Royal Oak 14700 (1990) as well as its derivatives 14701, 14702 and 14704 released two years later. The year 1992 saw the birth of Model 14790, which remained the central model in the Royal Oak collection for over a decade.
This evolution explains why the term “Jumbo” remained associated with the original Model 5402. It is even likely that this nickname became established during the 1980s and 1990s. When referring at the time to the first Royal Oak, adding the epithet “Jumbo” ensured a contrast with the 36 mm models dominating the market. For three decades, the only 39 mm Royal Oak models were those with a perpetual calendar, simply because Calibre 2120/2800 featured the same base movement as the original model from 1972. In such cases, the diameter of the watch is dependent on that of the mechanism it houses.