Today, watches such as the Royal Oak perpetual calendar skeleton (a benchmark in AP’s collection and among the best perpetuals on the current market, in my estimation), the Royal Oak Equation of Time, the revolutionary Chron-AP, and this Millenary Minute Repeater prove that AP is certainly a top-tier manufacture. AP’s in-house self-winding caliber 3120, located inside the fundamental Royal Oak 15400, can also be one of the finest base movements on earth. All these are the things that keep AP pertinent to “real” watch lovers that sometimes get lost in the buzz around the other kinds of AP buyers.And then there is your typical well-to-do watch buyer. To mepersonally, the best analogy for this other kind of AP purchaser is advised via a singular scene in one episode of a single television series that was popular for a period of time some years back. I’m speaking about Entourage, and I bet the great majority of you understand exactly to which scene I am referring.Ari Gold receives a good gold Royal Oak chronograph (not as the watch I’ll review down below) by his then-soon-to-be boss, who explains it as “One of the best watches in the world.” The camera then pans to the solid gold watch in its box, and Ari is in disbelief about the gift — and thus, AP is introduced to a whole group of potential new customers, the men who see Entourage. From this moment on, you see a number of the characters on the show wearing APs. Many at the time believed Audemars Piguet Watches Vintage Replica had paid for the positioning, but in discussions with AP over time, it was disclosed to me not just one dollar was exchanged. Rather, a particular manufacturer on the show was a massive AP client, and insisted it be a Royal Oak presented to Ari. Entourage did a lot for AP, but it was not this 1 positioning that defines the “other” type of AP customer. It does give you a good idea of where AP is a favorite, and that is in Hollywood, music, and sports, with the youthful and moneyed.
In a striking departure from the original design, Audemars Piguet just unveiled the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph, in an aggressive restyling for the 25th anniversary of its iconic oversized sports watch. Excepting the Royal Oak Concept of 2002, the 25th anniversary Offshore is arguably the most radical reimagining of the octagonal design to date.
Slated to mark its birthday next year, the Royal Oak Offshore was introduced in 1993, itself a commemorative model meant to mark the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak. Designed by a Emmanuel Gueit, now an independent designer whose greatest triumph was the Offshore, the watch was a beefed up, 42mm version of the slim, original Royal Oak, making it almost abnormally large for the era. While it was met with criticism from the industry – Royal Oak designer Gerald Genta reputedly disliked it – the Offshore grew to become one of the most influential watches in contemporary watchmaking, surpassing the Royal Oak in pop cultural significance.
In the early to mid 2000s the Offshore was arguably the hottest watch of the era, acquiring a cult status among celebrities and athletes, especially in the United States, with over 120 iterations and special limited editions, including versions dedicated to Jay-Z, Arnold Schwarzenegger and LeBron James.
The Offshore undergone slight tweaks over the years – once in 2006 and again in 2014 – but never to the extent undertaken with the new Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph. Slated for an official launch at SIHH 2018, it is both edgy and open-worked, gaining a menacing profile thanks to an entirely redesigned dial, movement and bezel.
While the complications and movement are based on an existing model (the refs. 26388PO & 26288OR), the anniversary model is defined by a new bezel. The famous octagonal bezel was slimmed down and hollowed out around the exposed screw heads (which are actually nuts as Royal Oak fans will know). In turn, the dial has been reduced to a series of eight skeletonised bridges that are secured by the eight nuts. Four of the largest bridges secure each of the twin barrels, as well as the tourbillon.
While the case has retained its signature style, subtle changes have given it a more athletic profile. The bevels on the flanks of the lugs are wider and more pronounced, for instance. It measures 45mm in diameter, and is available in both stainless steel and pink gold.
And as with the second generation Offshore chronograph, the crown and pushpieces are now in black ceramic instead of rubber-coated metal. On the steel model the pushpiece guards are titanium, while while the gold version they are in pink gold.
While the cal. 2947 movement inside is new, it is a variant of the existing cal. 2933. It is hand-wound, with both an integrated column wheel chronograph and tourbillon regulator, as well as double barrels that offer a seven-day power reserve.
Price and Availability
Limited to 50 pieces each, Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph in stainless steel (ref. 26421ST.OO.A002CA.01) is priced at SFr275,000 and the pink gold (ref. 26421OR.OO.A002CA.01) at SFr310,000; prices exclude taxes.