In 2018 Audemars Piguet will be celebrating the 25th birthday of the Royal Oak Offshore. A younger brasher and more colourful relation of the Royal Oak, itself a seminal luxury sports watch, the ‘ROO’ has managed to establish its own identity beyond that of the Royal Oak. Its popularity for the brand has manifested itself in the form of a series of combinations and permutations numbering over 120 references to date.
Audemars Piguet’s first announcement of what will no doubt be a large year of celebratory models comes in the form of three new limited edition models : a re-edition of the original Royal Oak Offshore chronograph, and a new Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph in stainless steel and 18 kt pink gold variants. Each is limited to 50 pieces.
Firstly, the more traditional looking model shown at the top of this post.
The 42mm stainless steel case has a classic blue ‘Petite Tapisserie’ patterned dial, with blue counters, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, The dial’s colour is carried through to the blue rubber-clad pushers and screw-down crown. Its case back is engraved with the Royal Oak Offshore logo and ‘Automatic’, and the watch is water resistant to 100 meters
Inside is the automatic Calibre 3126/3840 with 59 jewels, beating at 21,600 VPU and a power reserve of 50 hours. Limited to fifty pieces, the RRP is CHF 25,000.
Now, onto the more dramatic anniversary piece, a new Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph, also limited to fifty pieces each in 42mm of stainless steel or rose gold.
An eye-catching riff on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (Offshore) octagonal bezel finds it skeletonised in an angular fashion to the point of making the screw heads a major feature to which the eye is drawn. The black dial now finds itself open-worked and dominated by eight bridges. The dial’s hour markers (in white or rose gold) are lumed.
One interesting feature of particular note is that the screw-down crown and pushers are black ceramic instead of the common metal and rubber.
Functionally, along with the chronograph function and 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, is a one minute tourbillon at 9 o’clock.
Inside is a re-designed movement, the manual-wind in-house Calibre 2947. With 353 parts, it beats at 21,600VPH and has a power reserve of seven days.
Coming on a black rubber strap with a matching metal pin buckle, the RRPs are CHF 285,000 for the stainless steel Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph, and CHF 325,000 for the pink gold model.