People are going crazy over NFTs right now. Much like the cryptocurrency craze, even big businesses are getting into the game. The ownership of digital assets may be the subject of ridicule for quite some time now. However, take note that somebody just splurged about $611,500 for a prototype illustration. To be specific, it’s of the first-ever Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.

The renowned collection continuously introduces new models, but all tout the distinct outline of its octagonal bezel. Penned by the legendary Swiss watch designer Gérald Genta, the original timepiece eventually debuted at the 1972 Basel Fair. The auction is a celebration of the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary.

Sotheby’s is calling the event the Gérald Genta: Icon of Time. Among 31 lots on offer, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak prototype was perhaps the most sought-after. The late artist’s wife Evelyne Genta was also in attendance and even called the bids. There is a mix of drawings and watercolor paintings and most were of timepieces.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak prototype by Genta was a watercolor-on-paper artwork. Moreover, it has his signature and also includes an NFT with all the digital certificates. It may seem ridiculous, but this will surely fetch an even higher price when the owner decides to place it under the hammer in the future. Nevertheless, this is highly unlikely.

Sources note that the winning bidder was by none other than Audemars Piguet. Given the Swiss watchmaker produces the luxurious timekeeping instrument on the illustration, this turnout is perfect. The Royal Oak prototype design will be on display at the company’s museum for everyone to appreciate.

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Royal Oak Protoype Design

Images courtesy of Sotheby’s