There are few timepieces as iconic as Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. The Gerald Genta-designed steel timepiece, characterised by its integrated bracelet and an octagonal shaped bezel secured by eight visible hexagonal gold screws, was a bold introduction in 1972, overturning the accepted order of haute horlogerie and, single-handedly, pioneered a new segment of timepieces – the luxury sport watch.
As the Royal Oak gradually attained the iconic status it enjoys today, it would inspire new lines in Audemars Piguet’s collections, the most significant of which is the Royal Oak Offshore, introduced in 1993 and designed by Emmanuel Gueit. The Royal Oak Offshore retains the original’s octagonal shaped bezel and hexagonal screws, but its muscular identity and free-spirited attitude has defied established conventions since its release. Over the years, it has pushed the limits of feasibility, taking ever-more creative dimensions with a wide array of unyielding materials, sizes and colours. This year, Audemars Piguet continues to push the boundaries of this collection, introducing a new case size, interchangeable straps and its latest integrated chronograph technology geared for adventures.
The new line of 43mm timepieces is the first redesign of the Royal Oak Offshore’s since the evolution of the 44mm collection in the early 2000s. Five models have been introduced, in titanium, 18K pink gold or stainless steel, with cases that present larger polished chamfers on the edges, while the bezel, as well as the screw-locked crown and chronograph push-pieces, follow a slight curvature for more visual appeal. With the exception of the all-titanium version, the other four timepieces feature a ceramic bezel for a powerful two-tone contrast. The Manufacture’s trademark alternation of hand-polished chamfers and satin-brushed finishing adorning the case and bezel furthers the watch’s new aesthetic.
The new timepieces are powered by the latest in-house integrated chronograph, Calibre 4401, a self-winding chronograph movement equipped with a column wheel and flyback function that restarts the chronograph without stopping or resetting it first. The calibre’s vertical clutch system prevents the hands from jumping when the chronograph is started or stopped, while a patented zero resetting mechanism ensures that each counter hand is seamlessly reset to zero. Calibre 4401 offers 70 hours of power reserve and is water resistant to 100m.
The Royal Oak Offshore’s Méga Tapisserie pattern adorning the dial, available in shades of black, grey, light brown and blue, has been newly designed to offer enhanced contrast and high-end finishing. The pyramids composing the stamped Tapisserie have been sharpened and connected to one another with a raised criss-cross pattern that adds depth to the dial. The chronograph counters have also been rearranged to improve legibility, with the minute counter now at 9 o’clock, while the hour counter is at 3 o’clock. The date window is closer to the inner bezel between 4 and 5 o’clock and the small seconds counter is at 6 o’clock.
The new line is also fitted with the watchmaker’s new interchangeable strap system, which has been directly integrated into the buckle and case studs, in perfect harmony with the case’s aesthetic codes. The ease and efficiency of the new system allows users to change the straps and buckles of their timepiece with just a quick click and release. The double-push system also ensures optimum security when the watch is on the wrist, while the interchangeable rubber straps – in black, blue, grey and brown hues – adorning the different models, as well as the AP pin buckle, now come with a new design. You will find the new Royal Oak Offshore as well as the full range of Audemars Piguet’s timepieces at the brand’s new boutique in The Starhill, scheduled to open by the end of the year.
The new 43mm Royal Oak Offshore collection presents two models that combine a stainless steel case with a bezel, push-pieces and a screw-locked crown in black ceramic. To reinforce the two-tone aesthetic, the push-piece guards have been crafted in sandblasted stainless steel. One model is adorned with a black Méga Tapisserie dial enriched with rhodium-toned counters and comes with a black interchangeable rubber strap, as well as a second brown interchangeable calfskin strap. The other features a smoked light brown Méga Tapisserie dial with black chronograph counters and inner bezel, matched with a light brown interchangeable rubber strap.
The new collection features two titanium models hand-finished with satin-brushing and polished chamfered. One features an all-titanium case with black ceramic push-pieces and screw-locked crown, with a blue Méga Tapisserie dial and inner bezel illuminated by rhodium-toned chronograph counters and matched with a blue interchangeable rubber strap. A second black interchangeable rubber strap is included. The other is enriched with a bezel, push-pieces and screw-locked crown in grey ceramic. The grey Méga Tapisserie dial is enhanced by blue chronograph counters and a blue inner bezel. The watch is complemented with two interchangeable rubber straps in grey and blue.
The final model of the new collection brings together an 18K pink gold case with a black ceramic bezel, both decorated with satin-brushing and polished chamfers. The push-pieces and screw-locked crown are in black ceramic and finished with satin-brushing, while the push-piece guards are in sandblasted 18K pink gold. The bezel is matched with a black Méga Tapisserie dial adorned with rhodium-toned chronograph counters, while the pink gold hour-markers, Royal Oak hands and applied gold AP initials highlight the case’s two-tone design. The watch comes with a black interchangeable rubber strap as well as a black interchangeable alligator strap.
Find out more about the new Royal Oak Offshore here