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Featured: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo

In 1971, a half-Swiss, half-Italian designer received a call at 4 PM the day before the Swiss Basel Fair. Gerald Genta wasn’t an unknown entity to the head honchos of the Swiss watch industry, having designed pieces for Omega and Universal Genève. The man on the other end of the line, AP managing director Georges Golay, told Genta that he needed a design for “an unprecedented steel watch” for the Italian market.

Oh, and it needed to be done by the following morning.

But Golay, despite the short turnaround he gave Genta, wasn’t crazy. The commission was the result of a stealthy campaign of market research. The Italian elite, he learned, might be interested in a versatile, sporty steel watch with impeccable finishing and killer looks that could transition from day to night seamlessly…

…and Genta rose to the challenge, creating a stunning design that upended everything we knew about sport watches…

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